Labor Day Picnic and a Spicy Fig Orange Jam
I am in total disbelief that it is Labor Day Weekend! The Summer seemed to literally vanish this year. I know it’s not quite over yet, but it is definitely on it’s way out. We were all complaining about the stifling heat and now as it is cooling off in the morning and evenings, there is definitely that touch of Fall in the air. I do love Fall and Winter, but I know that very soon, we will be fussing about the cold and the rain and the snow (remember last Winter?!). So, yes, I am feeling a bit melancholy.
The saddest part about this time of year is that all the wonderful produce will soon be gone. I bought the last of the blackberries that were available at the Cashiers Farmers’ Market two weekends ago. Today I picked up another twenty five pounds of peaches from Osage Farms (what to do with them now…well, of course, make Brandied Peach Ice Cream or Peach Freezer Jam!). I bought so much since they said they would be gone in the next few days.
Yes, it is sad. No more
stealing picking blueberries and blackberries from Lenny and Jean at River Road Farms. Then all the fresh green and pole beans will soon be gone. In fact, Mr. Bunkycooks is chopping twelve pounds of them for canning as I am writing this so that we can have a good supply for the coming months!
So, in honor of the end of the Summer and the Labor Day holiday, I don’t know of a much better way to say good-bye to Summer and celebrate the holiday than with a picnic! When I think of picnics I think
of lots of ants attacking my food family gatherings, sweaty and muggy weather warm weather, sunshine, great food (just nothing with mayo in the heat…you will get sick!), lots of cold drinks (that would include beer and wine!) and maybe even a little romance if it’s a picnic for two! You just never know what might happen!
Mr. Bunkycooks and I have had this awesome picnic
basket bag (yes, a basket sounds much cooler, but it is an over the shoulder bag!) for years and frankly had forgotten about it just had not put it to good use yet. So, we decided two weekends ago that it was a perfect Summer evening for a picnic (that means no bugs and no humidity). I decided to prepare some “picnicnicky” (no, it’s not really a word, but it sounds good) kinds of foods and off we went to the overlook in the mountains!
We had a French baguette with Brie and some of the best and easiest homemade Spicy Fig Orange Jam I have ever had to nibble on before dinner. (Yes, you can probably guess that Mr. Bunkycooks will now not let me buy fig jam at the store anymore. That would be just like the other jams, peanut butter, ice cream, pasta, etc. etc.).
We had Oven-Fried Chicken (courtesy of My Recipes and Cooking Light). No, it’s not really fried, but after all of the desserts I have prepared lately (like Baked Alaska), something’s got to give (and the waistline on my pants can’t stretch anymore!). This recipe was actually very good and had a bit of heat from red and white pepper and cumin. I am sure soaking the chicken in the buttermilk first made for a moister chicken. I would just advise you to add a bit more salt than the recipe calls for. It needed just a tad more.
We also dined on Fresh Corn Salad from Ina Garten (can’t go wrong with her stuff!). This recipe is perfect to make with the delightful fresh corn that you still should be able to find. I used Silver Queen corn and added some halved Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes. It was sooo tasty with the fresh basil.
Is that the view from your house?!?! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I’d imagine that eating any meal out there would be a memorable experience. These recipes are fantastic and are sure to be hits at anyone’s Labor Day BBQ
I wish this was my house, but it is just a few minutes away. It is a common area in the development called the “overlook”, for obvious reasons. It really is a pretty amazing view! We have a river with some rapids in the back of our house, so it’s very pretty, too.
Have a great holiday!
Another fabulous post Gwen – and the pictures are worth a thousand words – WOWIE! Menu looks great and that jam, oh that jam has my name written all over it. I won Elle’s Kitchen Fig Giveaway last week so fresh California figs will be coming my way on Wednesday. I just went to the store for jars and jam-making supplies this evening – will make enough of this jam to give as holiday gifts this year! See you this next weekend in Atlanta!
Such a beautiful spot for a picnic and what a wonderful spread, wine looks pretty good too, life is great isn’t it! Thanks for sharing the fig jam recipe, I’ve been thinking about making a batch and your recipe sure sounds good, have a great weekend:)
Is that your view? Wow – that is gorgeous! I’d be out there all the time, rain or shine!!
It’s been a long time but loved seeing the Smokey Mountains in the background; the food’s not bad either!
I want to buy up a ton of fruit this weekend and try to keep it forever; we’ve had some great peaches and figs and cherries; I’m going to miss them. It got down below 50 here last night…I’m not ready for the cold!
I so agree with you! The cold weather is coming and I am not prepared to say good-bye to all of the great Farmers’ Markets and fresh produce. I hope we both have put up enough fruits and veggies up that we don’t miss it too much!
I hope we love apples and squash because here it comes!!
I came by your site via our friendship connection on the Tasty Kitchen Forum. I love fig jam! Your recipe looks amazingly easy and sounds so tasty! I’m definitely going to try this… as soon as I sneak into my neighbor’s yard and pick some figs from their tree! 😉
Your picnic sounds perfect for this holiday weekend. Enjoy!
This is what life is about. Enjoying amazing food and the beautiful world around us with people that we know and love. I was transported through the photos you shared with us. What a blessing this must have been! You made me want to slow down and savor both the end of the summer and my loved ones. Thank you for sharing…I am collecting recipes for figs (I won a shipment that will arrive soon!)
your picnic looks amazing!
Love figs and mixing them with orange, ginger and cloves sounds delicious…but I am totally blown away by the overlook setting. Wow!
How wonderful to have access to such a beautiful view. 🙂
Gosh Gwen…what a beautiful view for your picnic! I’m rather looking forward to fall/winter, we don’t have much of chg of seasons here but I do prefer cooler weather than hot summer-time. I’m going to try your spicy fig orange jam. Thanks for sharing. You and Mr. Bunkycooks have a great holiday weekend!
What a spectacular vista! There is something about a picnic that makes food taste even better. This jam if so original and I’m sure I could think of plenty of ways to use it.
That view is breathtaking and I love oven fried chicken soaked in buttermilk!
gorgeous view so lucky and man would I love to be sitting down to this magnificient table!
Oh it is the end of summer. Sad for us all! Figs and cheese top the list of great pairings. The figs here in CA are so sweet, so they really taste awesome with a sharp cheese.
what a wonderful fig Jam!! and you didnt tell me your house overlooked heaven! what an incredible view! Hope your having a wonderful weekend!
Happy Labor Day holiday to you! We don’t celebrate it here but looking at this incredible picnic, complete with stunning views, makes me sad that we don’t. I have to confess though, it is a little hard to be sad that you are feeling the end of summer, as summer can’t come soon enough for me!
Well done for not eating all the figs before they made it to jam land 🙂
What a beautiful place to spend some time with friends and the family! The fig jam would be great to pour over some homemade pancakes for a bed breakfast!
this has got to be the best sounding fig-orange jam I have read … now I will have to wait until next year to make it 🙁
Wonderful picnic, you are lucky to enjoy the time up there… and thanks for bringing us along
What a view! I could picnic here everyday 🙂
I’m melancholy about the end of summer too. It sounds like you’ve been eating well. I’ve never tasted fig jam. I think I’ve been missing out.
Those pictures are absolutely gorgeous, and the idea for that flavor combination in the jam has me really intrigued!
what a sensational view!! and that jam – i love figs and this is the one for me! i too am finding it hard to let go of summer but when i see figs in the stores i am pacified ;o)
wow. cooking jam in the microwave! that’s almost as amazing as that view in your pictures!
Wow, just look at that view…wonderful 🙂 I have never heard of jam being prepared this way, even I might be able to do it this way 🙂