Entertaining Leisure Reading

Bringing the Picnic Indoors

Making a contingency plan for rain is nothing I worry about living in sunny Arizona.  But living in sunny Arizona means that sometimes it is too uncomfortably hot to sit outdoors and eat, but picnic food is still on the summer menu.

No, I’m not one of those people who thinks an indoor picnic needs to be served on a blanket on the floor.  The table works just fine. But I can make the table look a little outdoorsy.

A picnic can be enjoyed with air conditioning and mosquito free.

This week I am super excited to see co-worker and DF Jimmy who is in town to work on a project with me.  We invited him to dinner, but since it’s hotter than Hades and a “school night” to boot, this is how we made is simple, but special.

Setting the Table

With only the three of us, I set half a table.  Faux hydrangeas in square glass vases are perfect for the casual but festive occasion. The sweet napkins my sister made me a hundred years ago and the gingham cork placemats I got from Amazon last year add to the picnic atmosphere.

I used some cute plaid ribbon and tied the silver ware up in the napkins and put those in a jar to save on setting the table.

Prep on Sunday

Since Grandma’s potato salad and tabbouleh taste best on Day 2, I made both those dishes on Sunday. I don’t mind saying both of those side dishes take quite a bit of time to make and make quite a bit of a mess in my kitchen. Having that done on Sunday really helps.

Additionally, Costco has their French baguettes on special this month, so I’m serving that straight out of the bag. And it’s still delish.

You can see I used my sweet Anthropologie glass containers for storage and serving.  Time saver.


I’m no Southerner, but I do like a bit of sweet in my tea.  I use one tablespoon of honey to the whole kettle of water when I boil it for tea.  Served in a simple Ball jar and beverage is done.  A little jar of lemon water for those folks who want to skip the tea.

Skip the Appetizer

Since we needed to make an early evening out of it (and since we didn’t really need the extra calories) I opted to skip an appetizer and serve dinner right away.

Watermelon for Dessert            

Fruit is commonly on the menu as dessert around here.  On these hot days it hits the spot.  And again, saves a few calories.  I do always have a bit of ice cream in the freezer for emergencies though.

Hub made the Cherry Coke Ribs we tried last year. They are slowly cooked on the grill, so the misters came in very handy.

What I’m Reading

The second Felix Castor Vicious Circle by Mike Carey is on my Kindle.  I actually thought I would get a lot more read over the weekend than what happened.  Oh, but a nap did sneak in, so I’m not complaining.  I still have quite a bit of the book to read, so a review later.

On audio I finished Going Home by A. American.  Let me just guiltily tell you that I enjoyed this book waaaaay more than is commensurate with the quality.  I suppose you can call it a thriller and that’s my genre, but that’s not why I really liked it.  It’s more about a survivalist, which is not my genre, and the things he does to keep himself going when the apocalypse occurs. 

Ok, I’m not really recommending this book because I don’t want anyone to commit me, but I have to say, I’ll be reading book 2 soon.

Now, I have to go pack my suitcase once again, but I’m sending love and prayers to you and yours and wishing you a wonderful week.