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Let's protest the heat with an indoor picnic


     As you know, because I complain about it so much, one of my pet peeves is Madison Avenue PR firms that think this is the nicest time of year, weatherwise, for the whole country. Now it has been decreed that Saturday is the date for the Great American Backyard Campout. The idea is to keep you at home so you don’t use gas.

     But for Florida, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, at least, that’s like promoting skinny dipping in Minnesota in January.

     In protest, I’m declaring Saturday the day for the Great American Indoor Campout. Or, I guess, Campin.

     I’ve devised an indoor cookout. Or in. Recipes for outdoors foods cooked in your 68-degree kitchen. I made this a week or so ago, and it was a hit.

     First, indoor barbecued ribs. You sear some ribs on all sides, cover them with dark beer with a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of nutmeg and simmer them slowly for an hour. Then you slather them with your favorite barbecue sauce and put them under the broiler long enough to caramelize.

     Second, potato salad. Simmer two pounds of potatoes for 20 minutes, cool, peel, cut up and slather with a cup of mayo and half a cup of sour cream. Add a 3-ounce jar of that pretty orange salmon roe caviar, mix and garnish with chopped scallions.

     Corn on the cob: Easy. Cover ears of corn with cool water, bring to a simmer, turn off and wait 10 minutes. Done.

Rosaregale_2      Dessert: Watermelon as usually served is too messy for indoors. So, instead, you take a baller to carve out watermelon balls, mix in some chopped mint, put them in large martini glasses and cover with ice-cold champagne or sparkling wine. Even better, use a sweet, red sparkling wine like the Italian bubbly called Brachetto d'Acqui, maybe a Rosa Regale by Banfi.

     What to drink with all this? More of that icy cava. Maybe a nice Freixenet Cordon Negro, at about $10 a bottle.

     It’s a guaranteed hit. And you didn’t break a sweat.

     Winefriends, do you have a good indoor picnic recipe? Send it in. Click on the “comments” icon below. And tell us what to drink with it.


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