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Rainy Day Picnic

By Paula Deen

They say April showers bring May flowers, but down here in Savannah, we get rain just about every day in spring and summer, so those April showers turn into May showers, June showers—you get the picture. While it’s great for my garden and grass, it can put a damper on any outdoor plans I’ve made with my Jack, Matty, Henry, John, and Sully. One of my favorite activities to move inside on a rainy afternoon is a picnic—a little rain certainly won’t stop that fun!

The boys like to help their Ginny in the kitchen, so we’ll prepare some sandwiches, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, fruit, lemonade, and the most delicious chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever tasted. Then we’ll load it up into our picnic basket all the same and Jack will carry it out to the living room, where we’ve pushed the furniture out of the way. We lay out a big ol’ blanket in the middle of the room, and start unpacking our fare.

After everything is laid out, we load up our plates with all sorts of goodness, and talk and laugh and, of course, eat. It’s the best time to talk to the boys and find out their latest interests and adventures, what they’re learning, and just to be together.

Honestly, I just don’t know who loves these rainy day picnics more—the boys or me. What I do know is that I’m cherishing all these moments I get with them while they’re still little. What are your favorite ways to spend time with little ones on a rainy spring afternoon?

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.