The calendar on the wall is telling me that winter should be over and springtime is just around the corner. I love the warmer weather months. When the weekends come there is one pastime I love more than all others and that is the classic picnic. It just doesn’t get much better than enjoying some good food and the nature around you. My son is my favorite picnic guest. What mother doesn’t love quality time with her child?
One of the most important parts of a picnic is the blanket! You need to make sure whatever you are going to be sitting on it comfortable and plenty big enough. I like to use an old blanket I have from a King Size bed. I’m not sure as to where it came from because I don’t have one but it makes a great picnic blanket. Without a nice blanket to sit on, it just doesn’t feel like a true picnic.
Now, what is a picnic without food? For me nothing beats a classic brick of fancy cheese, some great bread, maybe a tapenade or other condiment and some wine. Sounds perfect right? For something more substantial, I would recommend mixing up a spinach salad. Simple and easy with strawberries, red onions, sliced almonds, Gorgonzola cheese and a light vinaigrette. I usually like to pack a few different types of sandwiches but I find that I turn to one in particular. It starts with a sturdy brioche roll and your favourite deli turkey (roast turkey would be excellent too). I add just a dash of mustard, lettuce, and tomato. To make things better I take some pickles vegetables and chop them very finely and place that right on top of the turkey. Delicious!
With the weather so nice I prefer to keep my meals on picnics lite. That includes the dessert portion as well so I tend to use fruit as my sweet ending to a picnic. Everyone has their own favorites but mine is this wonderful combination of clementine segments, raspberries, and blueberries. If you wanted to make your own whipped cream with some cocoa powder and peppermint extract as well that would be an amazing addition. To wash it all down I like to use a refreshing infused water. I fill my mason jars with ice and sliced fruit then fill them with water as I am about to leave. Here are a few tasty ways to stay hydrated.
You might be thinking to yourself, “How am I going to pack up all of this?” A number of people use those coolers with wheels or they go out and buy a fancy picnic basket. I find the coolers to be cumbersome and I didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money on a basket. Luckily my parents got me a Shari’s Berries gift basket last year for Mother’s Day and I’ve used it for picnics ever since. It didn’t come with a lid, but since I always bring along our favorite blanket, I just tuck it over the basket and we’re set to go!
I try to plan as many picnics as I can during the late spring and summertime. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the world around you. I have actually found that it is a great way to de-stress as well.
How often do you picnic? What are some of your favourite picnic ideas?