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Does anyone have any suggestions for picnic-type foods that are delicious, and reasonably easy to make? Our neighbor's sister died, and they are having a funeral service on a beach near where we live. I would like to send something and was thinking about a pasta salad. They are going to have some stuff on the grill and picnic-type foods. Anything suggestions on anything more interesting than a pasta salad? I might make 2 things. They are expecting about 50 people. Of course it needs to be something that isn't "cooked" and can be served at room temperature and do well, etc... Thanks!

Footsox
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Anything suggestions on anything more interesting than a pasta salad?

A couple of things come to mind. A simple salad of sliced potatoes, chopped scallions and herbs of your choice, dressed with a vinagrette. Can sit forever at room temp.

Black bean salad. You can spend all day cooking or you can open a can of black beans and a can of niblets corn, both drained, chop a bunch of scallions, halve some grape tomatoes, chop a colorful pepper, chop some cilantro, and dress it with fresh lime juice and olive oil.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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Black bean salad. You can spend all day cooking or you can open a can of black beans and a can of niblets corn, both drained, chop a bunch of scallions, halve some grape tomatoes, chop a colorful pepper, chop some cilantro, and dress it with fresh lime juice and olive oil.

My exact thoughts--made that for the Labor Day weekend (except I used fresh corn nuked ~1 minute per ear used so it was crisp and sweet) and diced fresh tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes. BTW Progresso Black Beans come in a 19 oz can whereas others come in a 15 oz can, so you might want to pick up a few cans of the Progresso since you get more ozs. Make sure to use the lime (iow no substitutes). It adds a key flavor dimension (I also used olive oil but I think I could've skipped it entirely tbh--added virtually nothing tastewise imo).

The black bean salad was really good and went fast so I made more on Labor Day itself but added rice--I think I preferred it without the rice though--just adding the rice idea as an extender if you needed more volume.

Another idea I had was broccoli salad:

--coarsely chopped broccoli (someone here I believe recommended cooking it slightly first--I tried that, but it didn't matter too much tastewise).

-- a few packages of shredded cheddar

--bacon bits or baco's (I make mine with baco's instead of bacon bits since I don't eat meat)

--shredded carrots (optional)

--Toss with dressing of mayo + a little sugar & yellow mustard.
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Some suggestions for beach food to accompany grilled meat:

Big jug or urn of icy lemonade or tea w/fresh mint and plenty of disposable cups, fruit salad or plain cut up fruit with toothpicks, bean salad, corn salad (I like the suggested bean + corn salad), humus with veggie sticks and pita triangles, fresh salsa & chips, cookies. Pasta salad is OK with vinaigrette, but not mayo dressing. I'd skip anything with mayo since whatever you bring might be out in the sun for hours, and mayo's a notorious food poisoning growth medium.
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Thanks. The black bean salad sounds pretty good. I might try that. I may also make a pasta salad. I usually make it with Newman's caesar dressing (vinagrette) so no mayo for the hot sun. Great ideas.

Footsox
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Thanks. The black bean salad sounds pretty good. I might try that.

It seems there's a general consensus in favor of the black bean salad idea.
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It seems there's a general consensus in favor of the black bean salad idea.

The "general consensus" might not be the deciding factor. The OP has to decide that they want to bring "that dish".

I do want to agree with the poster who said that no dish with mayo should be part of this feast. All too likely to be a problem.

Christina
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The "general consensus" might not be the deciding factor..

Really? Gee, I thought we got to demand what the OP makes and brings....

The OP has to decide that they want to bring "that dish"

seriously, Christina, do you think I don't know that...I'm merely pointing out the OP might want to take advantage of the wisdom of crowds

I do want to agree with the poster who said that no dish with mayo should be part of this feast. All too likely to be a problem.

Not necessarily:

Picnic and Food Safety Reminders

Don’t Hold the Mayo

Atlanta -- It’s picnic season and millions of families are packing their coolers and heading outdoors. Whether you’re ordering out or bringing the food from home, there are several important facts to remember about food safety. And, despite what your mother may have told you, mayonnaise does not increase the chances of food poisoning. In fact, commercially prepared mayonnaise actually contains ingredients that protect against bacteria. It’s homemade mayonnaise recipes using unpastuerized eggs that gave birth to the myth that mayonnaise causes food poisoning.

The Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS) has collected 50 years of research that supports this claim....

...“Our studies have shown that when harmful bacteria are added to commercially prepared mayonnasie they die off quickly,” reports Dr. Michael Doyle, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the University of Georgia, Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement. Doyle, lead researcher for the most recently completed study, says this ability to kill bacteria is “largely because of the presence of the acid that’s added to commercial mayonnaise. This includes vinegar, lemon juice and salt.”...


http://www.dressings-sauces.org/foodsafety_picnic.html
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And, despite what your mother may have told you, mayonnaise does not increase the chances of food poisoning. In fact, commercially prepared mayonnaise actually contains ingredients that protect against bacteria. It’s homemade mayonnaise recipes using unpastuerized eggs that gave birth to the myth that mayonnaise causes food poisoning...

I find that interesting because twice in my life I've been at picnics where salads with regular old jarred mayo sat out for a long time and the next day a whole slew of folks (all of whom had eaten a salad late in the day) were sick.

Christina
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I find that interesting because twice in my life I've been at picnics where salads with regular old jarred mayo sat out for a long time and the next day a whole slew of folks (all of whom had eaten a salad late in the day) were sick.

I don't feel any perishable food left out at room temperature for a prolonged period is 'safe', but you attribute that illness to nothing else besides the mayo? I mean nothing else besides the mayo in the salad could've been responsible? I think you were buying into the mayo myth. I am pretty sure the people at those events ate more than just a salad.
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I think you were buying into the mayo myth.

Might well be. But having had food poisoning several times in my life (one time we were pretty sure it was the chicken and one time I was in Eqypt), I still don't plan on eating anything with mayo that's been sitting out all day!!

Christina
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I still don't plan on eating anything with mayo that's been sitting out all day!!

Honestly, I wouldn't either. (When I recommended the broccoli salad, I didn't envision that happening--I didn't think a funeral service would be an all-day event--maybe a few hrs.)
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I find that interesting because twice in my life I've been at picnics where salads with regular old jarred mayo sat out for a long time and the next day a whole slew of folks (all of whom had eaten a salad late in the day) were sick.

And there would have been a whole lot more sickness if the mayo's acidity hadn't protected the other ingredients.
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