Springtime is officially here and I am overjoyed. If you’ve read my articles for any length of time, you know this is my most favorite time of year. The earth literally blooms back to life with azaleas and magnolias at every turn, even the birds seem to tweet a little louder. My birthday is in April, and I start immediately getting boat fever and itching to layout on the beach. The farmers market returns too. The spring season brings so much to look forward to, and along with the pretty, warmer weather, comes an opportunity to picnic.
qI recently had a chance to throw an epic picnic for my co-workers. As many of you know, I live in Savannah, and work for a thriving marketing agency downtown. One of the coolest aspects of the company is the office culture. Every quarter, one staff member is given a budget and tasked with the title of company ambassador, which means they are in charge of fun. Amazing, right? Company owners, please take note. That individual plans staff birthday parties, facilitates team field trips and organizes new employee presentations, designed for team building and growth. The first quarter of the year was my time to shine. During the month of March, I couldn’t help but plan an activity around St. Patrick’s Day. Our office is conveniently located within walking distance to the iconic Forsyth Park, and conveniently, the Greening of the Fountain, an annual event to kick off St. Patrick’s Day festivities, was on a Friday afternoon. All the elements were perfectly in place for a festive picnic in the park!
So, I pulled together a few resources and set about planning an Irish menu. I hadn’t yet cooked for my teammates, so being the company ambassador for the quarter and planning a menu turned out to be a beautiful blend of crossover.
I baked mini shepherd’s pies, served chicken salad in cabbage cups (the cabbage was a nod to the Irish) and Irish soda bread with homemade herb butter. We had roasted red pepper hummus served with green and orange strips of bell pepper, and for dessert old fashioned thumbprint cookies filled with green pepper jelly and orange marmalade to mimic the colors of the Irish flag. Fresh fruit skewers with green grapes were also on the menu. What a spread!
To help bring my vision to life, I partnered with The Savannah Picnic Company for the set-up and a luxury picnic was born. We were positioned right in front of the Forsyth fountain, complete with comfy pillows and blankets, glass servingware and a long, close-to-the-ground table to showcase my Some Kinda Good St. Patrick’s Day feast. You can get all of the recipes from my company picnic on SomeKindaGood.com, as they are delicious any time of the year.
No matter where you live, there’s bound to be a sunny spot, community park or even a grassy knoll in your own backyard to eat outdoors and enjoy the new season. If you enjoy cooking as much as me, create a festive menu or use the one I provided today. You could even purchase your own picnic items — with a big blanket, you’re set to go! It need not be fancy.
Take advantage of springtime, get some fresh air and spend some quality time with friends and family. Good food and good company, that’s what it’s all about!
Food Network Star finalist Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a food enthusiast and writer. Her blog, Some Kinda Good, features Southern, coastal recipes, locally sourced and in-season. Like Some Kinda Good on Facebook, follow @SKGFoodBlog on Twitter and Instagram or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.