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Packing for the Perfect Picnic!

By Darya Mead

The days are getting lighter and longer, the weather perfectly balmy. Have you noticed all the outdoor eateries sprouting up all over the city?

With the renewed vigor of spring, comes peak picnic season. Gone are the days of fancy wicker picnic baskets, checkered tablecloths and thermos’ of homemade lemonade, but I bet most of us could dig out some these items from our basement or attic. Instead, I try coming up with varied and nutritious picnic plans whether it be for a day at the beach or zoo, a hike or a trip to the park. Here are my top picks:

  • Simple sandwiches, I often go for just a thin spread of butter and a piece of ham, some salami, turkey or leftover dinner meat. Sometimes I add a piece of lettuce. My kids prefer baguettes, but whole grain bread travels well too! I don’t get too fussy or gloppy with fixing’s and condiments.
  • A big Tupperware full of cut up veggies, carrots, celery, red pepper, turnip or cucumber and maybe some tiny tomatoes.
  • Loads of fruit—grapes, berries, apples and soon stone fruits. In the winter months, small mandarins and apples are de rigueur (pears tend to get brown and smooshy).
  • Some nibblin’s, whether it be healthy chips, sunflower seeds, peanuts or pretzels.
  • Dried fruit or granola bars, if a hike is on the agenda.
  • A bar of chocolate, maybe some cookies or some kind of treat, perhaps a promise of ice cream.
  • We usually drink water, very rarely do I give in and buy juice boxes or bottled drinks.
  • Sometime I make muffins or splurge and buy small lollipops that can ‘encourage’ young hikers.
  • I also pack thermos’ filled with tea or coffee. My kids like mint tea and on a colder day it hits the spot.
  • My favorite picnic product is an IKEA thermos. My Swedish friend brings a separate travel milk container for coffee; makes a great afternoon break!

My advice, don’t get too ambitious, this isn’t the grande picnic from the 19th century French Sunday in the park, I’m talking get the kids out and about and don’t spend a fortune on food… what are some of your tricks?

Gourmet picnic flickr credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterme/

 

2 Responses to “Packing for the Perfect Picnic!”

mariJune 3rd, 2012 at 9:55 pm

little baked potatoes!! if you bake them that morning and wrap in foil, they are still warm. delish, easy, not messy, and inexpensive! hooray. thanks for your ideas.

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