summer up: bringing the summer picnic inside.
oh san francisco, how i love you. i must, to put up with some of the chilliest summers around. just when a lot of the country is starting to get great, warm weather san francisco says hello to chilly winds and fog. not all the time mind you, but summer evenings can very often not be relied upon. so this weekend, i decided to play it safe and bring the summer picnic inside.
first off, i hit the local noe valley farmer’s market for the fresh picnic ingredients. i wanted everything to be fresh and locally grown. and then i got to decorating indoors. it was really quite fun — i strung Clear Globe Lights in my dining room to create a festive outdoor feeling. i set the table in summer whites and filled this evergreen beverage tub full of ice, wine, beer and cold drinks, and set the table picnic style. i filled a napkin and silverware caddy, and lined kraft paper to-go boxes with black & white checked napkins. and i added a ton of pink peonies from the local flower mart in vintage glass jars.
we started the indoor picnic with the choice of some chilled rosé, or a refreshing cocktail — a watermelon cucumber vodka recipe i found on pinterest and i served those up in mismatched vintage cocktail glasses, garnished with watermelon and cucumber slices. so pretty and they tasted divine! as a starter, i served fresh local cheeses from cow girl creamery and sliced meats — a lovely Charcuterie platter with fresh cherries.
and then the farmer’s market menu: marinated olives with fresh thyme and fennel seeds; radishes served with cold butter and sea salt; corn on the cob (naturally); roasted asparagus spears; i roasted beets and made grilled foccacia, arugula, fresh ricotta cheese and beet sandwiches. yum. i picked up some sausage from the local butcher to grill and make sandwiches, too. i wrapped the sandwiches in parchment paper and tied them up with twine — just for fun, as if they were going to be packed up and traveled to an outside park picnic. i also roasted some thick-cut potato fries and tucked them into some parchment cones. all of these menu items got tucked carefully into my kraft paper picnic boxes to serve. i gotta say, it looked quite picnic-like!
and then of course dessert. a fresh peach and blueberry galette topped with vanilla bean ice cream. i think in the end no one minded that the summer picnic stayed inside one little bit, and a good time was had by all. san francisco fog couldn’t stop us this time around!
• all photos by victoria smith, sfgirlbybay.