We are happy to say that we had a great time this past Saturday at the Piedmont Picnic Project’s official launch picnic – Cocktails & Mayonnaise!  Our guests braved the rain to get out there and smash ice, plunge mayo, and mix up drinks.

Wood Sorrel Lemonade

Because this party embodies so much of what the Piedmont Picnic Project is about, we are planning to use it as the inspiration for the next month of blog posts.  What about this first picnic so resonates with what we hope to do here?

It’s participatory – We didn’t play bartender.  Folks were involved in creating their own unique dishes and drinks.  This empowers people to do the same thing at home and gets them interacting with each other.

It’s historical – We think history can be fun, and using it to inspire food and drink is one way we are going to try to prove it.

It’s local – We tried to keep ingredients as local as possible and use local history and flora to inspire our menu.

It’s sustainable – By keeping things local and bringing back traditional recipes we can be more sustainable.  We also hope to show how using decorations and table settings full of reused and compostable items can actually make your event more unique and more cost effective.

It’s simple – Picnics are meant to be casual!  We tried to focus on the experience, not the appearance and build an atmosphere that felt welcoming to all – not stuffy or exclusive.  Our drinks and dishes are meant to be something someone could easily recreate at home.

During the month of August, we’ll unpack each item from our first picnic one by one and go over why we chose them, what the historical background is for them, how you can grow, forage, or source their ingredients locally today, and how to make them into delicious dishes and drinks!  You can look forward to the following:

  • Fruit Cobbler Cocktail.  Ice and Straws as the Wave of the Future – making countless variations
  • Borage.  History’s Prozac – how to grow it, muddle it, steep it, freeze it
  • MayonnaiseCheap, Natural, and Traditional – how to make it, where to source it, what to do with it
  • Wild Bergamot.  A Revolutionary Tea – how to grow it, dry it, infuse it, drink it
  • Wood SorrelEat your Yard – where to forage it, how to use it

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