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Pocket Bread Banquet 
From Sunset Books, Lane Publishing

 

Menu

Barbecued Lamb in Pocket Bread

Chutney    Sliced Cucumbers

Romaine Spears

Tomato Wedges

Yogurt with Chopped Fresh Mint and Cucumbers

Fresh Fruit

Your Favorite Cookies

Napa Valley Merlot

Sparkling Cider

 

 

Recipes

 

Barbecued Lamb in Pocket Bread

½ c lemon juice

¼ c olive oil

1 t. each chopped fres coriander (cilantro) and ground cumin

½ t. each black pepper and turmeric

¼ t. crushed red pepper

2 lbs. lean boneless lamb (shoulder or leg), cut into ¾ inch cubes

2 large onions sliced and separated into rings

6 pocket breads

½ pt. unflavored yogurt

2 T. each chopped fresh mint and cucumber

12 to 24 small romaine spears

3 medium-size tomatoes, cut into thin wedges

2 medium-size cucumbers thinly sliced

Chutney (optional)

Combine lemon juice, oil, and spices. Place the lamb and onions in separate containers with lids; pour half of the marinade over meat; pour half the marinade over the onions. Cover and refrigerate for about 3 hours. Transport in a cooler.

Lift meat from the marinade and drain briefly, reserving marinade. Thread meat on the sturdy metal skewers. Place on a lightly greased grill 4 to 6 inches above the coals. Cook, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade for 12 to 16 minutes. Lamb should be well browned on the outside and still a little pink inside. Drain marinated onions. Wrap pocket breads in heavy tin foil and warm on the barbecue. Tear or cut pocket breads in half and serve with lamb and condiments.

 

Packing the Picnic

Carefully set the bottles of cider in the bottom of the cooler. On top, arrange individual containers filled with the tomato wedges, romaine spears, cucumber slices and onion rings. Take the yogurt separately from the chopped mint and cucumbers; combine them just before serving. Add to the cooler any fruit you want to keep cold, and the chutney. If you’re not grilling the lamb at home, pack the container of marinating lamb in the cooler. For barbecuing you’ll need charcoal, charcoal starter, potholders, tongs, fireplace matches, sturdy metal skewers-and if there are no cooking facilities at the site, a portable barbecue.

 

In a roomy basket put the wine, any unbreakable items, serving spoons and forks for the condiments, a multipurpose bottle opener, and serving platter for the lamb, table cloth and a corkscrew. Since the sandwiches are handheld, include plenty of napkins and moistened towelettes. Last of all, pack the fragile items, including the pocket bread.

 

At the Site

To barbecue, light the coals about half an hour before cooking. Add the skewers of lamb when the coals are gray; warm the pocket bread for about 10 minutes. When you are almost ready to serve, combine the yogurt with the mint and the cucumbers, tear or cut the bread rounds in half, and set out the condiments. Offer the fruit and cookies for a sweet ending.

 

Protecting Foods From Spoilage

It is extremely important to observ the safety precautions outlined below, especially with food paticularly vulnerable to spoilage. These include, in general, foods that are high in protein or that contain eggs or dairy products-meat, poultry, fish shellfish, custards, milk cream, and mayonnaise, for example. 

1. Choose your picnic foods according to the weather and the distance you're traveling; avoid high-risk foods on long excursions or in very hot climate.

2. Be meticulous about hygiene. When handling food, be sure your hands, untensils, and cutting surfaces are clean; always wash everything well with hot, soapy water after handling raw meat, poultry, or fish.

3. Avoid preparing food far on advance, unless the recipe specifically permits it. The fresher the food, the less chance there is of bacterial growth.

4. Dont keep foods at room temperature either before the picnic or in route, if they are likely to spoil. Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. Foods that are cooling after being cooked should sit only very briefly at room temperature and all perishable foods should be carefully insulated when they're packed for travel.

5. Cold foods must be thoroughly chilled and hot foods heated trrough before packing. Don't put foods into a cooler and expect them to chill on the way to the picnic. And never pack hot and cold foods together.

6. Don't leave food that may spoil out on the picnic table while you play football or walk on the beach. Keep the food in the cooler or other insulated container until just before serving time, both to preserve freshness and to prevent contact with flies.    

