Warm weather is here and whether you are in the mountains or the seashore, chances are you will be going on a picnic before the weather turns cold. If you have little kids, picnics are a great way to include them in the party. You don't have to worry about spills or breakage or someone knocking over grandmother's antique vase!
Picnics are fun for adults too and they are a great and economical way to entertain, but it takes a lot of organization, a different kind of organization. You don't have to worry about polishing the silver or ironing the cocktail napkins, but you do have to worry about making sure you pack everything that will be needed for a successful event off site. Here you don't have the alternative of running into the kitchen to get something you forgot. If it didn't come with you, you are stuck. So sit down and make a list and above all else, make your life simple and plan a stress free menu. You will be a happier camper (pun intended)
The Rules of the Game
1. Make sure you choose a place that you know will be available. If you are not picnicking on your property, make sure you make a reservation, if needed. You don't want to get there and find your idyllic spot taken.
2. Make sure there is some shade. I, for one, do not like to eat in the sun.
3. If there are no restrooms nearby, make sure you bring plenty of TP and PTs!
4. If you have an "older" crowd, make sure you provide some kind of seating. Camping foldout chairs are great to have for any occasion. They vary from chic to just plan useful and comfortable, take your pick!
5. Have an alternate plan, what happens if it rains????
6. If possible, get to the site ahead of your guests, that way you will be all set up when they arrive.
7. Bring plenty of blankets if you are sitting on the grass.
8. Plan an easy menu, one that will taste great if served room temperature. Finger foods are ideal.
9 Offer wine or beer or both. Soda and plenty of water are a must. That's it, don't complicate your life.
10. Bring plenty of ice!!
11. No matter how informal, use a cotton table cloth and napkins. Bring paper napkins also if serving fried chicken or ribs!
12. Forget paper plates and invest in melamine or tin plates. You can find inexpensive ones at Target!
13. I like to use my stainless steel, just hate those plastic forks and knives, the food tastes yucky.
14. I'll leave the glasses to you, but if you are serving wine or champagne, there is nothing like glass. You can always bring plastic for the young set.
15. Pay a visit to the Container Store or Target, they have great things to cart and serve your food in that will make your life easier.
16. Don't forget to bring bug repellent and a basic first aid box
takeout boxes, The Container Shop
Takeout Cartons, The Container Store
Rubbermaid Bottle, The Container Store
Icy Kools, The Container Store
Bottle Totes, The Container Store
Metro Tote, Target
Eddie Bauer folding chairs, Target