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Exploring Montana: My Favorite Picnic Food

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

Coming from an outfitting family, I spent most of my time as a child outdoors. In the fall, my Dad would go away for hunting season in the backcountry at a camp just a day's ride through Yellowstone National Park and beyond its border.

In the early fall, Mom would take us up to the trailhead to meet him bringing hunters out or picking up new hunters and groceries. Those pictures of me in the last Montana Fun Fact were from just such a trip when my Grandma was with us.

One of my favorite parts of those trips was when Mom would pack a picnic lunch and stop along the way to show us her favorite parts of the Park from wild animals to the petrified tree.

During the summer, we would often gather at my Grandparents' house to have cookouts down by the fire with friends and neighbors. There, my Grandpa would make his special potatoes. If it were a special occasion, everyone would take turns holding down the old-fashioned ice cream maker and turning the crank.

Here are my 7 Favorite Picnic Foods:

1. Cold Fried Chicken

Honestly, I think I like cold fried chicken better than the hot kind! It's especially good when it's homemade, but for more spontaneous picnics we would pick up a bucket at Albertson's grocery store. (not an endorsement)

2. Classic Macaroni Salad

Again, homemade is always the best! However, picking up your favorite brand from the nearest grocery store always works too!

3. Homemade Fruit Salad

I've had too many gross store-bought fruit salads to make this an either/or choice. If you have to skip the fruit salad for spontaneity so be it! Besides my Mom makes the best fruit salad there is and no she won't share her recipe. 😂

4. Grandpa's Campfire Potatoes

Recipe stinginess is a catching disease so I won't be able to give the secrets of this delicious treat away either! All I know is there are definitely potatoes and bacon in this one. This is one of those recipes you have to make over the campfire for it to taste just right!

5. Potato Chips & Vegetable Dip

Now this one is great even for an afternoon snack. It just takes a container of sour cream and a packet of vegetable mix. Scoop up that deliciousness on a potato chip and you're ready to go!

6. Pink Lemonade

What would a picnic be without a summery beverage? When camping we'll trade out the pink lemonade for Tang or Purple Koolaide... the main goal is to ingest as much cool liquid sugar as humanly possible!

7. Old-fashioned Homemade Ice Cream (Tutti Frutti)

Old-fashioned Ice Cream, in my opinion, is a quickly dying art. You see those battery-powered "old-fashioned" ice cream machines in the store now that supposedly do all the cranking for you. 🙄 You haven't earned your dessert with those ridiculous things! True old-fashioned ice cream is a family project best described as a labor of love. My favorite flavor is Tutti Frutti which basically consists of a bunch of different finely diced fruit.

Please note that usually you would fill the ice all the way to the brim of the bucket and add sea salt... my sister arrived with more ice shortly after I shot this clip.

What are your favorite foods for picnics? Does your family have secret recipes? What road trip snacks you can't live without?

Thank you, fellow adventurers! You can follow the lilmissbearpaw blog page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilmissbearpaw for sneak peeks into upcoming posts and my adventures. This will also be a great place to share your own adventures!

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