7. Plan picnic quantities so you won't have left-overs. But if you do have food left, throw it away if it is susceptible to spoilage. Even if it doesn't look or smell spoiled, it has probably been kept out too long to be safe to eat.

 

Wine Country Inn 

 

The Wine Country Inn is a Napa Valley Bed and Breakfast perched on a knoll overlooking manicured vineyards and the nearby Napa Valley hills. Offering 24 individually decorated guest rooms and 5 luxury cottages... the antiques family-made quilts, fireplaces, and balconies create an atmosphere of unparalleled comfort. Enjoy our great food, hospitality and service during your stay in the Wine Country.

Our Napa Valley bed and breakfast is a little piece of heaven on Earth. Not only are our rooms, suites, and luxury cottages awe inspiring and absolutely stunning, but the landscape and location of our inn is unbelievable. We epitomize the Napa Valley romantic getaway! Our property is in St. Helena, California and we are surrounded by vineyards and beautiful tree covered hills. Not only will you love our inn but you will relish our spa. Wine country lodging has never been so good.

Napa Valley is a wine connoisseur's dream. With all the different vineyards and wineries nearby, you will have a hard time deciding which ones to tour. If you can pull yourself away from our relaxing spa, the cool pool, the invigorating hot tub, or from your cozy room, the adventures are plenty in wine country.

Let us plan a wine country vacation to remember. We will wine you, dine you, massage you, spoil you, and give you a vacation of a lifetime

The Wine Country Inn & Gardens
1152 Lodi Lane · St. Helena, California (CA) 94574
Toll Free: 888-465-4608 · Phone: (707) 963-7077 · Fax: (707) 963-9018

 

Provencal Picnic 

  From Sunset Books, Lane Publishing

 

Menu

Tomatoe Tarts Nicoise

Green Bean & Red Pepper Salad

Variety of French Cheeses & Baguette

Fruit, Wine & Bakery Mini Fruit Tarts 


 

Recipes

 

Tomatoe Tarts Nicoise

Cheese Pastry ( recipe follows)

¼ c olive oil

2 lg onions minced

1 lg can of tomatoes (28oz)

1/2 t. each rosemary and sugar

1/8 t. each cayenne and black pepper

2 cloves of garlic minced

2 cans flat anchovy fillets (2oz. each)

32 Nocoise olives or medium side ripe olives.  

Prepare Cheese Pastry and divide into 8 equal portions; roll each out into a circle to fit 4-inch tart pans 3/4 to 1 inch deep. Line pans with pastry, trimming edges even with pan.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a larg3e frying pan over medium heat; add onions and cook, stirring occasionallly, until soft and light brown. Spoon onions evenlkyt into pastry-lined pans. In pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil slightly; add tomatoes9break up with a spoon) and theri liquid, sugar, rosemary, red pepper, black pepper, and garlic. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thikened and redcuced to about 2 cups.

Spoon tomato mixture evenly into tart pans. Crisscross 2 anchoby fillets and arrange 4 olives on top of each tart.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until well browned. Let stand for about 10 minutes; th, protecting ytour hands, tip each tart out of its pan into you habd and palace, filling side up, on a rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate untilll well chilled.  Makes 8 tarts.

 

Cheese Pastry.  In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. With a pastry blender cut 4 tablespoons each firm butter or margarine, and lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With a fork stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water until mixture begins to cling together. Use hands to press pastry into a small flat ball.

 

Green Bean and Red Pepper Salad

 

1 pound of green beans

Basil Mustard Dressing (recipe follows)

1 medium red bell pepper seeded and cut into slivers

 

Cut and discard ends from beans; leave beans whole. Pour water into a 3 qt. pan to a depth of about 2 inches. Bring to a boil; add beans. Coo, uncovered, just until tender-crisp(about 5 minutes). Drain, rinse,under cold wanter and drain again. Place in a bowl, cover, and refigerate.

Prepare Basil-Mustard dressing. In a large container with a lid, combine recd pepper with dressing; cover and refrigerate. Transport beans and peppers separately in a cooler. To serve, all beans to peppers; stir gently until beans ar thoroughly coated with dressing. With a slotted spoon, lift out vegetables and serve on a bed of lettuce.

