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The All-American Picnic can be anywhere there is fresh air and sunshine – the neighborhood park, a clear mountain lake, or your own backyard. Any day can seem like a mini-vacation when you fill up the picnic basket and head for a new horizon. These recipes are classics you’re sure to use again and again.

Do-ahead style and self-service are keys to this menu for 8-10 people. It’s ready to unpack and enjoy! Guests help themselves to everything from drinks to dessert, leaving you free to participate in the fun.

Foot-long Sandwiches allow everyone to serve themselves, slicing just enough to fit the appetite. Fruit Boats mean a minimum of containers to tote along. Pineapple, melons or papaya make delightful baskets for cool fresh fruit chunks, while Baked Beans add zesty flavor. Fresh Corn on the Cob comes to the picnic table steaming hot from the thermos. You are sure to get rave reviews of the refreshing Pineapple-Orange Slush. Finish off with fabulous Butterscotch Cookies.

Foot-long Sandwiches
This main course lets everyone get the perfect amount.

2 large loaves French bread, unsliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing of your choice
2 lbs. thinly sliced ham, turkey, or beef
2 large tomatoes, slices
2 large leaves romaine lettuce
1/2 lb. cheese (a variety is fun–provolone and havarti are great!).

Optional Items:
onions, thinly sliced
herbs: sprinkling of basil, thyme, or other favorites

Slice each loaf in half length-wise. Layer half of the meat and cheese on bottom half of bread. Spread mayo or salad dressing over layers. Then add tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and optional items if desired. Layer remaining meat and cheese on top. This method will help keep the loaf fresh for travel. Seal in plastic wrap or foil. Take along a good knife to allow guests to cut their own portions. Serves 8-10.

Fruit Boats
Easy to carry, easy to serve!

1 medium watermelon, cut in half
2 cantaloupe
1 pineapple
other fruits of choice

Hollow out watermelon half. Cut all fruits in 3″ chunks and place in separate plastic bags and refrigerate until ready to leave. At the picnic, pile fruits in watermelon half and enjoy

Baked Beans
A hearty side dish with a zesty taste.

1 lb. bacon
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 cans pork & beans (15 oz. each)
1 Tbs. mustard
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 Tbs. vinegar
1/2 cup ketsup

Cut bacon in 1″ pieces. Fry and drain. Combine ingredients in 2 1/2 or 3-quart casserole dish. Bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours or 200 degrees for 6 hours. Can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave or even frozen ahead for convenience.

Corn on the Cob
Steaming hot from the thermos, fresh sweet corn is a crowd pleaser.

In a large pot bring 1 1/2 gallons of water to a boil. Place 10-12 husked corn cobs in a two-gallon thermos. Just before take-off time, pour boiling water over corn. Secure thermos lid tightly. Corn will be ready to serve in 15 minutes, or can be kept hot in thermos for up to two hours. Butter and salt as desired.

Pineapple-Orange Slush
You’ll love this refreshing drink.

4 cups sugar
1 can pineapple juice (46 oz.)
6 cups hot tap water
1 bottle (2 liter) lemon-lime carbonated soda
1 can undiluted frozen orange concentrate (6 oz.)
1 can undiluted frozen lemonade (6 oz.)

Stir together sugar and hot tap water. Add other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Freeze in 5-quart plastic container (ice cream buckets work well). Thaw at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. At serving time add lemon-lime soda as desired.

Butterscotch Cookies
Fabulous! Moist with a nutty flavor.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour 
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla
roasted whole pecans or nuts of your choice

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with sour cream. Fold in nuts and vanilla. Drop by well-rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet, placing about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool and frost.

The frosting gives the rich flavor to this cookie!

Brown 1/2 cup butter until nut brown. Add 4 cups powdered sugar and 1/3 cup boiling water. Mix together and add 1 tsp. vanilla. Top with whole roasted pecan.

Roasted Nuts
Place about 1 cup nuts in mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbs. melted butter. Stir briefly. Lay out on baking pan. Lightly salt. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Makes about 4 dozen. Delicious cookies!