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A long Sunday drive and a picnic can be a great opportunity to connect on that deeper level
 

Ask anyone who lives here and they’ll tell you that Michigan is still the motor capital of the world. And, that means getting out on the open road on the weekends. This Sunday consider going on a family a picnic. But, after you load up, prepare to open up.

A long drive can really bring a family together. It gives you the opportunity to connect – which can be as hard to do on busy weekends as during the week.

Choose a location that you’ve never been to. Consider going to Mass in another town. Chances are good that a parish is nearby. A new parish experience can open up your spiritual horizons. Fresh faces, music and homilies can renew your experience of church. You can find out the Mass times and some directions by logging on to FAITHmag.com.

After Mass, you’ll be ready to find that nice meadow or park and dig into that basket. From simplicity to opulent elegance, from plain burgers and ‘dogs to caviar and foie gras, picnics and our choices of food and drink run the gamut to meet everyone’s tastes.  

There is something about eating outdoors that takes you back to your ancestral primal roots. The first meals were commonly held outdoors while sitting huddled in circles under the sun or moon. In both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, meals were commonly consumed outdoors. The wondrous miracle of the loaves and fishes took place on a mountainside by the sea –  a perfect picnic spot!

Real family is bringing your favorite dish to pass, a portion shared with all, not unlike our common shared meal of the Eucharist. The meat is a given for those of us who are true carnivores, ranging from beef to chicken or fish. How about trying one of these as an addition to your picnic basket which are sure to please the palates of outdoor epicureans.

(With many of this month’s recipes, remember to keep  items that contain dairy products chilled until consumed.)

Deviled Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs

1/4 cup Miracle Whip® salad dressing (low fat works just as well)

1 T prepared horseradish

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Paprika

Peel and cut eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove yolk and set remaining cooked egg white halves aside. Mash the yolks in a small mixing bowl and then mix very well with the remainder of the ingredients, excluding the paprika. Fill each egg white half with the yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Simple Baked Beans

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 tsp. hot sauce

2 large cans Bush’s Baked Beans®

Mix all ingredients together in large casserole or pyrex bowl. Heat in 300˚ oven for 30 minutes, until heated thoroughly.

Aunt Rolly’s Potato Salad

3 lbs. boiled red skin potatoes, quartered

4 hard boiled eggs

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced in large pieces

2 bunches green onions, sliced

1/2 green pepper, chopped into medium pieces

5 or 6 radishes, sliced

3/4 cup Miracle Whip® salad dressing

1 tsp. dry mustard

Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all the vegetables in a large salad bowl with the salad dressing and dry ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Keep cold.

San Fernando Fruit

After attending Sunday morning Mass at the Cathedral of San Fernando in the Diocese of San Antonio, this unusual, yet delightful, creation was being sold by members of their parish council outside on the street.

1/2 lb. cubed fresh watermelon

1/2 lb. cubed fresh pineapple

1/2 lb. cubed fresh cantaloupe

1/2 lb. cubed fresh honeydew melon

1/2 lb. sliced bananas

1/2 lb. sliced strawberries

1 sliced kiwi fruit

2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix fruit ingredients into a large bowl. Drizzle top with cayenne pepper, mixing carefully until pepper is well mixed into fruit. Serve immediately, or chill as desired.