Back in the day, in the first decade or two of FIBArk, which started in 1949, it was common for people to pack a picnic lunch and take the train along the downriver race route on the river to watch the race. At points along the river passengers were able to disembark and observe the progress.

The train doesn’t exist anymore, but boating fans can still pack a picnic lunch and watch the race, so with the 71st annual race coming up this weekend, we’re offering some “take-along” picnic items you can enjoy while observing the river events.

When taking salads and sandwiches for a picnic, remember to always keep them cool or hot, whichever is appropriate, and eat within an hour or two of preparation to avoid food poisoning, especially if the weather is hot.


Reuben in a Tortilla

  • Thousand Island dressing
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut (drained)

Spread the dressing on the tortillas and top each tortilla with corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. Drizzle with more dressing and then roll the tortillas up like a jelly roll. Place the sandwiches, seam side down, in a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Heat through, turning once. Serve with remaining dressing unless you’re taking them along, in which case wrap with aluminum foil to keep warm and take a little dressing along for the side.


Chicken Salad


  • 10 ounces cooked chicken (can be leftover or canned)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Mix and spread on bread of your choice.


Quick Small-Batch

Potato Salad

  • 1 (14½-ounce can) sliced new potatoes
  • 1 large stalk of celery, sliced diagonally
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped (or substitute onion salt)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika to taste
  • Mayonnaise to taste (about ½ cup)

Combine everything but the mayonnaise in a bowl. Add mayonnaise until everything is sufficiently moistened. Place in a plastic take-along container and refrigerate for at least an hour. Keep cool until serving time.


Macaroni and

Vegetable Salad

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • ¾ cup Italian dressing
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup shredded carrot
  • ¾ cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 slices of bacon, crumbled (or ¼ cup bacon bits)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni in boiling water and drain. Combine macaroni, dressing, vegetables and cheese in a bowl. Toss to combine. Add sour cream, bacon or bacon bits, salt and pepper. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. (If chilling overnight you may want to add the sour cream, bacon, salt and pepper just before serving.)



Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1½ cups gluten-free pancake and waffle mix (I prefer Pamela’s or King Arthur)
  • 1 tablespoon of any regular gluten-free flour mix with no added leavening (for Salida’s elevation)
  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the baking mix and tablespoon of gluten-free flour. (The tablespoon of flour can be eliminated if baking at sea level or much lower elevations). Mix well. Add the chocolate chips and nuts. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon measure, drop dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Place on a paper towel to cool. Makes about 2 dozen.



  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 4 well-beaten eggs
  • 4 squares melted chocolate
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 11/3 cups flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1½ cup nuts

Combine sugar and shortening. Beat in eggs. Add the flour, salt, milk and vanilla. Add the chocolate and nuts last. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes in a jelly roll pan or, if you prefer thicker brownies, in a 13-by-9-inch cake pan. When cool frost with Thin Chocolate Icing (recipe follows).


Thin Chocolate Icing

  • 2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons boiling water.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Add the sugar and boiling water and beat until of spreading consistency.