Cooking for a picnic

Today I'm going to be cooking a picnic for a couple of my Korean friends. So what do you need in order to have a successful picnic?\


In Delaware I used to do quite a catering business dealing with picnics. Mind you, my most popular lunch was southern style- cold chicken, potato salad, pecan or sweet potato pie, an Amish cauliflour and broccoli salad, and biscuits. Lots of biscuits.

Having been in Korea for a couple of years now, I've grown to like their bento style lunches. Yes, I am aware that bentos are from Japan, but the Koreans seem to have adopted this picnic style and it's very managable and delicious.

This is a very simple lunch- green curry beef with vegetables. There are kimchi and seaweed salad as sides and the silver packet is a Lindt's 99% cacao chocolate. The kim bap is a true inspiration. Well, maybe not an inspiration, but a creative twist on a familiar original. It is a Philly Roll. Yes, it has cream cheese and smoked salmon. But I put lemon zest and green onions in the cream cheese and then I froze it in order to cut it in strips and put in the sushi roll. I would like to call it a sushi roll because my rice was seasoned with vinegar and honey (instead of sugar.). I added capers, cucumbers, and gan nip- sesame leaves. The sesame leaves, capers, and lemon zest really bring out the flavors and make this more than a regular, bland, homogenized Philly Roll.

The secret is to get as much moisture out of all the ingredients as possible- when making sushi, paper towels are your best friend.

Oh, the wine. The 2002 bordeaux is awesome. It's rich and soft like a bunny rubbing a coffee lollipop on your throat. It's well balanced with nice rich tannins and grapes that are bipolar- they start out strong but finish golden. It's fricken alchemy.

Gosh...I'm drunk on Soju and I think I met the girl of my dreams tonight. We'll see what happens tomorrow.


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