Growing up in Europe, Sundays were a big deal. No work, no obligations, no distractions, just pure unfiltered downtime with your loved ones. I always envisioned my adult life centered around this magical day-long pause where the hours seem to linger a little bit longer and you really take the time to be present before Monday comes rushing in.
Living close to the beach here in San Diego gives us the opportunity to gather with friends out in nature and watch the waves crash while we prepare meals together. As the sun goes down and the stars begin to peak out one by one, we light a bonfire and put the finishing touches on the feast. Sometimes, our gatherings are quite large with 20 - 30 friends. Other times, like last night, we threw it together last minute with an intimate group of 6 of us. For larger gatherings, I typically pre-make a Paella and bring it down to the beach, that's a perfect way to feed a hungry crowd. (and side note: fun fact paella rice "bomba rice" is gluten-free)
Last night, we went with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses to snack on, then grilled a locally-caught whole octopus and roasted potatoes + veggies over an open flame. We sipped on a special elixir of fresh squeezed grapefruit, beet, and lemon juice with a splash of Pellegrino. I woke up this Monday morning with so much peace, love, and gratitude in my heart. So much so that I'm convinced this will make our world a better place. Less separation, less distractions, more human connections.
Summer is nearly here and the weather is starting to get perfect for dining al fresco. Here's my challenge to you: choose a Sunday, gather all your friends, set a theme, pick an awesome outdoor location, have everyone contribute a dish, and make it happen! You will get addicted to these gatherings like me and my friends are, I promise!
Sunday Picnic Checklist
long table // 8 big blankets // outdoor throw pillows // bottles of wine and sparkling water // mason jars // serving ladle // cutting board // good knives with blade covers // lemons // guacamole // tongs for the bbq // big serving spoons // biodegradable plates // forks + knives // bonfire pit // charcoal // lighter fluid // starter log // firewood // extra sweaters and socks to stay cozy after sunset
All photography taken by our beautiful creative friend Rozy, aka Rozanne Edwards Media.