The sky was cloudy, but it was a perfect Hilo day...slightly overcast, nice breeze blowing...and the rains held off until evening...a gorgeous day to picnic in the park.
We had agreed to meet our friends Brenda and Kevan at the Wailoa River Park and whoever arrived first to try to grab one of the small covered picnic tables...if not, then we were prepared with small folding tables and chairs and would have set up under a tree...but we were lucky and there were tables under cover available...and we all arrived there at the same time!
The napkins and flatware mimic 'the Stars & Stripes". The red melamine square tray/plate/charger from Target. Warren Kimbel Flag Plates found on eBay last year.
Red, White & Blue Star Quilt is from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's. The star napkins were from Pottery Barn, a couple of years ago, and the flatware representing the red stripes, from Target. The cute buckets can be found at Target.
The buckets served as containers for chips. Mason jars with handles used as beverage glasses (green tea). Brenda made the pasta salad and a dessert... She also shared apples from a tree growing in her backyard...Yes, apples growing in Hawai'i and ready to harvest in May!...
Here is the recipe for Brenda's salad in her own words:
"I meant to add grated carrot for color and some sweet, but I had already moved the salad to serving bowl. If I do this again, I'd add a pinch of sugar to the dressing to offset some of the tart. It needed something else, but I don't know what."
On the menu we also had, oven braised chicken pieces in guava and garlic sauce; baked beans, pimento cheese sandwiches and tomato jam over cream cheese.
Sonia's Oven Braised Guava-Garlic Chicken
Cut chicken in pieces. I take either guava juice or guava jelly and finely slivered garlic. Sauté garlic just a tiny bit in a tiny bit of olive oil, add the juice and bring to boil and pour over chicken pieces - cook in oven until done....OR, if using jelly, sauté the garlic as above then, turn heat to low.. add globs of guava jelly and stir or press to melt. Pour over chicken pieces and cook in oven until done.
Sonia's Baked Beans
I usually will cook bake beans from scratch - I shared the recipe a few years ago on this blog, but didn't have time this time around...so I used a large can of Bush' Original recipe and added dark molasses and Dijon mustard, to taste. Cooked down and served cold.
My Grandmother's Pimento Cheese Spread
I actually don't follow exact measurements any more, but use the same ingredients and her method of preparation. Medium cheddar, pimentos, mayo and mustard. My grandmother grated her cheese with the larger hole in a 'mandoline style' hand grater. I like it like that better than all mushed up in a food processor, as it gives it a bit more body. I go by taste and feel now, but using her original ingredients as a guideline. I did use roasted pimentos this time.
Tomato Jam or Confit
Chop tomatoes in quaters or smaller pieces, place in a non-reactive saucepan; add sugar and a splash or two of white vinegar. For a more subtle flavor use rice wine vinegar. Regular white will give it a sharper taste. Turn flame to low and let if cook down. Don't cook until all liquid evaporates as it will get too hard when refrigerated. You want it soft, but firm enough to spread. Serve with cream cheese on bread or crakers.
Brenda brought dessert, but for some reason, I did not get pics...
Here's the link to the original Magic Cake and Brenda's changes below:
"My coconut cake/pie is a little different than the original. I replaced butter with coconut oil, replaced milk with 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup warm water. I didn't put the coconut in, though I will be trying that someday."
The little red mug with white handle on far left belonged to my grandmother, PFC Genevieve Fisher Harris, who served as a WAC in the US Army. I placed it on the table in her memory on this "Memorial Day".