You can feel the summer heat on the breeze, as the sun is warm. It’s a good idea to take advantage of summer’s warmth, and what better way to do this than with informal alfresco eating. A picnic is a great way to spend quality time with your family and friends. It is easy to organize and you can relax while enjoying good food and good company.
Although 2020 is not a great year, we can still save summer by hosting a socially distant picnic at the local park, beach, or even on your own green lawn or patio.
Let’s face it, picnics are not always a pleasant memory. Sometimes, even the best laid plans didn’t work out as planned. We were forced to hide under a tree when it rained, or when there was a buzz of bees trying to get a piece of the cake.
You need to consider all possibilities when planning a picnic. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t rain, or that wasps won’t gather around your sweets or jam pot, but with some thought you can set up the perfect picnic.
The first thing to do is check the weather forecast. From making sure you have sun cream to a brolly for just-in-there-are-showers, knowing what the weather forecast means you are prepared, no matter what the weather throws at you. You can also plan for the hottest weather with this innovative water cooler. This allows you to chill out while you eat, and allows you to share your picnic friends’ plans.
To keep us all safe, social distancing and guidelines have been put in place. This means that you can enjoy a wonderful picnic without worrying about germs and viruses. You should check the guidelines in the area where you’re visiting. There may be differences with local lock downs, etc.
However, you may choose to have your picnic at your home or in your garden. This is perfectly fine. Follow local rules for socializing during these odd times and ensure that everyone is informed.
PLAN THE MENU
A picnic is only about the food. While the great company, games, and fun are all welcome, your delicious menu must be both filling and delicious.
Most people contribute to the food. However, it is important that you inform your guests if there are any vegetarians, vegans, or anyone with intolerance. To prevent cross-contamination, you will need to separate some foods and use different utensils.
A traditional picnic menu would consist of sandwiches, snacks, and cake. There is nothing wrong with this recipe except that it has been repeated over and over again. Here are some ways to change up the traditional picnic menu.
Sandwich fillings should not leave bread soggy. Cut sandwiches into delicate pieces. To avoid delicate flavours being overshadowed, arrange them in separate containers.
The flavour of your sandwich will be enhanced if you use a high-quality bread or roll. No matter what bread or roll you choose, ensure they are portable.
Great sandwich fillings include:
Turkey with brie and cranberry sauce – Serve it on the side
You can grate strong cheese and add artisan condiments like pickle or chilli jam to it
Tuna and spring onion – A delicious combination. For moistness, you can add a little mayonnaise.
Jackfruit and BBQ Sauce – Slice the jackfruit like you would pork, and then add BBQ sauce to make a vegan-friendly sandwich.
Once you have your sandwiches prepared, it’s time to think about savory snacks that will complement the flavors of your sandwiches.
It’s difficult to choose where to begin when there are so many options.
- Devled eggs These elevate the humble boiled egg. When eggs are cold, hard boil them. Once they have cooled, cut in half and scoop out the yoke. Mix the yolk with 1 teaspoon mayonnaise, flavourings like mustard, chilli, or tabasco. Add the yolk paste to the egg white container and sprinkle with chopped chives or paprika. Place each half of the egg in a paper bun box and transport in a sealed container.
- Crudites and hummus – This delicious dip is great for long summer days. It’s quick and easy to make using this handy cutter (chop chop!
- Use iceberg lettuce to make pulse salads . Instead, use a vegetable or grain base for a healthier salad. Couscous has a lot of flavour. You can also serve cooked pasta with watercress, tomatoes and other summer vegetables and fruits. This Nicer Dish Set makes it easy to chop and serve the entire dish in one bowl.
- Pastry parcels are made by simply cooking your favorite mix of vegetables, then seasoning it well before putting it in filo pastry cases. After baking in a moderate oven, cool and then slip into your picnic hamper. These parcels can also be filled with chicken or turkey. You can be as creative as you want with the fillings. For example, try ham and peas in light cheese sauce or cooked beef with stilton.
