Summer is not quite over until we’ve had a proper picnic. We all know that we need to pack food, drinks and a blanket to make a picnic work, but there are a few things you can do to make it headache-free. Here are a few tricks & tips to make your picnic perfect.
Bugs Be Gone While the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “picnic” is food on a blanket, the last thing you think about is bugs. They love food as much as you do. Before you leave the house to go on your picnic, spray the underside of your picnic blanket with insect repellent so bugs don’t sneak up on you while you’re enjoying your meal al fresco. When you get to your destination, use bug repellent wipes on your skin rather than spray so it doesn’t get into your food.
Embrace Your Individuality Pack individual meals rather than bringing one big dish of everything. It’s more convenient to have everything already served for many reasons — fewer utensils, fewer dishes, less mess at your destination. This doesn’t mean you have to pack your sandwich and sides into one container; sides can go in smaller containers for individuals. If they’re stackable and sealable, cleanup is a snap.
Keep It Safe Food and travel don’t mix very well, so you have to make sure to make food that doesn’t spoil easily. Steer clear of items made with eggs and dairy — without proper refrigeration, they spoil quickly. That means if you’re going to make salad or pasta salad, make sure the dressing is vinegar-based. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo all cheese — hard cheeses can be left at room temperature for extended periods. If you are set on bringing a summer staple like deviled eggs, make sure you have insulated totes to keep them cold. For extra protection, freeze a few water bottles for the bottom of your basket or tote. They’ll keep things cool without making a wet mess and you’ll have a few extra cold beverages.
Brisk Beverages While eating room temperature food on a hot summer day is expected, room temperature drinks is not. Unlike water, you can’t freeze soda, beer or wine, but you can use your frozen water bottles to keep your other beverages cold. Make sure to bring along double-wall tumblers — they come with lids and straws to protect your drink from bugs and the double walls protect your drink from the heat of your hand!
Don’t Forget Your Cutting Board Even if you don’t have anything to cut on your picnic, bring a cutting board. Big or small, there will be a point when you need a hard, even surface and a blanket on the grass won’t cut it. It gives you a spot to put your drink or even a plate of food without worrying about everything ending up on the ground or on your blanket. It also takes a lot of the awkward out of eating without a table and chairs.
The Lakeside Collection knows a little something about entertaining. Whether it’s a picnic in the park for two or a barbecue for 30 people, look to Lakeside for entertaining ideas, inspiration and products.