Sunday, September 19, 2010

What a Great Month for Picnicking

I love September this year, having already picnicked four times in eight days. Three were over Labor Day weekend alone when an out-of-state friend was visiting.

Cassidy Hill Vineyard, located in the rolling hills of Coventry, has been making wine for about two years. The winery is housed in a log cabin that feels right at home in this part of the state. Enjoy a tasting and lunch inside at a table as we did, or on the porch complete with rocking chairs begging you to sit a spell. For our picnic, we chose takeout from Coventry’s Highland Park Market. (

Coventry Farmers Market, located on the grounds of the Nathan Hale Homestead is big, diverse and fun. Open every Sunday from 11-2 through October 31st, it is a perfect Fall destination. We had several choices for picnicking right at the Farmers Market. I chose Indian food, and although I can’t remember the name of the chicken and rice dish I chose, it was delicious.

I love Connecticut Town Greens and No. 34 (or thereabouts) on my wish list of books to write would be one highlighting all the Town Greens in the state. A friend and I happened to be in Windsor one day and we stopped for a takeout pizza at one of my favorite pizza joints and drove to the lovely and spacious town green. Here we found a bench right in front of a fountain, and since it was a holiday weekend, we had a quiet 2 hours to eat and visit.

Picnic No. 4 on Saturday, September 11th was the ultimate picnic, when 18 family members gathered on the lawn at Gouveia Vineyard in Wallingford. Everyone brought a plate of finger foods to share, and the offerings were phenomenal: small chicken salad sandwiches, deviled crab stuffed eggs, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and cheese, skewers of marinated fresh tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms straight from someone’s garden, Sandwiched meat loaf, and at least a half dozen other delicacies. We had so much fun we’re already looking forward to next year! (

Don’t forget about the Big E going on now through October 3rd. And, speaking of picnicking, I counted 82 food booths on the website!! Astounding, isn’t it. But my personal choice is to tour the State Buildings for food offerings, because nothing compares to the giant Idaho stuffed potatoes from Maine, fresh blueberry pie from Vermont, seafood dishes from Rhode Island, and well, you get the idea.

When you get to the Connecticut Building, after filling up on fried dough and Italian ice, don’t forget to stop at the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association Bookstore. The vast array of books, in all genres, is incredible and local authors are here signing books continuously for the entire 17 days. If you happen to visit on Friday, September 24th from 9-4 please stop and say hello. I’d love to meet you.

Happy Picnicking!