When the weather is beautiful it seems only fitting to plan a picnic. Whether you’re heading out on a sunny day for lunch or planning a meal under the stars, here are a few simple tips to make your picnic relaxing and enjoyable.
- Plan a menu. There are no right and wrong foods to bring to a picnic but it’s certainly more convenient to plan dishes that travel well and can be made in advance. Try to avoid foods that need a lot of cutting or extra utensils. Ideally, plan finger foods and items that just need a fork. Veggie pasta salads and fruit salad are healthy examples of items that can be packed in a reusable container and easily transported. Nuts are great portable snacks to bring along. Plus, they don’t crush as easily as chips. Try these recipes:
- Do your prep work at home. Planning to chop vegetables or fruit at your picnic site can get complicated and messy. Once your food is prepared arrange your containers and beverages that need to go in a cooler together. Bringing a cooler bag or small insulated tote can make transporting your items easier. Have a separate canvas bag for dry goods and food that can be kept at room temperature.
- Skip disposable packaging if possible. It’s more environmentally friendly to bring reusable plates and cutlery. Use parchment and twine for sandwiches versus plastic wrap and throwaway containers. Cloth napkins can add colorful practicality to outdoor dining. Sustainable packaging is also an attractive way to display your foods.
- Bring a few simple supplies to be comfortable and festive. A blanket, a few throw pillows (if desired), and a small tray or wood cutting board so you have a flat surface to set cups and plates. When you arrive at your picnic area place your tray or cutting board in the middle to act as a makeshift table.
- Enjoy your surroundings. Picnics can take place anywhere. You can be in your backyard, the local park, lakefront or oceanfront. Just be sure to stop and take a moment to enjoy the people and nature surrounding you.