 

Basil-Mustard Dressing

3T red wine vinegar

1T Dijon mustard

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 t. each sugar, salt, dry basil

Using a fork or wisk, gradually add 1/3 cup of olive oil until well blended.

 

 

Besides the Food What else Should We Take...

    Pack the "Essentials" and be prepared for minor injuries, sudden weather changes or delays. The following are items you should include in your pack:

  • Candle
  • Clothing (always bring something warm, extra socks, and rain gear)
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Food (bring extra)
  • Flashlight
  • Foil (to use as a cup or signaling device)
  • Hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Map
  • Nylon filament
  • Pocket knife
  • Pocket mirror (to use as a signaling device)
  • Prescription glasses (an extra pair)
  • Prescription medications for ongoing medical conditions
  • Radio with batteries
  • Space blanket or a piece of plastic (to use for warmth or shelter)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Trash bag (makes an adequate poncho)
  • Water
  • Waterproof matches or matches in a waterproof tin
  • Water purification tablets
  • Whistle (to scare off animals or to use as a signaling device)
Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

Bring your picnic basket it is the 24th Annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2007 at Lake Skinner. Lake Skinner is a Riverside County Park and is located at 37701 Warren Rd., Winchester, CA 92596. There is an admission fee to the Festival which includes the entertainment but not food or beverages.

The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival offers top-name entertainment, wine tasting in the Wine Gardens, Kids Faire, Arts & Crafts and Commercial exhibits and the Food Court. Wine tasting features different premium wines from numerous Temecula Valley wineries as well as others from Southern California.

This is a perfect opportunity to use one our wine and cheese totes. Sample some good wine and purchase one that you like, throw down your picnic blanket and sip away.Enjoy a memorable experience and book a hot air balloon flight. Your journey will begin having coffee at sunrise as the balloon lifts gently into the sapphire skies above Lake Skinner. Activities go on all day.  For more info about the festival  

Fourth of July Picnic

Menu

Strawberry and Stilton Salad

Smothered Burgers

Grilled Vegetables with Ranch Dressing

Apple Pie

 

   
Strawberry and Stilton Salad
Source: © Cooking Light Magazine

Yield: 4 servings


 

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

2 cups sliced strawberries

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon water

4 cups gourmet salad greens

1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled Stilton cheese or feta cheese

4 (1-ounce) slices French bread

 

RECIPE METHOD

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Strain mixture through a sieve into a jar, reserving liquid. Set strawberries aside. Add oil and water to jar. Cover tightly, and shake vigorously. Arrange 1 cup greens on each of 4 salad plates. Top with 1/2 cup berries, 2 teaspoons dressing, and 1 tablespoon cheese. Serve with French bread.

 
 

Nutrition Facts


 

Yield: 4 servings
Facts per Serving

 
 

 

           

Calories:

158  

Fat:

4g  

Carbohydrates:

26g  

Cholesterol:

7mg  

Sodium:

275mg  

Protein:

5g  

Fiber:

3g  

% Cal. from Fat:

23%  

% Cal. from Carbs:

66%  


 

 Smothered Burgers
Source: © Cooking Light Magazine

4 servings

 

 


RECIPE INGREDIENTS

Cooking spray

2 cups vertically sliced onion

2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 pound ground round

4 (1-ounce) slices Texas toast

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

 

RECIPE METHOD

Prepare grill.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add onion; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Remove onion from pan, and keep warm. Heat pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt; saute 5 minutes or until tender.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and beef. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Preheat broiler.

Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Place bread on grill rack; grill 1 minute on each side or until toasted.

Arrange bread on a baking sheet. Top each bread slice with 1 patty, 1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup mushrooms, and 2 tablespoons cheese; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

 
 
Grilled Vegetables with Ranch Dressing
Source: © Cooking Light MagazineYield: 8 servings
Live fire brings out the flavors in vegetables in a way that will make this technique a permanent part of your cooking repertoire.

