It might be the end of summer, but you can still have a picnic any time or anywhere. There’s something special about spreading a blanket on the grass and opening a picnic basket full of delicious and flavorful good food!  A picnic with family or friends is always a sure recipe for a fun memory-filled day!

Here in Door County, we have Peninsula Players Theater, America’s oldest outdoor theater, where we can bring a picnic to enjoy by the shores of Lake Michigan before a play begins. It’s a wonderful evening filled with good food, friends, and a brilliant performances. During intermission there is a big bonfire that competes with the moonglow over the lake. A glass of wine, left over from our picnic, is the perfect accompaniment to this beautiful atmosphere.

I found this vintage picnic basket at my friend Chris’s shop, Studio Rick Rak, in Wauwatosa. I filled the basket with whole wheat and sour dough sandwiches piled high with turkey, ham, cheese, watercress and pesto. A mini veggie quiche, finger vegetables, a corn, avocado, black bean salad, almond cake, banana bread and lemonade with mint leaves complete the menu. Don’t forget paper plates, napkins, cups and plastic silverware. Be sure to include a blanket or tablecloth and a small bread board and sharp knife for cutting. And a candle for evening picnics. Have fun!

Here is the recipe for the salad from It’s delicious and travels well. You can easily half the recipe.

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Corn, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad

1 red onion chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped fine
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 cups grape tomatoes halved
1 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
2 avocados diced
Put all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to combine
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve at room temperature or cold.