Sunday, March 3, 2013

Picnic in the Park

So today was the Zilker Kite Festival, and we decided that since we were all actually off, we'd go.  Mom even picked up a kite from Costco so that, if we were feeling adventurous, we could partake in the kite flying instead of just watching.  We were hoping to spend a lovely day stretched out on a blanket looking at something like this:

Of course, it wasn't to be, because by the time we headed out, we spent 45 MINUTES sitting in traffic just to get over the bridge, and it became clear that there was nowhere to park within a reasonable walking distance.  We had duffel bags laden with food, PIMM'S, and wine, as well as blankets, and, of course, a kite.  Not to mention a Bean with a metal plate in her ankle, so we sat in another 15 minutes of traffic and decided to head back to the park - you guessed it - 2 minutes from Mom's house.

Except, along the way, we decided that there was a park we used to go to as kids (and which, apparently, later became where all of the stoners went - I was too straightlaced in high school to be able to confirm or deny this), and so we did a sharp left and ended up at Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park.

While I wouldn't say that this park is in a trashy part of town (Austin has been infiltrated by WAY too many hipsters for those places to exist anymore), but it's definitely in a lower income area, and is more functional (giant cement picnic tables, basketball hoops, etc.) than beautiful.  Still, we found parking right away, and so it was decided we would stay.

Except...when we parked there were definitely some people doing "hoodrat things with their friends" and we decided to go.

But then, luckily, we saw that THIS was happening:

This grown man, and this small child (along with about 20 other people) were LARPing!

and then there was really no way we were leaving, was there?  When we googled it later on, we found out that this is actually an organized activity and they call Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park...wait for it...The Shire of Slaughter Creek!  Needless to say, that is what we call it now as well.

As the day wore on, there were so many quotable moments, but one of my favourites has to have been this exchange between my sister and my mom:
Mom:  So are those girls (referring to a couple of girls strolling around the park, arm in arm, dressed in corsets, long braids, and floor sweeping skirts) with them? 
The Bean:  Yes, Mom,  those Medieval wenches are the spoils that the winning LARPer gets to fornicate with. 
Mom:  Oh, okay.
We waited and waited, but these guys never showed up to kick some Cacedonian ass...

Anyway, I think someone told me that this is supposed to be a food blog, so we'll move on to the delicious sandwiches we ate:  curried egg salad with arugula on cranberry pistachio bread.

This cranberry pistachio bread is so good that I often eat it without anything on it.

The Bean made a vegan version with tofu, which came out just like this tofu no-egg salad we used to get back in the day at Whole Foods, when it was just a tiny shop here in Austin.  I won't call this a recipe, since I feel like the perfect egg salad is so subjective:  If you like a crunch, but don't like onions, add celery instead.  If you like a super creamy egg salad, add more mayo.  Same goes with the curry powder and pepper.  I find that I like just enough mayo to hold the salad together, a good amount of curry powder, and an obscene amount of freshly cracked black pepper.  And while I don't normally like onions in my food, this is a sandwich where I think a bit of finely diced sweet yellow or spicy white onion does taste nice.

Curried Egg Salad


  • Diced hardboiled egg whites OR Firm tofu (crumbled) if you're going vegan
  • Hardboiled egg yolks
  • Mayo (I know this is ridiculous, considering it's an egg sandwich, but I don't like mayo, so I use Earth Balance vegan mayo)
  • Yellow curry powder (the kind you use is up to you)
  • Diced onion
  • Diced celery
  • Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Salt
  • Tumeric (only if making the vegan version)


  1. In a bowl, mix the hardboiled egg yolks, mayo, and of the spices together until creamy.  If making a vegan version, mix the mayo and all spices, including tumeric, together until creamy.
  2. Fold in the diced egg whites or crumbled tofu until thoroughly coated.
  3. Fold in the diced onion and celery until thoroughly coated.
  4. Taste, and add a bit more salt, pepper, or curry powder if needed.
  5. Slap that sucker on some bread, crackers, or, for a low-carb treat, some baby romaine/iceberg lettuce for a delicious lettuce wrap.
Crumbled, firm tofu and LOTS of parsley are the base of a good vegan, no-egg salad.

Don't by shy with the curry powder.  The flavour of most yellow curry powder is usually very mild.

For my sandwich, I added a bit of fresh arugula for a peppery crunch, and spooned the egg salad onto toasted cranberry pistachio bread from our grocery store's bakery.  I'm not a fan of egg salad on untoasted bread, because it's too much mush for me.  

I wrapped our sandwiches up in parchment paper, and tied them up with kitchen twine (which prompted a head shake and, "Douche" from the Bean, but LOOKED absolutely lovely).  Apparently I didn't take pictures of that, because - I am relatively certain - by the time we had everything together, it was much later than we had planned.  Just know that it really is nicer to unwrap a quaintly wrapped sandwich, and the parchment paper is durable enough to act as a plate, so MEH, Bean!

We washed this down with plenty of PIMM'S Cups, which makes just about anything you're eating outdoors a bit more classy.  To cut down on the fuss, I made a couple of bottlefuls at the house, so we just had to pour once we got to the park.  If you've never had a PIMM'S Cup before, I highly recommend it.  It's an easy spring drink that's different than the usual shandy, mojito, or sangria, and, let's face it, if your park doesn't allow alcohol, a heckuva lot less conspicuous than a tallboy.



  • 1 Part PIMM'S No. 1
  • 3 Parts Ginger Ale (or Lemonade - which, to Americans, is what you'd consider Sprite)
  • Ice
  • Cucumber to garnish


  1. Fill glass halfway with ice
  2. Add one part PIMM'S No. 1
  3. Add three parts ginger ale
  4. Garnish with cucumber
  5. Guzzle - pinkies up, of course!
I used a glass, swing top bottle (which I'd recommend stocking up on the next time you go to IKEA - they're great for infused oils, large batches of vanilla extract, infused vodkas, and inconspicuously carrying mixed drinks to the park) to make a large batch, and didn't bother with the cucumbers since we were swilling them out of plastic cocktail glasses.  You could just as easily drink one part out of the ginger ale bottle and pour the PIMM'S in, though that seems to spit in the face of everything a PIMM'S Cup represents.