Labor Day Picnic and a Spicy Fig Orange Jam

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.

Great food and excellent wine for a picnic in the mountains!

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!

Hurry up and take the pictures so we can eat!

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.).

Dessert on the overlook…it doesn’t get much better than this!

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.

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