Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Great Meal on Wheels!

Take a large wicker basket filled with tupperware, conceal a few bottles of wine and some plastic cups and you have the recipe for a fantastic lunch on the go. 
Faced with a gorgeous spring day, Food Intolerance and I met early Monday morning to put finishing touches on our meal set for travel.  The white bean dip and shortbread were easily completed the day before which left Monday morning dedicated to wrap construction.  Once these treats were built, wrapped, and packed, we donned our coverups, slathered on the SPF and headed poolside.  By 12:30 the group was fully accounted for under the shade of an umbrella and we presented our fresh cut veggies and dip along with the parchment covered wraps in the red plastic baskets circa party #23. 
In the 'Wichcraft cookbook Tom Colicchio insists that the key to a great sandwich is the attention paid to its ingredients.  
"It's all made from real food, and nothing is 'filler'." 
At the risk of sounding arrogant, this wrap encompassed that philosophy to perfection.  With a spread made from cream cheese, blue cheese, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, shallots and garlic, paired with smoked turkey, fresh greens, sliced apples, and shredded carrots this sandwich was a small piece of art contained in a gluten free tortilla.  (Well, not so much contained as the gf tortilla is not very pliable and therefore cracked a bit; thankfully the parchment acted as a brace and enabled easy eating.) 
The shortbread was a bit soggy for my taste.  I used fresh blackberries rather than the suggested frozen and now wonder if it was this or the fact that they were in a tupperware container for 45 minutes that effected the overall consistency.  Thankfully, people still enjoyed them as a sweet ending to our meal.  
Spanning about three hours, this pool party was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.  When we said our goodbyes and rejoined the real world the group promised to meet again; a common theme at the end of a luncheon.  It appears that this is a party [and a group] with staying power. 
Cooking Notes:
Picnic: Planning a visit to your local pool or park?  Pack a lunch of 100% finger foods; it will eliminate the need for utensils and ease the clean up.
White Bean Dip: This dip was ridiculously easy and oh so delicious.  If you need an appetizer on the fly, this is your recipe.  Puree two cans of cannellini beans and play around with some herb infused olive oil and seasonings. Cut up some vegetables and you’re done. 
Plastic Baskets: I bought twelve of these for the Superbowl party however they are perfect for picnics and backyard barbecues.  If you casually entertain I high recommend this purchase.  They are nearly as cheap as paper plates and much more attractive.
The Party In Numbers:
Parties Completed: 34
Weeks Before Deadline: 20
Bottles Consumed: 2.5
Justified Purchases: zero!

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