Nothing quite captures the spirit of summer quite like a picnic, be it a humble feast on a tabletop in the local park, a gourmet basket in the middle of a field, or a blanket on the beach as the sun goes down. Opulent or simple? It does not really make a difference; eating any sort of meal outside is fantastic since it brings together two of the most enjoyable aspects of life: food and the natural world.
We put together some top tips to help you organize, procure, and host a picnic, as well as incorporate al fresco dining into your summertime way of life. So, tell us, what exactly are you waiting for? Gather your friends and family, for it is time to celebrate the season outside.
Take a cooler and ice packs!
Even while bringing a picnic basket is almost always a good idea, you should also bring a cooler or two to ensure that everything stays at the appropriate temperature. The cooler should be insulated, and some frozen ice packs should be added. When transporting goods that need to be kept cold in a cooler, it is important to ensure that the meals have previously been refrigerated and that the cooler contains a sufficient amount of ice or ice packs.
TIP: Bigger ice packs or pieces of ice will maintain their frozen state for a longer period of time.
Find a position in the shade, or at least a spot with enough shade to keep the cooler there, in order to ensure that the contents inside remain colder for a longer period of time.
Of course, you can also choose just to bring non-perishable foods. I have some ideas for those in my blog post on healthy non-perishable foods.
Plan where you will sit.
Bring a picnic tablecloth and a blanket with you. Even if there are picnic tables nearby, you should still bring a tablecloth with you just in case they are too old or unclean to use. Alternatively, you may put the tablecloth down on the ground and enjoy a picnic there instead.
What food to take
It goes without saying that the culinary masterpieces that you bring out of your picnic basket need to be the stars of the show. Nevertheless, it can be challenging to decide what to include on your packing list.
Picnics are fun, but the clean up afterwards and dealing with sticky fingers or soiled clothes isn’t, so try to stick to items that can easily be cut up, shared, or split up with others. You might also choose to not cut anything at all and instead go for tasty goodies that are cut into bite-sized pieces that are suitable for everyone.
Picnics are meant to be laid back and the host should be able to enjoy themselves just as much as their guests, so make sure you provide a buffet spread that you can lay out and dig into. Find out how to make zaatar bread and take some of that, along with some simple salads and finger foods. See if you can make sure to pack some nutrient-rich food that contains fiber, protein, healthy fat, and vitamins and minerals.
What are your top tips for the perfect summer picnic this year?