Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chain Livin': Boat Picnic

We live in the Northeast corner of Illinois. Milwaukee and Chicago airports are both an hour away from our house. During the winter this can be a very cold and miserable place to live. But in the summer, it's fantastic! Our town, Fox Lake, is known as "The Heart of the Chain o' Lakes".

11 lakes are connected via The Fox River.  It's one of the busiest inland waterways in the U.S..... When we first moved here, and didn't own a boat yet, we'd ask neighbors how to get to a restaurant by car. They had no clue because they only visited some restaurants by boat. 10 years later we've found ourselves in that position once or twice. Just yesterday we were driving with friends to a lunch spot we've been to by boat many times and had to remind the driver to make the turn.

Our typical boat outings on Saturday entail going somewhere for lunch, then head to Blarney Island for the afternoon band. We hardly ever just anchor somewhere and sit for hours. Why do all that work to prep the boat just to sit in the water? We had an experience that has made us change our tune.

Dave had a few days off around July 4th and was able to shop and prep. When Holly finished work for the day we loaded up the boat, moved it about 200 feet, and threw the anchor. We brought the Standup Paddle Board out and played with that for awhile. We also just sat on our noodle chairs for long periods of time in the lake, taking breaks for a few courses of a picnic dinner. The last time we picnicked on the boat was probably seven years ago to watch the July 4th fireworks. Some drunks drifted into us and caught our anchor line on their prop. That was our last fireworks trip.

First course: Shrimp cocktail kept fresh in crushed ice. At this time we were drinking New Glarus Totally Naked. That's the beer's name and not a description of our state of attire.

Time for a little more swimming. While in the water we saw our friend Bill leave his house and jump in the lake. At first we thought he was coming to join us for a drink or two. He was actually swimming out to us with a bottle of wine and a set of glasses on a tray. The wine was even uncorked. He wasn't able to hang out with us since his son, a chef at a high-end Chicago restaurant, was cooking dinner.
Perfect timing since we were having a cheese course next. We used the shredder asiago blend we already had at home to sprinkle over fig spread on a a little pizza.

Main course. Chicken with peanut dipping sauce and Thai cucumber salad.

We've always wondered how to make this and it seems the simple recipe is just equal parts sugar and rice vinegar. The recipe Dave found included jalapeƱos which added heat we don't experience at our Thai restaurants.

Dessert: homemade (can't you tell?) chocolate covered strawberries rolled in Kichiwa Pops. The Pops are cereal we brought back from Peru. These were good, but not pretty.

Now that Holly has the Standup Paddle Board we've been spending some more time after work on the lake.

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