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Planning the Perfect Picnic

Planning the Perfect Picnic

Not that any of us needs an excuse to get outside, but if we wanted one, we’d plan on celebrating National Picnic Day on April 23.Outdoor meals do take a bit of advance planning. Just in time, we’ve put together a practical guide to help you plan your perfect picnic.

Plan ahead.

  • Think about who you’re inviting and what kind of foods would be most appealing. Wine and a charcuterie board are perfect for a romantic sunset picnic. For a kids’ party, not so much.And do ask about any dietary restrictions or preferences they have.
  • Knife work. Aim to do all your slicing, cutting, and chopping at home. Not only is it safer, but pre-cut food is quicker to put together at your picnic.
  • Using clear, stackable, reusable containers will help you pack like-items together and let you see what’s inside.

Craft your menu.

The best picnic foods are delicious and simple. Here’s a list of our favorites:

  • Appetizers: the original finger food, appetizers are great before-the-meal treats, or can shine as the main event. Mix it up: add stuffed mini peppers, antipasto skewers, bruschetta, or crab cakes to your usuals.
  • Pasta salads, done well, are always a hit. Add artichoke hearts and olives for a briny flavor.Or use zucchini noodles, diced mango, or heirloom tomatoes for a pop of color!
  • Sandwiches and wraps: caprese, a mix of veggies, tomato and avocado, and chickpea salad are easy to make and a breeze to transport. Add some complexity and depth of flavor with an aioli, peanut, or tzatziki dipping sauce.
  • Desserts needn’t be lavish! In addition to typical go-to treats, try fruit skewers, homemade granola bars, or even roasted peaches with honey and cinnamon.

Get packing.

How you pack depends mostly on what you’re serving.

  • By weight. Ideal if your picnic includes a charcuterie board, soft breads, or delicate items like chips and pastries.
  • By time. Great when most of your items are in stackable containers.Pack the items you’ll serve last (desserts) on the bottom, and the items you’ll serve first (apps and drinks) on top.
  • By temperature. Cold items go with cold and hot with hot, so you’ll likely need more than one picnic basket or chest.Perfect for a crowd.

Where you’ll sit – blankets and chairs.

The ideal blanket is large, waterproof, and easy to carry. For little ones, a cozy blanket with a soft, thick top layer invites crawling and napping. For a windy beach, built-in ground stakes make the day easier. A camping chair (or two) is a thoughtful addition for guests who may have a harder time getting up from the ground.

Oops! It’s inevitable.

A fork drops off a plate directly into the dirt. Napkins fly away. So pack extras, just in case – along with the things we often forget, like cups, bottle openers, hot sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper, and even drinks. Add a few small useful items – chip clips for snack bags, toothpicks for apps and sandwiches, and a paperweight or binder clip to keep napkins in place.Or go green with cloth napkins.Be sure to include a few dishtowels and a trash bag or two for a cleanup that’s fast and easy.

There are endless possibilities for planning the perfect picnic! Let us know your favorites or showcase your picnic setup by tagging us @SigonasHome on Instagram and Facebook!