"I’m bored…” It’s a common phrase that starts the third day or so of summer vacation. It’s not quite the same as a session at the spa, but a trip to the park with a picnic blanket and lunch can make for a low stress if not relaxing day. Pack up the basics (toys, wipes, blanket) with a few interesting time-wasters (magnifying glass, clear plastic containers, small hand shovel, water spray bottle) and a good selection of snacks.
As always, location, location , location is the number one rule so case the joint before you go and get a lay of the land. Is there a shady spot? Can you buy drinks onsite or need to tote them from home? Is this a picnic-only park (hence just bring the minimum) or a run around all day kind of place (in that case, bring a foldable chair)?
The night before, have the kids help make bar cookies which are easy to bake and carry. Here are recipes for two summer favorites: Lemon Squares and Chocolate Brownies.
Chocolate Brownies 13 x 9 inch pan
1/2 lb. butter or margarine
1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. sugar
1 c. walnuts, chopped -optional
Preheat oven to 170 C degrees. Butter pan. Melt the butter and let cool. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and vanilla until foamy. Gradually add in sugar until blended, follow with butter. Blend in flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa. Stir in walnuts. Pour batter into pan. Bake until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool and cut into 24 squares.
Lemon Squares 8 x 8 inch pan
Preheat oven to 170 C degrees.
1 cup flour
¼ cup icing sugar
½ cup melted butter
Press the mixture into greased baking pan and bake 20 minutes.
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 slightly beaten eggs
Grated peel and Juice of 1 lemon
Pour these ingredients over the baked warm crust and bake 25 minutes. Chill.
Cut into squares.