In the spirit of "going green" I'm pulling out the china. No, not the good china--the melamine plates made in China! These plates and cups are at least ten years old and previously matched the deck furniture and cushions until we changed it this year. They are from Target and Costco and are both plenty big enough to hold lots of fried chicken, sandwiches, and lemonade or tea. Don't forget the versatile beach towel. It can be used as a tablecloth or cushion. I bet you have them in lots of colors!
I've tucked the Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby napkins down into the glasses so they will be easy to find when we reach our destination.
A small galvanized bucket makes the perfect container for our centerpiece of hydrangeas. Like summer, these will soon be gone too. We'll be using the flatware with white handles instead of the throwaway kind. Don't worry. I've packed a plastic bag for the dirty dishes.
The picnic won't be complete without dessert! I prepared banana pudding in a Mason jar tied up with a scrap of pretty fabric and a ribbon. This will pack nicely in the cooler! Banana pudding is a favorite of ours. I am truly shocked at the number of people who make and eat it with instant pudding. They don't know what they are missing! I use the recipe right on the bag of Jackson vanilla wafers. Lots of banana pudding connoisseurs, including us, think they are the best vanilla wafers. Here's the recipe. It's not that much more trouble and worth every minute!
Homemade Banana Pudding
In a medium saucepan or double boiler stir together 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour. Gradually stir in 3 cups of milk. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens and boils. In a small bowl beat 3 egg yolks. Gradually stir in about a cup of the hot thickened mixture. When mixed, pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Cook and stir gently until the mixture boils for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Alternate layers of vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding ending with pudding. Top with meringue if desired and bake at 350 until the meringue is slightly browned. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Baking is not necessary if meringue is not used.
Thank you to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Tablescape Thursday and to Michael at Designs by Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday. You can click on their button in the sidebar for the fast track to beautiful tables and tempting food!