My guys have discovered a new passion; fishing. Oh, have they ever discovered it.
I now understand my friend who has referred to herself as a fishing widow for years. I have never seen my kids so motivated to get through their school-, house-, yardwork. They fly through assignments, chores, what-have-you just so they can spend a few more moments dangling their legs off of the edge of the paddle boat in the middle of the lake with baited hooks trailing lazily behind them in the water.
Interestingly, my house has become cleaner in their absence. Could there be a connection?
Their all-out obsession can be chalked up to three things. First, they're pretty uniformly successful. Hardly a fishing trip goes by that they don't come home with a string of brown trout or perch. Second, each trip ends with every one of them having caught something, even if it's been gently released back to the lake to fight another day. Third, and — upon reflection — most importantly, they're going loaded for bear in the snack department.
Pickles in zipper-top bags, homemade energy bars, rosemary and garlic roasted almonds, sandwiches, a giant thermos full of ice water, boxes of graham crackers and popsicles (at the top of the bag, of course) for the not-so-long, but extremely dusty and hot drive up the hill to the lake.
They're eating like the Kings of the Lake.
Given that they're often in a big hurry (because those fish might just grow legs and walk if they don't get there in time!) to grab snacks and get out the door, recipes that use few ingredients and come together quickly are non-negotiable.
While they dabble toes and lures in the water, I'll keep tidying. (Don't tell the guys, but I tidy for 15 minutes and then put my feet up and catch up on my reading while eating the same snacks I sent with them. The difference is they're not walking behind me messing up what I've just cleaned. Let this be our secret, eh?)
Below are four of our favorite picnic-basket stockers. Lemon Lime Curd is just the thing to spread on biscuits or bread for a quick pick-me-up. And it's indispensable for the Creamy Lemon Lime popsicles that are good enough to elicit moans of pleasure from those eating them.
Are you in the market for a healthier snack that will stick with you longer? Try the fragrant, roasted rosemary garlic almonds. There's nothing quite like nuts to fill you up and keep you filled and these hit all the right notes. If your tastes run more toward the sweets-spectrum, try the homemade energy bars. These combine chocolate, almonds and dates for a substantial but still decadent tasting treat.