- Potato crisps– While they are delicious, they can become a little boring after a while. When you want something more savory to eat, nuts (and seeds such as pumpkin) are a great option.
You don’t have to eat a sweet treat while at a picnic. There are many options for sweet treats, including cheesecake and cake.
- Cupcakes – A great idea for picnics. You can store cupcakes in plastic containers, and then pass them around to your assembled picnickers.
- Victoria sponge – Sometimes, the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. If there is ever a cake that looks great at a picnic it would be a Victoria sponge. You can add more decadence by adding whipped cream or jam.
- Scones – Another old favorite that never goes out-of-fashion is the humble fruit scone, with jam & cream or cream & jam? You can also enjoy sweet treats at your picnic.
The setting is just as important as sitting around a dining table. The presentation of the food adds an extra touch to it. This doesn’t mean you have to haul everything all the way from your home for a picnic.
- You should have reusable, plastic-lidded containers for picnics. These containers are great for transporting food and trash to the picnic. You can also opt for stretchy silicone covers to prevent spillage.
- If you plan to sit on the ground, a picnic blanket is essential. As the main platform for your food, choose a sturdy table cover.
- For picnics in summer, lightweight plastic plates, cutlery, and tumblers work well. To create a colorful backdrop for your food, choose ones that are the same colour and style.
And there are some other must-not-forget-ideas too:
- Coolers are great for keeping drinks and food cool, but don’t open them too often or they will lose the chilliness some foods require to stay edible.
- Cooling blocks can also be a great investment, which you will use for your summer picnics for many years. To keep your food from getting too hot, freeze the night before.
- Don’t forget condiments. You don’t have to keep glass jars. Instead, you can transfer the sauce or condiment into a plastic container with a lid. Label them!
- Bring ‘rubbish’ bags. Don’t leave anything behind. Not even food you think wildlife will enjoy. There’s a good chance that wasps and rats will eat the food you leave behind. Use plastic bags to bag your trash and recycle.
- Serviettes and napkins are great to have. You can use napkins as placemats, and keep serviettes handy to clean up spills.
- For any emergency, always keep anti-bac gel and face masks on hand.
Cool drinks are a great way to wash down your picnic. There are many options.
- Citrus drinks Cool and refreshing, chilled water overnight in the refrigerator with slices and wedges from citrus fruits like lemons and limes gives it a pleasant and refreshing taste.
- Fruit juices: Add seasonal fruit to fizzy water, lemonade or other drinks for a refreshing drink.
- Wine A light rose or white wine is refreshing for picnics. You should not drive and you must also check the local laws regarding alcohol consumption in parks or public areas. Some councils enforce these.
TRANSPORTING FOODS AND DRINKS TO YOUR PICNIC
Beyond deciding what food and beverages to eat, the biggest problem is getting it all to your picnic location.
The simplest solutions are the best.
- Backpack Carrying heavy bags puts stress on your arms and shoulders, but a spacious backpack packed with goodies will make it feel light.
- A Trondler – This is a basket with wheels and a handle that can be used to carry your picnic food, especially if you’re walking on flat ground.
- Canvas bags Large canvas shopper bags are great for carrying large plastic containers laden with delicious picnic food.
You’ll all be satisfied with the food you’ve eaten and the sun shining high above the sky. But, as everyone starts to feel more awake, entertainment is a great way to make the most of your remaining time.
Part of the enjoyment of a picnic is playing games. You could, for example:
- You could organize a scavenger hunting –create an itinerary for your guests. This could be used to help them find the perfect picnic spot.
- Frisbee and balls – Again, sometimes the most simple entertainment solution can be the best. Anything from catching Frisbee to playing ‘piggy-in-the-middle’ to a game of rounders or football (if you have the space).
- Take a hike to find the perfect spot for your picnic
- Sunset Picnic – Why not organize a sunset picnic or an evening picnic so you can all watch the sun set…