A Georgian Bay SeaDoo afternoon provided a curious number of red Muskoka chairs on rocks and docks all around the lake this year. A quick trip to Sears solved the mystery as iconic displays of Canada Flag Red outdoor eating tools set the tone of this summer of our 150th Birthday. Summer has always been for picnics but this year we celebrate in a special, patriotic way so I have pulled together a handful of Canada Day Picnic ideas to bump up any outdoor lunch in the most Canadian of ways.

Dill Pickled Eggs

Canadian’s burgers and fish and chips love dill pickles but our minds hear” pickled eggs” and picture that big ol’ jar at grandpa’s.  I make pickled eggs all the time at Rosehurst Stratford Bed and Breakfast all the time and they fly off the table! It couldn’t be any easier update and to mash up the two ideas to create something delicious and portable to impress everyone from the paleo protein packer to the vegetarian to the egg salad only set: boil and peel 1 dozen eggs. In a large pot boil 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon dried dill, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 2 cloves sliced garlic. Place eggs into a large jar and pour hot liquid over. Seal jar and refrigerate at least 2 days before serving. http://www.eggs.ca/recipes/pickled-eggs

Barbecued Chicken

Cold chicken is the perfect finger food and that may be because wings make an ideal dipping tool especially when they are baked, removed of fat and then coated and baked again. Done this way, they can soak up all of the goodness from a green pure:  In a blender, combine a handful of parsley, a handful of baby spinach or kale, a clove of garlic, the juice of half a lemon, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of hot mustard.  This dip add zip and subs in for the need of a salad

Roasted Cherry Tomato Spread

Dripping off many backyard vines by now and on sale at farmers markets and grocery stores, Canada Flag Red cherry tomatoes are in season. They can turn a little prune-y before you get through the pint (quart, basket) but that only makes them perfect for roasting and using as a savoury jam on crackers or a camembert topper:  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add onion sauté 3-5 minutes add 1 tbsp honey and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in 1 clove minced garlic for 1 minute. Add 3 cups cherry tomatoes and stir well.  Simmer, uncovered, over low heat until tomatoes burst and sauce is thick (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Iced Coffee Freezies

A lot of coffee is wasted at a Bed and Breakfast, you never know who drinks buckets and you never want to be caught short of a hot pot. The simple solution is to add a little sugar, pour in any remaining milk and cream and serve in the afternoon over Ice. A quick blend with some vanilla yogurt turns this mixture into the perfect freezie pop.

This Canada Day Picnic, I will be celebrating i the sunshine with all of the patriotic ornamentation a picnic basket can muster.