Summer picnics are fun. Make the most of your picnic by following these easy tips to ensure a delightful gathering with minimum stress. Remember the golden rule: keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
Remember the basics
It would be a pity to not drink the wine you brought along on your picnic. Don't forget to pack a corkscrew and bottle opener for your beers. Also, remember to pack serving spoons for your dishes.
Keep it clean
Pack extra napkins, hand wipes and garbage bags so clean up will be a breeze.
Don't over do it
Picnics should be a simple affair with plenty of good food and ease of preparation. Streamline your packing so that you are only bringing along the essentials. Opt for a cooler in a bag versus a heavy plastic cooler (unless you have a pair of extra hands to help).
Reusable silicone leaf plates by Neo Tamura
Plates, Cups and Utensils
Disposable plates, cups and utensils are a quick fix. If you want to minimize waste, bring along durable acrylic plates, cups and utensils. Pack them in the same bag you'll use to carry them home.
Keeping Things Cold
An easy way of cooling drinks and foods is to freeze plastic bottles of water and keep them in your cooler. This way you also have ice cold water to drink as the bottles thaw.
Photo by Shira Gal/Flickr
Go For Foods That Can Sit Out
Minimize any possibility of food poisoning by preparing foods that can sit at room temperature for one or two hours. This means packing salads in a vinaigrette. A quick and easy recipe: blanch green beans in salted boiling water, drain, sautee with garlic, red chili flakes and chopped scallions. Add peanuts or almonds and you're all set.
Other great picnic take alongs are: a cheese board, fruit preserves, loaves of bread, grilled corn, nuts and lots of fresh fruit. Here are some easy picnic recipes from Fine Dining Lovers:
Gazpacho (keep cold in a thermos)
New Potatoes With Parsley (without the tuna dip)
Fried Cauliflower with Saffron (keeps well at room temperature)
Eggplant Caponata (keeps well at room temperature)
English Apple Pie (keeps well at room temperature)
Rose And Lychee Cupcakes (pack the icing separately)