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The Perfect Picnic

Sunday, September 2, 2012 11:51 PM

One of the great off-registry wedding gifts we received was a picnic backpack. It's isolated and came with plates, utensils, plastic goblets, a cheese board and knife, a multipurpose tool and an insulated sleeve for a wine bottle or other beverage. And yet, although we've been married for almost two years, we hadn't used the backpack until yesterday.

J's birthday was Friday, and I thought a picnic would be a great way to celebrate. I wanted to do it right, making the meal myself rather than picking it up from a supermarket deli. J chose the location: Fort Popham in Phippsburg, where the Kennebec River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

The parade grounds of the fort, which was built in 1862 and repaired just a few years ago

There was a ring of rocks outside the fort, and we clambered out to a spot where we could get away from the crowds and enjoy an unobstructed view of the bay and islands. There we unpacked our lunch:

I took some ideas from Mark Bittman's list of 101 fast picnic foods. We ate wedges of cantaloupe and prosciutto atop arugula; a fennel, apple and jicama salad; two small slabs of cheese packaged as "picnic cheese" by a nearby shop; and some homemade bread. I intended, but forgot, to bring leftover mango with sticky rice that I'd made on Friday night. So for dessert we went to one of the seafood shacks on the point for some Gifford's ice cream.

Instead of wine, we brought a bottle of water, and went super-classy by drinking it from these goblets, perched atop the cheese board for stability.

The fennel, apple and jicama salad and a slice of bread spread with Norwegian cheese
Cantaloupe, prosciutto and arugula salad

After lunch, J tested the water.
Then we decided to do some reading.
But I was a little sleepy.

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