We partnered with Kristin Schell of The Turquoise Table. Check out her helpful hospitality tips and picnic ideas for hosting a casual lunch for friends and neighbors.
I can always tell when my neighbor Doris is home because she leaves her white-paneled front door open. A thin, glass storm door keeps the bugs out and the cool air in.
Recently, I noticed things were pretty quiet around Doris’ house. Her closed front door was the telltale sign. One morning, I wandered over to check on her. I rang the bell a few times and peered in the side yard, then figured she was most likely visiting her daughter or out at the ranch.
A few days later, a brown paper bag filled with fresh peaches showed up on the Turquoise Table. There was no note, but I knew Doris had left the fruit even before I listened to her voicemail.
“I’ve been busy as a bee. Check your Turquoise Table, I left you a little something from the ranch. I’ll be back home in a few days. Love you.”
Rhythm of Summer
Our neighborhood takes on a different rhythm in summertime. The predictable daily school routines and work patterns are off-kilter. Summer brings a refreshing pace, for sure. But with all the coming and going, I miss seeing everyone on a regular basis.
Inspired by Doris’ delicious peaches, and bacon left over from breakfast, I decided to kick our summer sandwich game up a notch.
Plus, it was time to reconnect with our friends.
When it’s too hot to cook, a picnic lunch is the perfect solution to bring neighbors and friends together. A quick text to a few neighbors and our picnic lunch was set.
Simple Sandwich Fix
A far cry from the standard peanut butter and jelly, these tasty, easy-to-assemble sandwiches boast the essential flavors of summer. Basil and peaches! For an added measure of nostalgia, I like to serve our favorite pimento cheese on thin white bread, too.
Pile the sandwiches on a breadboard or serving tray and head out to the Turquoise Table. Fruit salad or vine-ripe tomatoes are delicious additions. Anything juicy and oven-free!
Bacon, Peach & Arugula Sandwiches
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon
- 4 Ciabatta rolls
- ¼ cup pesto (store bought or homemade)
- 2 peaches, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
- Arugula, for topping
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning a few times until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Toast the bread and spread evenly with the pesto. Divide the peaches, bacon and arugula among half of the bread slices; top with the remaining bread slices.
Tips for Hosting a Picnic Lunch at the Turquoise Table
- Don’t cook! When the temperature is blazing, keep things cool in the kitchen. Sandwiches and salads are perfect picnic table fare.
- Casual cool. As we like to say, “if you aren’t barefoot or in flip flops you’re over dressed.” Come as you are.
- Conversation = Connection. Make space for meaningful conversation. It’s not about the food being served, but those who are gathered around the table.
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