Anybody put “Pack a picnic!” on your summer wish list this year? We did, and we are setting out to make this wish your summer reality. There’s nothing quite like pairing the beautiful outdoors with delicious and seasonal food. Whether or not this picnic is with your kids, your special someone, a first date, or a group of well-known friends, it helps to keep a few things in mind and on hand so that packing a picnic can happen on a whim.
Picnic prep and packing tips:
1. Keep it cold and dry – Pack small jam jars with lids full of ice to keep things cool from your door to chosen picnic spot, and re-use the ice and jars to drink from.
2. Keep it fresh – Making sandwiches for anyone other than yourself is a guessing game you probably won’t win. (Mayo, mustard, pickles, gluten free? Oh my!) Skip the soggy pre-made sandwiches, as cute as they can be, and go for the bits & pieces board. Think charcuterie and crudité, because bites are a fun way to snack, happy hour, and/or make a meal that’s fresh and easy to please with anyone’s preferences.
3. Keep it simple and delicious – While homemade fried chicken sounds amazing, the reality to prepping, making, and packing it is not. However, having even just one special homemade item can make a picnic memorable. With ease in mind, we’re suggesting this vibrant beet hummus as your showcase!
Roasted Beet Hummus by Heather Bursch
- 1 lb beets roasted and peeled (Learn how to roast a beet here!)
- 6 tablespoons Tahini
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons dried cumin
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
In a food processor, blend beets, Tahini, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, and salt in food processor until smooth and as puréed as you like. Taste to check seasoning, add more as you like. Makes 2 cups.
4. Keep it clean – Whether or not you use real dishes or disposable, pack a couple bags for collecting dirty silverware, garbage, and recycling. Pack small appetizer plates in between cloth napkins and safely transport them without the waste!
Bits & Pieces Picnic Menu:
- Beet hummus with endive or lettuce cups, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, and if you have the prep time, blanched asparagus!
- Goat Cheese and your favorite pepper jelly. (It can almost pass for dessert!)
- Roasted nuts – almonds, walnuts, or pecans!
- Olive assortment
- Chicken salad (homemade or store-bought), cold rotisserie or grilled chicken sliced, prosciutto or uncured meats of your choice, 4-6 ounces per person.
- Berries for June, Cherries in July, Peaches in August – or whatever is in season where you live!
- Dark chocolate to finish!
Gingerade or lemonade Kombucha, sparkling water with lemon/lime slices, or your favorite Rosé.
Basket or cooler, blanket or tablecloth, a collection of small cutting boards to place your food, jam jars for ice and beverages, knife to cut fruit or cheeses, forks for chicken salad if needed, small plates and napkins!
Think simple so that the spontaneous, “Let’s go on a picnic!” is an actual option next time that perfect weather is in front of you.