The good weather is here. Time to move the meals outside to take advantage of sunny skies and barefoot dining. Many people find the entire process of picnicking relaxing and hassle free, contrary to what they've imagined. Here are a few tips to make your picnic awesome.
1. Choose a park/beach/rooftop that permits the hard stuff. This information can usually be found on your local government's website. If your desired location doesn't permit alcohol, it only takes a little creativity.
- Mineral water bottles and twist-top lemonade cartons make for terrific canteens.
- Collapsable camping cups and decorative paper coffee cups are very subtle.
- DO NOT use red solo cups unless you'll also be posting a sign that says, "Hooch Sold Here."
- To avoid dealing with wine openers, it's a good excuse to use screw top wine bottles (picnics are no place for snobbery).
- Sports stores sell these thermos water bottle things that will transport a batch of cocktails or sangria on the down low, and serve 6-10.
2. Select an array of yummies. This is not the time to pick up a couple of subways and a few bags of chips. It is the perfect moment to pack a collection of foods with different textures, colors, and flavors, and that require a little on-the-spot-preparation. Here are some of our favorites:
- Salami log, a brick of cheddar cheese, and a package of mini toasted crackers
- Half a baguette of bread and several jars of pasta spreads like pesto, sun dried tomato, and eggplant
- Grapes, cherries, and blueberries (these fruits travel well)
- Dried fruit and mixed nuts (cranberries soaked in pomegranate juice combined with almonds and cashews is the best)
- Pre-made tabouli or quinoa salads
- Organic chocolate bars with something delicious in the mix like pistachios or caramel
3. Bring an activity. The meal itself is the main activity, but once all the food is gone it's nice to have a reason to stay outside just a little longer, especially if you are smart and always bring an extra bottle of wine. Some choices could be:
- The day's crossword puzzle
- Books to read (classics are romantic)
- Sketch pads and pencils
- A chess or checker board (sorry- apps don't count)
- Bubbles (depending on how much you've imbibed)
- A solo journal entry from each picnicker to read only at the beginning of the next picnic
With a little planning, you'll find that picnics are no hassle at all and way better then simply sitting outside at a restaurant. You may also decide that picnicking should become a regular weekend activity.