Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August is National Picnic Month #picnic

August is National Picnic Month. It's a great time of the year to have one, the sun is out, the air is warm, the grass is green…ah…

The traditional picture of a picnic includes a blanket and basket stuffed with goodies on fresh cut grass with a lake or river in the background, but modern picnics usually involve corn-on-the-cob, chips, beer, grilling, etc…

My favorite picnic destination is Castaic Lake. I usually go with my friend, Inna and the kids. Her daughter is 11. Andrew is 11, too and Joe is a bossy 6 year old with a sweet heart.

The food is never the same. Last time we went. Joe helped prepare his food – carrots, salad, root beer, watermelon, and hot dogs. I was proud of him. Inna's daughter made pasta noodles. I keep it easy and bring the charcoal that all you have to do is light the bag. One time Inna brought a bag of charcoal that you had to put veggie oil to light. 

Inna and I cooked chicken, short ribs, and shrimp with peppers and onions.

For me, the appeal of picnics is the ambience of the outdoors. Not only that, it's fun to get out of the house and share a meal with friends.

What are some of your favorite picnic foods? Do you have a spot you'd like to share?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. Her short story, "Made in America," earned 8th place in the 82nd Writer's Digest Competition in the Mainstream Category.

Journey of the Heart:
99 cent Vintage Romance

BLURB: Can James help Rachel save her winery?

REVIEW: "I would recommend this short sweetie of a story. Well done, author." AngelE, Amazon Reviewer


"Wait a minute, Sir." James interrupted and peered at Rachel's spellbinding eyes for a second before looking at Mr. Smith. "You've tasted this vintage before?"
"I have."
"So you know how much it's worth?"
"I do."
"You seem like a fair man, Mr. Smith. At least you were with me. I believe if you offer Miss Rachel one thousand dollars, you'll recoup your investment and more."
"Now, young man, what do you know about wine?"
"Not much, but I do know human nature. You respected her father and he, you, enough to share an expensive bottle of wine. Honor that respect now. I suspect if Miss Rachel didn't have to make this offer to you, she wouldn't have. She knew you and her father had a good relationship. Honor that like you honored my service."
"You're good, Son, I'll give you that. I'll offer you nine hundred dollars for the wine." He paused. "I know I've been hard on you, Miss Rachel. You should consider hiring a younger man who can help you manage the estate."
"Thank you, Mr. Smith. I accept your offer and I'll take your advice to heart."
Mr. Smith grabbed his ledger, wrote a check and presented it to her.
"Do you have someone to carry in the cases? It's just Vito and I." She tucked the check into her purse.
"I'll do it," said James.
"Grab my stock boy from the back, Son."
Rachel offered her hand to James. "Thank you, Sir. I appreciate your assistance. I'm Rachel Santori."


  1. Love your story excerpt. It really pulled me in.

    I've never had ribs at a picnic. Sounds yummy. I usually have sandwiches or cold chicken.

  2. This was years ago, in the early 70's, but a guy took me on a picnic that included champagne and lobster. I don't remember him, but I do remember the meal. Tweeted.

  3. I miss picnics. I used to bring hubby food for lunch when the kids were little. I loved to bring subs and sandwiches so he would get to see the kids before his long work day ended.