During the summer with a family of our size, you could say every Sunday was a picnic and the farm was the place to be. Starting with Memorial Day, June graduation parties, Fourth of July, August family reunions and ending with Labor Day. We would BBQ and everyone who came brought their favorite covered dish. We would play games, the family would play music, and everyone enjoyed the day. Towards evening we would roast Marshmallows and make Smores, play tag & tell ghost stories in the dark and catch lightning bugs.
Games we would play, Volley Ball, Badminton, croquet, kickball, tug of war, touch football, 21,and Lawn Darts. Yes people, you read correctly Lawn Darts never a mishap…lol
Since the farm was originally a dairy farm, we had a milk house that had a cooler that kept things extremely cold. That is where the soda pop and watermelon would go before the picnic. *Pop was a special treat, and there was a local company in Greensburg that made Flavor’s like lemon lime, cream soda, orange, grape, birch bear, root bear, and cola. Later on, we found out that the company that made the Soda Pop was owned by the Scichilone Family, which is my brother-in-law, David Brunetta, mother’s family. This company is long gone, but I still can remember how good the pop tasted.
The best thing about picnics is spending time together, telling stories, sharing recipes, and making memories.
Below I have shared some favorite covered dishes that were shared with our family and some we shared with others
This is my version & tribute Mrs. Celesta Kieibler’s Stuffed Pizza Dough
1 1/2 teaspoons Raw sugar or Evaporated Cain Sugar
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F/40 degrees C)
1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of double zero flour or bread flour (you can use all purpose flour)
• Combine the white sugar and the warm water in a large bowl or in the work bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm sugar water, and let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. Stir 1 tablespoon olive oil into the yeast mixture.
• Stir 1/2 teaspoon salt into the flour. Mix half of the flour mixture into the yeast water, and stir until no dry spots remain. Stir in the remaining flour, a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes (or mix with dough hook in stand mixer).
• Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Filling and Sauce
2 8 oz cans of crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
1 clove of crushed garlic (1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano (1/2 tablespoon dried)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped Basil (1/2 tablespoon dried)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian Parsley(1/2 tablespoon dried)
Crushed black Pepper to taste
Kosher salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil
Sauté the garlic in the olive oil, do not brown. Add the remaining ingredients stir and simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, if it becomes too, thick thin down with some water
2 cups of shredded Mozzarella
1 lb of sliced Provolone
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage (cooked and drained)
8 oz of pepperoni chopped
8 oz slice mushrooms
1/2 green pepper diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1 1/2 cups of cooled sauce
Egg Wash: 1 egg 3 tablespoons of cold water and beat together.
Combined all ingredients except the provolone cheese with the sauce and set aside.
Cut dough in half roll out to fit in a 9×13” prepared pan. Dough should hangover the side of the pan. Spread your filling into to pan, top with provolone cheese. Now place top crust on fold up the sides and crimp together make steam vents and brush with egg wash and bake.
Bake at 450 degrees F or 230 degrees C for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Note: if the top starts to get to brown cover lightly with foil
Let sit for 20 minutes before cutting, serve with extra sauce. This is great warm or room temperature, that is why makes it such a great covered dish. Guaranteed it won’t last long enough to get to room temp.
STRAWBERRY PRETZEL JELLO SALAD
2 c. crushed pretzel sticks
3/4 c. melted butter
3 tbsp. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry banana Jello
2 c. boiling water
2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen strawberries, partially thawed
Mix first three ingredients and press in bottom of a 9″x13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees (metal pan) or 325 degrees (glass pan) 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Beat 1 cup sugar and cream cheese. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over pretzels. Mix Jello and water until dissolved. Add strawberries. Stir into Jello, then set aside for 10 minutes. Pour over cheese mixture. Chill.
Yummy Beans from the Kitchen of Mary Kay Simon
All cans approximately 14.5 oz
1 can baked bean
1 can Barbecue style bean
1 can Kidney beans drained
1 can Baby Lima beans drained
1 can Navy beans drained
1 can wax beans drained
1 can green beans drained
1 lb of hickory smoked bacon cubed and cooked
1 lb of kielbasa slice and or diced
1 lb of smoked sausage sliced and or diced
1 large sweet onion small dice
2 cups celery small dice
1 small can of Heinz or Campbell’s tomato soup
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of dry mustard (if you don’t have dry mustard yellow prepared mustard can be used)
Cook bacon, celery and onions together until celery and onions are soft. Next combined all ingredients together and pour into a large baking dish and bake at 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C for 1 1/2 hours. Note: this can be cooked in a crockpot on high for 3 hours until bubbling hot.
Tabbouleh from Annie Gantose
1/2 cup Bulgur wheat
1 clove crushed garlic
8-10 spring onions
1/2 pound diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon black cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon oil (optional)
5 cups of flat leaf parsley finely chopped (about 5 bunches)
1/2 cup fresh mint finely chopped
Juice of 2 to 3 large lemons
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Place bulgur wheat into a bowl of cold water and let soak for about 20 minutes. Next chop all the vegetables and place in bowl and set aside while you drain the bulgur wheat. You need to squeeze as much water as you can out of the bulgur wheat. I suggest to strain in a colander and the place in cheese cloth and twist, to get as much water out as you can. Add the bulgur wheat to your vegetables and stir. Next combine the spices lemon juice and olive oil, and pour over the salad mix and refrigerate two to three hours before you serve.
Note: I was told the biggest mistake made when making this salad is not using enough parsley or lemon juice. Another secret, if I am making this to eat at home, I don’t add the tomatoes until serving, it keeps it from getting too watery. I will eat this all week for lunch, add it to salads or serve with grilled chicken. It’s a light and refreshing summer meal and a great covered dish.
1 package of taco seasoning
1 lb ground beef cooked and drained
1 can of refried beans cooked and mix with the beef and taco seasoning
2 cups of shredded cheddar jack cheese
3 scallions sliced
1 can or jar of sliced black olives
1 avocado dices
1 large tomato diced
1/2 cup of salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
On the bottom of a clear bowl or oblong dish, start layering the ingredients in this order: meat and bean mixture, salsa, 1 cup of shredded cheese, the sour cream, shredded lettuce, scallions, chopped tomatoes, diced avocado, and the remaining cheese. Serve with your favorite pita chips, tortilla chips or crackers.