Ten Things For A Tip-Top Picnic

Handwoven Amish Picnic Basket

Handwoven Amish Picnic Basket available at www.lehmans.com or at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

The perfect picnic doesn’t need to be a traditional stereotype. Think of a picnic and a few things come to mind: the checkered blanket spread out on the grass in a country setting. A wicker basket full of delicious foods meant to be savored over the course of many relaxing hours away from the world. The sound of the birds and the whistle of the wind through the trees are all that can be heard in this idyllic setting.

While a bit romanticized, this about sums it up. The nice thing about the long-standing spring and summer tradition however, is there are no rules. The blanket need not be checkered and the basket can be something other than wicker. And in all honesty, even the countrified setting isn’t necessary. Many an urban picnic has happened much to the delight of the participants.Different than a barbecue where hot food, generally meat, is cooked and served while the gathering is unfolding, at a picnic the food is prepared ahead of time and typically served at room temperature and eaten while the picnicker is mildly recumbent on a blanket in the grass.

Typical picnic fare might include fried chicken, sandwiches, prepared salads and fresh fruits and vegetables. Other popular choices are crusty french bread that can be torn rather than cut served with various cheeses. What to serve depends on who is attending the affair.

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Seasonal outdoor eating has created an industry. This time of year you can find all the necessary accessories to make your picnic fun and convenient. Baskets that open to dishes held in place by straps, lined in bright, cheerful fabrics with matching napkins, and even the cutlery and stemware are included.

Picnic backpacks provide elegance, comfort and mobility when your picnic area is a hike away. Picnic backpacks carry your picnic essentials, such as silverware, plates, glasses, cutting board and salt and pepper shakers, and feature large insulated cooler sections with waterproof linings to keep your food and drinks hot or cold for hours. Exterior straps allow you to attach other picnic accessories such as a wine tote or a picnic blanket.

However you choose to picnic, there are 10 things you must have for it to be a smashing success.

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Lehman’s Natural Apple Juice Blends available at www.lehmans.com or at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

  1. Something to sit on: a big blanket will allow you to sit on the ground in comfort.
  2. Someone: unless you are dying for some me time, having a friend or loved one join you for a picnic can be extra special. Invite friends, the more the merrier.
  3. Something to eat: Nowadays hot or cold food is possible. Make it yourself. It will be more memorable.
  4. Something to drink: warmer weather begs for colder drinks. For a simple spritzer, mix fruit juice with sparkling water or try your favorite hot tea poured over ice with mint or lemon balm.
  5. Some music perhaps: unless you want to remain unplugged for the day, you could easily bring along an MP3 player or radio to enjoy your favorite music.

    Amish-Crafted Croquet Set available at www.lehmans.com or at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

  6. Something to do: bring along games like croquet or horsehoes or just kick back and watch the clouds roll past. The key is to relax in the way that suits you best.
  7. Something sweet: all this downtime is going to make you crave something sweet. Brownies and cookies are easy and require no extra dishes.
  8. Something to keep warm: as it cools down in the evening a sweater or jacket might keep you comfortably warm so your picnic can last a little longer.
  9. Sunshine: Picnics and rain don’t do so well together. A sunny day with a gentle breeze is perfect picnic weather.
  10. Something to carry it all: Picnic basket, picnic backpack, it doesn’t matter, but you have to have something to carry all your picnic essentials.

—Kyle Valentini

Thank you to our friends at “Around The House” for sharing this piece from their Spring 2012 edition.       –Editor