Picnics are a great way to enjoy the outdoors while sharing a meal with family or friends. At one point, the act seemed to be forgotten, but with the resurgence of required outdoor dining and gatherings, a picnig might be just what you need.
Start with the Perfect Blanket
While it it easy to grab any blanket from your linen closet, spring brings a variety of weather and the ground may still be damp from the latest storm. If you plan to picnic often, invest in a waterproof outdoor or picnic blanket. There are many options that offer a waterproof backing so that dampness will not soak through and many also offer a wipe clean finish on top for any spills.
Select the Food
A picnic can be as basic or as complex as you wish. Depending on the attendees, the menu will likely change. For picnicking with small children, pack in bento box style containers so that each child’s sandwich and snacks are all contained in one package. Older children and adults will do well with separate items. Sandwiches are a “go-to,” but spice them up a bit! Try flavored cream cheese, turkey, and spinach as a change to your traditional turkey and cheese. Pimento cheese is also an excellent addition to most types of sandwiches. Spread a mix of cream cheese and dill and top with sliced cucumbers for a fresh, crisp spring treat.
Prepare the Sides
Fresh fruit is a great option for a picnic. Be sure to wash and prepare all fruit before you pack it. No one wants to peel an orange or toss strawberry tops off the blanket. Gourmet cheeses and crackers pair nicely with fruit and can often be purchased pre-sliced. Charcuterie boards are hard to transport and assemble during a picnic, but many vendors now sell to-go charcuterie boxes. Pasta salads are a popular choice as well, but will need to be nicely chilled before packing and serving. These will require you to bring plates as well as utensils for serving and eating.
Plan Some Extra Fun
If you have the time, make an afternoon out of your picnic. Bring a ball to play catch, or eat near a park so the kids can play after eating. Bring a book and relax while enjoying the outdoors. Invite another family or friends to join you at the park with their own picnic blanket and fixings. These are the days we must get creative in order to stay in touch with friends and family.