Entertaining

What to pack for a picnic

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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picnic basket
A collapsible picnic basket is very functional and handy
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Make a one-time checklist so you can easily whip together your picnic feast

Before you can even entertain food and beverage ideas about what to pack for a picnic, you need to have the right tools, including a picnic basket or, even better yet, an insulated picnic basket that will keep your food chilled. An insulated picnic basket is lightweight, with a waterproof interior and a drawstring top that is expandable. The frame may be made of aluminum and polyester canvas. A picnic basket that collapses when it is empty makes packing up afterward extra easy.

 

Make a list beforehand of what to pack for a picnic. Leave the list in your picnic basket so you can access it every time you plan to go on a picnic. This is your check list and will prevent you from forgetting something vitally important.

 

Put your water and drinks in collapsible bottles, which are much lighter than the hard-plastic variety. Pack your potato chips and other foods that are easily crushed in air filled zip-top bags. The air will provide a cushion and prevent the food from being crushed.

 

Even before you get to the food, there are certain items that you need to take along with you. These are the basics to pack for a picnic and outdoor living. You will need a ground cover or blanket to lounge on; spoons, forks, knives, cups, plates and bowls; serving utensils; a sharp knife. You may need a corkscrew if you are drinking wine and a can opener. Tuck salt and pepper into your picnic basket as well as condiments that you may need, such as mustard and ketchup. Take along some moist toillettes so you can wash off after eating and some trash bags to toss leftovers into. Do not forget the bug spray and toss in a citronella candle.

 



 

A good main course for your picnic is cold chicken. If you opt for sandwiches do not use mayonnaise because it can spoil in the heat. Instead, use vinegar-based spreads or salads because vinegar keeps well in your insulated picnic basket or cooler. Pastas salads are a good idea for your main course. Keep the pasta salad cool by putting it in bowl chillers. Foods that are uncooked or processed meats are apt to spoil so avoid them when deciding what to pack for a picnic.

 

Since you do not want the picnic to be an ordeal for you - if you are the chef - go with foods that can be prepared in advance, such as raw vegetables, fruit chunks, pre-made salads, sandwiches and cheese and crackers. The food should be easy to pack for a picnic, easy to transport and easy to eat.

 

Buy utensils, in advance, that are multi-purpose, which saves space. Put your drinks in a tote because this will lighten the load in your picnic basket. If you like to drink wine on your picnics, purchase a wine backpack, which makes it easy to transport the beverage.

 

When you pack a picnic basket, put the foods that will be eaten last at the bottom of your basket and the foods that will be eaten first at the top, which is logical, but sometimes we are not organized and do it the hard way. This will make it easier for you when you start unpacking the basket and serving the food.

 

Put soft foods, such as tomatoes or fruit and deviled eggs, in egg cartons or hard plastic containers so they will not get scrunched when you pack for a picnic. Sandwiches are easy to transport but make them out of sturdy bread, such as ciabatta or baguette so they do not get soggy.

  

Another excellent picnic idea entails putting sliced tomatoes topped with parsley and basil and topped with a drizzle of vinegar and oil into a plastic container. An easy picnic salad option is sliced cucumbers doused in vinegar. Pre-cut picnic foods at home because it is easier to serve small slices or pieces than it is to have to carve them while you are sitting on the ground.

 

If you have access to a grill, you can roast marshmallows or make S-mores with graham crackers and chocolate. This simple favorite of girl scouts, boy scouts and campers is a great dessert option when deciding what to pack for a picnic.

 

Do not cook your food part-way before going on the picnic and then finish cooking it over an open fire once you have arrived at the picnic spot because the half-cooked food is ripe for bacterial invasion while in transit to the locale.

 

Remember that when you pack for a picnic the food does not have to be swanky and complicated. For a romantic summer picnic, a pretty blanket, cheese and bread, an apple and some wine and you are set.

 

References:
MyRecipes.com
iVillage.com: party ideas

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