On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.
On Sunday afternoon, in the gorgeous, if unseasonably warm, weather currently being enjoyed near Denver, Colorado, a group of 8 humans and 1 corgi named Bugsy gathered for a day of truly primal enjoyment. Melody (our organizer), Katie H., her son Squishy, Katie C., Minnesota Mike (Katie’s boyfriend), John, Peggy and her friend Mike (who is not normally primal, but came along for the food and fun) ate food prepared primally and explored Dinosaur Ridge on foot (and stroller).
The food included fresh greens (and yellows, reds, blues and oranges) with oil and vinegar, roast bison, clafouti with chicken, maple salmon, flax bread, sweet potato fries and little fruity nut pies. (See further descriptions of the food later.) Soon after we declared ourselves assembled, we descended on the food, and conversation slowed dramatically. To quote Homer Simpson, “Can’t talk. Eating.” Once everyone had sampled everything, we started sharing our primal beginnings and how long we’d been following the Blueprint.
After dessert, we tackled the trail. The road leads to the base of Dinosaur Ridge, where there are footprints of dinosaurs, fossilized dinosaur bones, fossils of mangrove swamps and waves all frozen in time for us to see. The views, both from the primary path and the deceptive Dakota Ridge Trail were absolutely gorgeous, and certainly took my breath away. We walked, we jogged, we hiked and climbed.
At one point on the path, a small trail broke away and our group split up. Some of us thought to take a “short-cut” over the top of the ridge, having a harder, but shorter hike. Well, as it turned out, the “short-cut” never rejoined the other path, but instead became its own hiking trail. After discovering our self-deception, those of us who took the trail rejoined the others. Well, most did. Some of us were too out of breath and chose to say that the “workout was scaled for all ability levels.” I sat and waited for my heart rate to return to a non-vomit-inducing level.
After the others rejoined me, after finishing the traditional path, several of us were witness to a touching moment for toddler and dog, sadly missed by the cameras. There were licks, there were giggles, and then there was a dog running away and a squealing Squishy chasing him in laughter.
After returning to our starting point, we set up a couple of ideas of when, how and where to meet again and then went our separate ways.
Salad: we had organic spring mixed greens, with diced orange bell peppers, sliced zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, fresh oregano, snap peas, tomatoes, blueberries, blue cheese, organic Clementine infused olive oil (from O Olive Oil) and aged 18-year-old balsamic vinegar from EVOO Marketplace in downtown Denver.
Sweet potato fries: cooked with just some salt, pepper and grass-fed butter…mmm.
Pies: 1/3 cup each of ground pecans, hazelnuts, coconut flakes and almond flour, mixed with 2T of butter and two eggs formed the crust of these 24 pies cooked in mini-muffin pans. The fruit (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, banana with cocoa powder, apples cooked with butter and cinnamon) was simply pressed into the crust before cooking for about half an hour at 325 degrees.
The salmon was an Alaskan Wild catch. It was marinaded for six hours in a mixture of gluten-free soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. After marinade, it was brushed with melted butter and maple syrup, then sprinkled with a mixture of garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and chili powder. It was then placed on a cedar plank and into the smoker fueled by lump coal and mesquite chips soaked in apple wine, slow cooked at 250-300 for just over an hour.
Melody Scott, Katie Hudgens, Kale Hudgens (nicknamed Squishy), Katie Carbaugh, Katie’s Mike (last name unknown), John Weeb, Peggy Woods, Peggy’s Mike (last name unknown), (non-human) Bugsy the dog
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.