Other necessary recipes:
Ranch Dressing

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

2 red bell peppers, seeded

2 yellow bell peppers, seeded

1 small eggplant, cut in half lengthwise (about 1 pound)

16 asparagus spears (about 1 pound)

1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise

8 plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray


Ranch Dressing (see recipe)

 
RECIPE METHOD

Prepare grill. Brush first 6 ingredients with oil; sprinkle evenly with black pepper and salt. Place bell peppers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes. Add eggplant; grill 5 minutes. Add asparagus; grill 5 minutes. Add zucchini; grill 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; grill 5 minutes or until all vegetables are tender, turning vegetables as needed. Remove vegetables from grill.

Cut each bell pepper into quarters; cut eggplant halves and zucchini halves each into 4 equal pieces. Serve vegetables with Ranch Dressing.

(Serving size: 2 bell pepper quarters, 1 eggplant piece, 2 asparagus spears, 1 zucchini piece, 1 tomato, and 2 tablespoons dressing.)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:
(Serving size: 2 bell pepper quarters, 1 eggplant piece, 2 asparagus spears, 1 zucchini piece, 1 tomato, and 2 tablespoons dressing.)

Calories 105 (39% from fat)
Fat 4.6g (sat 0.8g, mono 2.7g, poly 0.6g)
Protein 4.6g
Carb 13.9g
Fiber 3.5g
 
Apple Pie
Source: © Cooking Light Magazine10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)


The slurry (a mixture of flour and water that's whisked together) is the secret to keeping the low-fat crust tender.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

6 tablespoons ice water

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons vegetable shortening

For the Filling:

8 cups thinly sliced peeled Braeburn apples (about 8 medium)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

Remaining ingredients:

Cooking spray

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

 
RECIPE METHOD

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

FOR THE CRUST:
Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1/2 cup flour, ice water, and vinegar, stirring with a whisk until well blended to form a slurry. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add slurry; toss with a fork until flour mixture is moist.


Divide dough in half. Gently press each half into a 4-inch circle on 2 sheets of overlapping heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll 1 dough half, still covered, into a 12-inch circle. Roll other dough half, still covered, into an 11-inch circle. Chill dough 10 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed.

FOR THE FILLING:
Combine the apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Combine 2/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples; toss well to coat.


Remove top 2 sheets of plastic wrap from 12-inch dough circle; fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing dough to extend over edge. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Spoon filling into dough; brush edges of dough lightly with water.

Remove top 2 sheets of plastic wrap from 11-inch dough circle; place, plastic wrap side up, overfilling. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press edges of dough together. Fold edges under, and flute. Cut 4 (1-inch) slits into top of pastry using a sharp knife. Brush top and edges of pie with egg white; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place pie on a baking sheet; bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (do not remove pie from oven), and bake an additional 40 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.



Fireworks Safety

Tips for a Fun, Festive & Safe 4th of July from
The National Council on Fireworks Safety
By Amy Schamburek (www.20ishparents.com)

People everywhere are fascinated by fireworks -- by the mystery and splendor that light the night sky or turn a backyard into a festival of light and sound. Like nothing else, fireworks can excite, thrill and amaze us. But as dazzling as fireworks can be, they can also be harmful if used improperly.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) urges you to put safety first when celebrating this Fourth of July. Legal fireworks are safer than ever, in part because of stringent federal safety standards enacted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1976. The incidence of fireworks-related injuries has dropped dramatically during the past 10 years, according to Ann Crampton, executive director of the NCFS. But she says it can be cut further by following a few simple guidelines.

"Only use legal fireworks," she says. "The key, of course, is being able to recognize what's legal and what's not. Legal fireworks conform to the standards. Illegal ones often don't."

The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires that legal fireworks show the name of the item, the name of the manufacturer or distributor and easy-to-read cautionary labeling and instructions for proper use. Currently, 32 states, plus the District of Columbia, allow the use of some or all types of consumer fireworks.

"Commonly used fireworks include cones, fountains, and sparklers," Ms. Crampton says. "Before setting off any fireworks, contact your local police or fire department to make sure fireworks are allowed in your area."

Illegal devices include M80s, M100s and silver salutes. They have been federally banned since 1966 because of the large amounts of illegal explosives they contain. "Don't confuse these items with legal, consumer fireworks. Illegal devices will usually be unlabeled, will not bear a caution statement and will not list the manufacturer's name," cautioned Ms. Crampton. "Illegal explosive devices are extremely dangerous and can cause serious injuries. If you find any illegal items, or know of anyone selling them, contact the police immediately."

