a winter picnic

i was holding my breath.  

patiently, i was holding my breath. as everyone was running around in shorts, basking in the warm sun, and speaking words that sounded like spring.

the snow always comes back, doesn't it? just when you think you see your first bud on a tree. just when you've put away your winter coat. i've lived in the midwest all of my life, and so i know it well. just when you're ready for the next season, the snow always comes back for one last hit.

luckily, i really do enjoy winter. i like getting bundled up in layers of wool and fleece just to go to the grocery store. i like the way the snow sparkles in the first hours of the morning. and i like winter sports, mostly because there is some padding when you fall while skiing or snowshoeing (but definitely not skating).

so i have to tell you that i love doing all of the things in the winter. but there was one day in particular this year that stood out from the rest, and i'm in a hurry to share with you before we've long forgotten the snow.

(for a few months, at least)

it happened on a saturday, which i'm proclaiming the best saturday ever.

up bright and early, chris and i walked around lake of the isles drinking coffee and munching puppy tails from isles bun and coffee. it was a morning that couldn't be ruined by a little wind or my short lived bad attitude when chris wouldn't play the game "what should i wear". 

i love how busy and so perfectly minnesotan the lake feels in the winter because regardless of the temperature, if the sun is out so are the people: skiing, skating, walking, (picnicking,us!). 

over on lake calhoun, there was even a couple who had attached a parachute to a sled and were breezing across the lake! i would have liked to ask those people so many questions but as it happened they were riding away from us, and i could not.

after popping in to whole foods for some crusty bread, salami, and cheese, we grabbed our blankets and wandered out on to lake of the isles for an picnic! at first we were a little worried about the wind (though we pretended not to be) but the warm sun and yummy food prevailed and we had the best time on that big block of ice! so much fun that every time i took a bite of cheese i said "this is the best cheese i've ever had", even though i think now it wasn't, that's how fun it was. 

later that night we went over to centennial lakes with some friends and went ice skating and no one fell down! the cheery atmosphere and heavy dose of twinkle lights made it almost christmas-y and absolutely perfect. 

this day was so jam-packed with activities that there was no time for baking (something i never say about saturdays)! so i'm giving you a few ideas for your own winter picnic, should you have one before all of the white slips away for another several months. 

(or summer, which i hear is also quite nice for picnicking!)

lunchtime ideas for eating on blankets

the fin: gingersnaps + goat cheese + honey + blueberries

the italian:  cibatta + pesto + mozzarella di bufala + tomato (or roasted root veggie, in the winter)

the jew: fresh bagels + cream cheese + lox + sliced onion (+ mint gum, really)

the frenchman: baguette + brie cheese + fig jam + ham