Straight From the Horse's Mouth

Picnics at the Farm - My Recipe

It's summertime, summertime, summertime. Time for bugs, water fun, and . PICNICS! Every year at my place we have an annual picnic complete with games, prizes, pony rides, good folks, and lotsa good eats.

My favorite part is all of the carrots I git for helpin' with the pony rides. My job is to show the little ones how nice a big ol' horsey can be, and even the ones who 'don't wanna!' usually end up cryin' because they 'don't wanna!' git off. I let 'em brush me, lead me, pet me, feed me, and take my picture. I even let 'em squirt me with their squirt guns if they ask first.

My Recipe

What y'all need for a fun farm picnic:

Lotsa good folks - Round 'em up from wherever, the more the merrier

A few good horsies - Pony rides are a big attraction. Git a few good helpers to lead, and a heap o' grownups to pick kids up and put 'em on to save our backs!

Food - The folks fire up the grill and whatever they wanna eat sizzles away. Cold food gits put in the coolers and in the ice table (a big ol' frame of wood laid on the table, lined with plastic and filled with ice). Have plenty of ice; it always ends up down a back or two

Drink - Bein's that I'm now in Yankee country, we always serve birch beer on tap. It's a tradition for a lotta folks up here. Can't say that I ever heard of it in Texas; sarsaparilla may be the closest soft drink to it down there. Git whatever y'all like. That soda barrel sits in a tubba ice to keep it cold, and our saddle blankets git wrapped around it to keep it insulated. It gits hot up here, but not like back in good ol' Texas

Stuff to eat with - If fingers ain't enough, git some plates and utensils. For cups, write a number on each one for a door prize so they don't git wasted and littered all over the farm

Fly discouragers - Hang clear plastic bags filled with plain water to the top; for some mysterious reason it works. Surround the food area. (Don't expect the bags to stay put after the games start)

Tables, chairs - Bales and buckets will work fine

Trash barrels, recycle barrels - Label 'em to avoid messy sortin' later

Signs for where to park - Write 'Close windows, cat territory' if y'all have curious or bad cats

Small pool for kiddies, or a water slide for anyone - Fill the pool the day before, 'specially if y'all have a well or if you want warmer swimmin' water. Warning: a gentle slope is safest for a water slide. Be sure there are no little holes for fingers and toes to git snagged up on (I'm glad I have hooves)

Small wood scraps - If y'all have a creek, save up those wood chunks and scraps from fix-up projects for a Boat Race. Put 'em in a bucket, set some crayons next to it, and tell the folks to color and ID their boats for the boat race. Set up the Start and Finish lines, drop all the boats into the creek, and let 'em float. First one to the finish line wins

Horseshoes - No picnic is complete without some good ol' Texas-sized horseshoe tossin'

Bean Bags - The safe version of horseshoes for the little ones; won't knock 'em out - down, maybe, but not out

Volleyball - In the shade of some tall trees would be about right; nobody wants to play if it gits too hot

Wiffle ball - Clear the manure out of the pasture unless slidin' is permitted

Feed sacks - No picnic is complete without sack races either. Cut some of those big ol' sacks in half for the little kids

Prizes - Anything fun that won't leave a mess or a hazard for the animals; squirt guns are a must. Have plenty to keep every size kid happy

Water balloons - Hide the fillin' station if y'all don't want the kids to "help" you

Watermelon - Seed spittin' contests (do this where y'all plan to have your melon garden next year)

Apple bobbin' - Make this tough by fillin' the tub deep so we horsies git the leftovers

Hayloft maze - Watch closely - the little ones slip through a hole somewhere every time, and then do it again and again for the thrill of the rescue

Barn dance - NO SMOKING

Butt cans - Label the coffee cans and fill halfway with sand, dirt, stones or clean cat litter; NOBODY likes to step barefoot on a hot butt, not even me

Music - Any favorite tunes, you name 'em

Camera - Whoever doesn't play has to take pictures; somebody's gotta do it!

Extras - Add your own special ingredients to suit y'all's tastes

Mix well and party for at least 8 hours. Serve as many as possible.

Kids and grown-up kids alike can have fun!


Y'all be safe,

Chef P-pot