If you choose to use consumer fireworks to celebrate this year's Fourth of July festivities, remember the following safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

  • A responsible adult should supervise all fireworks activities.
  • Never give fireworks to young children.
  • Always purchase fireworks from reliable sources.
  • Follow label directions carefully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them in metal or glass containers.
  • Light them one at a time then move back quickly.
  • Don't experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Observe local laws and use common sense.
  • Sparklers, fountains and other items that many states allow for use by consumers are not appropriate when a large crowd is present.
  • If attending a community display, leave your own fireworks at home -- there will be plenty of excitement provided by the display.

For more information on Fireworks safety, visit the National Council on Fireworks Safety web site.


Hit the Beach

Oceanside's not just a military town anymore, although on any given summer day you might be sharing this beach with Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton. And crowds of families from all over North County.

The beach stretches about four miles, with the best spots near Oceanside Pier -- ground zero for beach activities -- and the harbor. Sand coverage varies from relatively narrow strips to a wide, pristine 500 feet, a total of about 16 acres. Harbor Beach -- close to the harbor, of course -- has possibly the best sand in all of North County. And towering palm trees mark the shoreline for miles.

This is a great beach for sunbathing, surfing and swimming. Surf fishing's good from the pier which stretches 1,942 feet into the Pacific. Perennially popular Ruby's Diner at pier's end is always worth the walk. Go upstairs for drinks at the casual Surf Lounge - it has a great view.

The main street along the shore is called, simply, The Strand. This concrete strip welcomes cars, bikes and pedestrians. Oceanside Harbor's yacht basin, the only one in coastal North County, has easy access to the Pacific.

Buccaneer Beach, a bit farther south, is a cozy enclave among the condos.

Parking: There are two public parking lots on either side of the pier. Fees are $5 for day parking and $10 for overnight. There's also a dollar lot nearby, on the east side of the railroad tracks. Free on-street parking is a short distance from the shore.

The rules: No alcohol. No dogs allowed on the beach. Fires in fire rings.

The crowd: This is one of the most popular spots in North County for families. Friendly pickup volleyball games draw crowds, too.

Picnics: There are shaded picnic areas with barbecue grills. East of The Strand are a series of parks -- Rotary, Pacific Linear, and Tyson Street -- outfitted with restrooms and picnic tables.

Recreation: Several playgrounds. Volleyball setups are available. Surfers love this beach year-round.

Facilities: Lifeguards, harbor patrol. Restrooms. The pier is well-lighted after dark and open 24 hours.

Disability access: Three lightweight "sand chairs" are available at the lifeguard station. To reserve a sand chair call (760) 435-4018.

 

Antipasto Al Fresco

 

                                               

 

Menu

Antipasto Tray

Curried Chicken Spread

Assorted Crackers or Baguette

Guacamole & Chips

 

Recipes

 

Antipasto

Cheeses & Grapes

Cold Cuts

Colorful cut vegetables and ranch dip

Olives, tear drop tomatoes, and smoked almonds sprinkled throughout

 

On a large platter arrange ingredients for serving. Serve with bread or crackers.

 

Curried Chicken Salad

12.5 oz can chunk white chicken

1/2c mayonnaise

1/2c chopped celery

1/3c chopped red onion

1/3c chopped red apple

¼ tsp. curry powder

 

Combine all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate. Transport in a cooler. Spread on bread or crackers.

 

Avocado Dip

2 fresh avocados mashed

1T lemon juice

1 8oz container sour cream

3 cloves minced fresh garlic

½ tsp Beau Monde seasoning

 

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Transport in cooler. Serve with tortilla chips.

 

 

ADMISSIONS and the PASSPORT TO BALBOA PARK

The admission prices vary by institution. Memberships are also available for purchase from the museums and performing arts organizations, offering an opportunity for visitors to support these San Diego cultural treasures on an annual basis. Admittance to the Park grounds is free. The Botanical Building, outdoor gardens and some additional attractions are also offered free of charge.

Passport to Balboa Park, San Diego's best cultural value, offers visitors the chance to experience 13 museums in the Park, with savings of more than 50% and the convenience of a one-time purchase. The Passport is valid for seven consecutive days, and includes one admission to each of the 13 attractions. The Zoo/Passport Combo includes the Passport to Balboa Park plus one-day deluxe admission at the San Diego Zoo, all for one low price.

 

For more info http://www.balboapark.org/

 

 

 

 

Consumer Reports 6/07

Insect repellents

How we tested. A lab enlisted four victims--er, volunteers--who thrust treated arms into separate cages, each home to about 200 aedes mosquitoes, an aggressive species that can carry dengue fever, or about 200 culex mosquitoes, a calmer species that can carry West Nile virus. (Ours were uninfected.) Arms were exposed for five minutes at regular intervals. The effectiveness period was deemed over when a volunteer was bitten twice in a session or once in two consecutive sessions.

For tick tests, we placed about 12 uninfected, hungry deer ticks, the type that can transmit Lyme disease, on little test plates strapped to each of a volunteer's arms. A hole in each plate exposed a patch of skin, and our score was based on the number of times ticks walked over treated skin. We also tested Buzz Off Flick Tee, a permethrin-treated cotton shirt, which claims to repel insects for 25 washings.

What we found. Hours of protection correlated with deet concentration. The top-rated Deep Woods Off is 98 percent deet, and several products with 30 to 34 percent deet were very good, protecting for an average of at least five hours. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found deet safe when used according to directions (not under clothing, in an open cut, or with sunscreen), but some people dislike its scent or feel. Use the lowest concentration that works, especially on kids, and don't use deet on infants. The best nondeet product was Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus, but volunteers criticized its odor. In tests last year, Cutter Advanced with 7 percent picaridin repelled mosquitoes well, but this time we found less protection.

In lab tests, the Buzz Off Flick Tee didn't work well. Within 2 minutes, aedes mosquitoes had bitten the lab director at least 35 times through material washed once. Some research suggests that permethrin-treated fabric might work better outdoors, but even a treated T-shirt won't protect bare arms.

CR's take. Products containing at least 30 percent deet worked very well; most of the botanicals we tested were middling or worse.

  Tailgate Deli Picnic

 

Menu

 

Fresh Bagels with cream cheese and lox

Pastrami and Swiss cheese on rye bread

Coleslaw & pickles

Ginger cookies with raspberries

 

 

Smother fresh bagels in cream cheese and top with thin slices of smoked salmon: layer New York-style corn rye bread with sliced pastrami and Swiss cheese. For crunch, take along kosher dill pickles and coleslaw. Cream cheese doubles as a dessert spread on crisp ginger cookies: each wafer is then topped with a few perfect raspberries.

 

Picnic Etiquette

 

Picnic Etiquette

 

  1. Don’t trespass on private property. If you want to picnic on private land, get permission first. If you plan to use public land, check ahead. You may need to reserve a space or pay a fee for the use of picnic tables, barbecue pits, or other facilities.
  2. Observe all regulations pertaining to the site you’ve chosen. This may include rules about fire permits (often necessary for camp stoves as well as open fires), pets, swimming, fishing and gathering flowers or wild fruits and vegetables.
  3. Be safety conscious. Take along a first-aid kit in case of burns, cuts, bites, or other accidents. You may also want to include such items as insect repellent, motion sickness pills, tweezers, and sunscreen or suntan lotion. If poison oak or poison ivy grows in your area, inform guests and make sure they know what to do if you encounter them.
  4. Be conscientious about fire safety: cooking fires should be watched at all times and thoroughly extinguished when the picnic is over.
  5. Caution members of your party, especially children, against drinking from streams or eating wild berries, mushrooms or other plants that may not be safe. Make sure children stay close to the picnic site so they don’t get lost or wander into hazardous areas.
  6. Keep the noise level down if you’re picnicking near other people. Blaring radios and screaming children will not endear you to your fellow picnickers.
  7. Clean up thoroughly after your picnic. Throw away all trash in appropriate containers. Make sure that extinguished coals or wood from fires are well buried. In short, leave the picnic site as you would want to find it.

 


 

 

 

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