There’s no doubt about it — summer is officially here. The blue skies and the sun’s rays invite us to linger on the green grasses. We bring our blankets, a good book to read or a ball to throw around the park. And before you know it, you’re hungry!
Eating outside should not be a stressful event. Anything eaten outside under a tree, on the beach or in your backyard always seems to taste better, merely because it’s, well… outside.
Planning is key to keeping this day as stress-free as possible — remember, family fun is the most important part of the day! Here is a guide to help you pack up quickly and stay out longer.
Getting ready to picnic
Prep work at the beginning of the summer season goes a long way for spontaneous outdoor eating.
- The essentials – lightweight, re-sealable food containers, plates, cutlery, napkins, glasses, and an extra bag for garbage (to keep our parks clean and free from unwanted animals)
- A blanket – obvious, but not one you want to forget!
- A good travel bag. – whether it’s a cooler, beach bag or backpack, make sure it fits all your essentials.
- A list of foods that you, your family and friends like so you can put a picnic together without having to do too much running around at the last minute.
- Ice! Critical for keeping food and drinks cool.
The Gourmet Picnic-er
This picnic is as easy as heading to your favourite cheesemonger. They will always have a great assortment of cheeses and a smattering of accoutrements. Select a few different kinds of cheeses, meats, pickles and olives, and crackers or a baguette.
If you can get your hands on your favourite roasted nuts and really good chocolate, that would round out the spread. To dress this picnic up, add linen napkins, fancy cutlery, a beautiful wood board as a platter for the food, a soft blanket and a few pillows. And of course, a good drink served in champagne flutes!
The Family Picnic
Pinwheels are fun mini-wraps that will keep kids going all day, and are just as good for adults too. Anything you would put in a wrap will work in a pinwheel. Pinwheel ideas for kids: peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, tuna, egg salad, the list is endless!
When it comes to dessert, keep it simple. If you can, homemade cookies are always a hit but there’s a bounty of fresh, ripe fruits in season at this time. In addition to food, activities are the main stay of the family picnic. Make sure to load up on balls, frisbees, and games for kids of all ages!
Take a flat tortilla and spread your favourite mixture all over the round. Roll the tortilla into a log. Cut the roll into 2cm sections – and that’s it. Store in a container.
The Hiker Picnic
Being out in nature, especially in the sun, really fuels the appetite. For this kind of eating, you will want to pay attention to your food containers (you don’t want to be carrying around heavy glass containers on a 20 km hike). Consider foods that provide good calories to keep you strong. And don’t forget to bring plenty of water!