June 18 – It’s International Picnic day;
a perfect summer day to spread out a blanket and share the universe with nature. Clearly a holiday created by an inhabitant of the Northern Hemisphere, but still a day that can be fun even if you spread a blanket on the livingroom floor! And since it’s a weekday this year, why not pack your lunch and have a picnic for one in the park on your lunch break? During Victorian times, the picnic was a way to escape the formalities of every day life and relax a little. And it is for this reason the picnic fair of today is portable, easy to eat, and completely unrestrictive.
Here are some ideas to pack in your picnic basket so you can go out and commune with the outdoors.
First you need a basket. Something large enough to pack the food, utensils, paper plates, cups and napkins, a BIG blanket to sit on, and games and/or books.
Lets start with a beverage. Iced tea is portable and easy to make. Put it together the night before and chill off a drink cooler. When you pack it, pour it into the cooler, add some ice and pack the paper cups!
You’re going to need a cooler larger enough to hold the food and a block of ice. Keep anything with meat or eggs positioned on or next to the block of ice in the cooler. Vegetables, cheeses, or vinegar based items can sit closer to the sides of the cooler.
The main dish is easiest with a cold sandwich – like a muffaletta or a New Jersey sloppy joe. Make it up ahead and cut it into single portions. Wrap it well and pack it. I like to pack all my items in re-usable containers.
Side dishes are next. You can put vegetable sticks in mason jars with ranch in the bottom. Ready to eat! Other great sides are a summer fresh Pasta Salad and Caprese Skewers. Pickled eggs pack well and are great with a handful of pretzel sticks.
Ah. Now that your tummy is full and you’re relaxed, how about dessert? What else would you have on a June day? Fresh strawberries – sweet and delicious.
So go on and pack your basket. It’s time for a picnic!
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