Despite popular belief, one does not need fancy matching accessories to enjoy a wonderfully elegant picnic experience... though a perfectly appointed picnic basket is always nice!
When planning your picnic, you need to gather some simple things from around your home to ensure that you will be able to dine in comfort. The first item you'll need is a picnic blanket if you will be eating on the ground or a tablecloth if you will be using a table for your meal. Keep in mind that you'll want something that you'll be able to clean easily. Some stores even sell beautiful blankets that are backed with plastic to keep moisture at bay. In addition, select a large and strong basket (or two) to hold all of the things you'll need on your picnic.
After choosing a blanket or tablecloth and a basket to use on your picnic, you'll need to consider the tableware you'd like to bring. Before choosing whether you want to use paper products, washable plastic, or even china on your picnic, you need to decide the type of picnic you are planning to host. Pack forks, knives spoons, plates, cups, bowls, etc. Don't forget the need for serving pieces: large spoons or forks, tongs, a sharp knife, and serving dishes. It is also imperative to remember napkins, paper towels, can and bottle opener, corkscrew, cutting board, salt and pepper, sugar, ziplock bags for leftovers, a trash bag, wipes, and beverages. If you plan on grilling, you'll also need: a grill (if one is not provided in your picnicking spot), charcoal and wood chips, fire starter or lighter fluid, matches and/or a lighter, barbecue tongs, meat fork and spatula, baking soda for fire safety, an apron, and oils, seasonings or other ingredients to create the recipes you plan on preparing.
Once you've collected all of the things you'll need on your picnic, it is time to plan your menu!
There are several sites that have pages dedicated to recipes perfect for picnics. Be sure to choose dishes that travel well and will be enjoyable to your guests. FabulousFoods.com has an entire page suggesting various menus that you can prepare and bring on your picnic.
Choosing a location is the final step in planning your picnic. Though you can always select an unusual venue to enjoy your meal, stand-bys include parks, the beach, a playground, a meadow, the woods, a stone wall, etc.
Once you've collected your picnicking materials, prepared the food you plan to bring, and selected your location, your picnic should go off without a hitch! Schedule some time to enjoy this fun and relaxing activity with your family this spring and summer!
Breath of Spring, L. Diane Johnson