Picnic Like A Pro

First published in July’s edition of OneMagazine Devon.

July is National Picnic Month and if we are lucky the July weather will allow us plenty of picnic opportunities, although I do have fond memories of eating picnics sat in car boots! 

Being outdoors brings benefits to our physical and mental health, so getting outside for a walk or a play and a picnic is the perfect combination.

A picnic doesn’t have to consist of sandwiches and a packet of crisps for lunch.  Here are my suggestions for picnicking like a pro!

  1. Invest in a good picnic hamper or bag.  You can get rucksacks that are insulated and have all the plates, cutlery and a mini chopping board in the front, so much easier to carry than a wicker hamper (if not quite as beautiful). 

  2. Keep the ice packs in the freezer, so they are always ready to go.

  3. Take any meal outside.  Breakfast in the garden anyone?  Lay out a rug and take 5 extra minutes in the morning to sit and enjoy the early morning sun on your face.  Freshly baked croissants, orange juice and a good coffee and you can almost imagine you’re in France. 

  4. For dinner – cook at home and then pack it all up and head to the beach or park.  Pitta, kebabs and vegetables to dip in hummus works well OR pasta or couscous salad with tuna and beans.  Think of foods you can eat with your hands and enjoy cold, like quiche, savoury muffins, cheese or leftover roast chicken.

  5. Haven’t got everything you need?  Gather together whatever you do have, such as salad vegetables, fruit, biscuits, crackers, nuts and then swing by a shop on route to pick up some fresh bread and other supplies. 

  6. Pre-slicing vegetables, fruit and cheese will save battling with it when out, especially if there is going to be sand involved!

  7. Three letters – BBQ!  What better way to eat outside than to BBQ.  A portable BBQ can be picked up cheaply and reused many times, just don’t forget some coals and lighting gel.  A BBQ doesn’t have to mean just burgers and sausages.  Think about barbequing veggies such as pepper and courgette or using it to cook falafel, haloumi or chicken kebabs.

 

Fingers crossed for lots of picnicking opportunities.

Check out my Recipes post for more inspiration!

Ruth Harvey