Picnic Time

Sunday, since it was a beautiful day, I went to the next town for their Annual Spring Picnic. Picnics are different here than they are in your area. They do not serve barbecue, beans and potato salad. They serve what is known as Picnic Stew. Each church has their own version, some of them are delicious and some of them not so much. The chunks of meat are cooked in big batches; some are made with a little thickening, so you have gravy, but mostly not, just the meat juices. They also serve German style seasoned potatoes, seasoned green beans (some use mushroom soup in theirs, others, like today were seasoned with bacon), fried chicken, sausage and sauerkraut. At this time of year, there are actually two picnics on the same day and many folks go from one to the other, I did not! The line was long, but it moved relatively quickly. The food is self-serve, other than the chicken which is served. The menu at the other church was the same except that they have cornbread dressing with their fried chicken. It was a nice day, the people were friendly and as you went through the line, you got visit a bit with friends who might be in a different part of the line. It is set up so that basically, you are making a series of esses, from start to finish.
Last week, I mentioned about Memorial Day and the flags that are placed alongside the roads, north, south, east and west entering town. I had no clue how many or anything until I received the local paper. Veterans of the American Legion Post 571 placed 160 flags along U.S. Highway 77 and State Highway 111 in a joint effort with members of the Interact Club. Veterans from DeWitt and Lavaca Counties participated. Also on Monday, American Legion Post 571 will be hosting a Memorial Day program as well as a meal for their members. Once I found out how many members of the Ladies Auxiliary I already knew, it was easy to make the decision to join the organization. Basically, all I had to do was transfer my membership, since the Post in Castroville was no longer in existence.
Now, how about a Pineapple Upside-down cake that is a little different, it is baked in a Bundt pan!
Pineapple Upside-down Bundt Cake
1 large can of sliced pineapple, (drained reserving juice)
8 maraschino cherries, drained
¾ stick butter, melted (6 Tbs.)
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 box either pineapple or yellow cake mix
Ingredients as listed on box for making cake
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Open pineapple, drain well, and cut slices in half. (You will use only 8 slices), cut cherries in half and drain well. Place melted butter in a well-sprayed Bundt pan, top with brown sugar spreading it out evenly over the butter. Place the slices of pineapple evenly around pan, resting one edge on the sugar/butter mixture; place cherries, cut side up, close to the ends of the pineapple (if you place them too far toward the sides of the pan they will be around the edge of the cake instead of on top). Mix the cake batter according to the directions on the box, using the reserved pineapple juice instead of water in the mix; gently spoon the batter over the pineapple, straightening the slices as necessary so they are nice and even. Bake according to directions on box for a Bundt Cake. Allow to stand about 5 minutes in pan and then invert over plate for serving. This makes a really pretty cake.
Cajun Style Shrimp Salad
1 pouch (4-oz) Zatarain’s® Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil
1 lb. ready to use frozen, tiny shrimp (or you can use 1 to 1½ lbs fresh, peeled and deveined small shrimp)*
1 cup uncooked white rice
½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
½ cup chopped green olives
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup frozen petit green peas
1 cup mayonnaise (do not use salad dressing)
Add 1 to 2* tablespoons of the crawfish, shrimp and crab boil to 4 cups of water, bring to boil and add the frozen shrimp and leave water over low heat for about 30 to 45 seconds, just long enough for the shrimp to completely thaw and absorb the flavor of the mixture. (If you used fresh shrimp, bring mixture to a boil, add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are done). Remove shrimp from liquid with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour uncooked rice into mixture and bring to a boil, cooking (and stirring if necessary) until rice is done and drain well and rinse with hot water if desired. Add shrimp and peas to rice and set aside to cool to room temperature. Chop onion, olives and celery, add mayonnaise and stir to mix well; add to rice/pea mixture and stir to mix.. Chill thoroughly before serving. *The amount you use will determine how spicy your salad is. If you like really spicy, use the full 2 Tbs., if not just use 1 Tbs. (I used just 1 Tbs. and found everyone liked it just fine). *Be sure to tell people that it contains shrimp, I served it at a meeting and the lady across from me had enjoyed the first bite of just rice and asked what was in it, when I said shrimp, she had to leave the table and rinse her mouth, as she was horribly allergic to shrimp!