Friday, July 22, 2022

Lunch Al Fresco

There's nothing better
than eating under blue skies.

Several weeks ago I found a magazine spread depicting a mouthwatering summer lunch. It was all so deliciously set out I clipped the photo and glued it into my journal. I was going to make such a luncheon one day this summer. Soon friends were invited and a day chosen when weather would permit a picnic in the garden.

The day dawned warm and sunny with blue skies. I got up early to make my favourite recipe of hearty soda oat bread—one that's simple, delicious, and healthy. See recipe below.

Hearty Soda Oat Bread
recipe originally from an old issue of Victoria magazine

Makes a single loaf (9-inch pan)

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white or bread flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg

2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats, set aside for topping

 1. Preheat to 325F. Spray pan with cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, whisk together flours, oats, brown sugar,
baking soda, baking powder, salt.

3. In medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients;
stir until just moistened.

5. Spoon mixture into pan;
sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of oats over the top.

6. Bake about 1 hour, until an inserted
wooden pick comes out clean.

7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Remove from pan to finish cooling on wire rack.

* * *

Here's the photo that captured my imagination,
also from an old issue of Victoria magazine:

 * * *

Below are my own trays:

my own plate - yum yum

Great friends and good food equals
good times on a blue-skied summer afternoon.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend,


  1. Oh that food looks so good. Eating outside, in the company of good friends is just about perfect.

  2. Wow! A gorgeous summer feast -- and being outdoors with friends on a warm day just puts the icing on top!

    Gretchen Joanna

  3. How absolutely lovely! A summertime feast for the palate and the eyes and the heart!

    (Thank you for providing the bread recipe. I am copying it to file away for a sub-90 degree day.)

  4. Oh how marvelous, a delight for all the senses!

  5. Thanks so much for another lovely post! And thanks for the bread recipe--it looks delicious.

  6. wow, it looks just wonderful...wish I lived closer. It's 110 degrees out here, too hot for al fresco.

  7. Hi Brenda...Oh, your lucky friends! That must have been a fabulous luncheon. All the layout looked so wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Yes!!!! Brenda! Again!!! Thank you for sharing this lovely “Summer Feast!!” Our book club had a chance to gather twice so far this summer for outside “simple” suppers. Some of us will begin to go back to work soon as school years begin.
    Your beautiful post will encourage me to carve out perhaps one last beautiful moment together!!!!
    A friend of mine refers to the expression “She is one of my people!☺️ I can’t tell you how I read your posts and feel that we are kindred spirits! Guess there are many others who feel the same! What makes you special is that you have “all the tools” to bring the beauty of so much that we all love back to us with your lovely photos, willingness to share and “work” in thinking thru a theme for each post. ( ie: Summer books , gardens and now this.)
    I looked today hoping you would have a new post and here you were!
    So MANY “thank yous!!” Have a blessed Sunday!!! ~ Ann

    1. So, Ann, did you create that one last beautiful summer event for your book club? I so appreciate your lovely feedback and to imagine that beautiful phrase 'she is one of my people'. I feel quite honoured. This blog truly is my joy, and writing here for you and others is a highlight of my writing life. I received your words like a heart hug! xo

  9. I always loved that magazine and used to have some old issues of it I kept. Everything looks so yummy and a good time of year to eat outside or go on picnics!

    1. Diane, I still have all my classic copies of Victoria magazine. They really were a treasure. I do love a good picnic and this is the time of year for it.

  10. I love to see inspiration! Your luncheon turned out so well! I love eating outdoors too, but right now our weather is too hot for it to be enjoyable!

    1. Like you, Deanna, I so enjoy learning how people find their inspiration and what tickles their fancy to live more beautifully. You'll be looking forward to the cooler days down the road. Thanks!

  11. I am no longer blogging---I babysit my baby granddaughter 3 days a week, plus am working on a genealogy project, so I have little time these days to be online. However, I enjoy visiting a few favorite blogs as I am able. Your blog is ALWAYS one that inspires me and beautifies my day. Your luncheon was beautiful and yummy-looking. How blessed your friends are!
    For some reason, this won't let me comment with my Google account, so I am showing up as "anonymous."
    Patti Gardner

    1. Good Morning Brenda,
      I’m sitting here having reread “Diane Ackerman’s” lovely quote about “Opening the back door in the morning while you’re drinking your coffee….” LOVE that quote!!!!!!
      Today, I’m looking out my screen door to my outside world and am listening to the gentle rain falling. ☺️ I immediately tried to find lovely poems about “gentle falling rain” but wasn’t real successful.
      Before summer leaves us, might a blog themed around Summer’s gentle rains” serve as a theme ?????☺️ Really don’t want to create more work for you but you “have the touch!!”☺️~ Ann Kent

    2. Patti, It was so lovely to hear from you. Sounds like you've got some lovely new ventures what with babysitting your little granddaughter and working on your genealogy project. Thanks for stopping by. xo

    3. Ann, Isn't Diane Ackerman's quote just the loveliest! Thank you so much for your lovely words and for your suggestion to create a post using summer's gentle rains as the theme. My mind is already mulling the idea. :)

  12. Good morning, Brenda. I am still playing catch-up and my goodness, I would love to be a guest at your beautiful table. I would like to stay there until dark was upon me and then I would clean up for you. That looks like such a lovely lunch and we do need to do such things and often. Wishing you beautiful Autumn days - I know you will see cooler temps before we do.

  13. Brenda, I wrote a comment, but it didn't publish. Anyway, this is a lovely post and thanks so much for the recipe


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo