of a Picnic
An impromptu dinner outdoors
©Outdoor Adventure Canada
As Spring approaches my mind
wanders to thoughts of the great picnics we used to go on
when I was little. Some were on sultry summer nights when
my Mom didn't want to heat up the house by cooking and some
where just for the joy of it. The reasons to enjoy a picnic
are as varied as the people who go on them. There are the
romantic picnics in a park, the family excursions to the
beach, a picnic in the middle of a day hike and the after-work
a romantic picnic in the park, start with a traditional
wicker picnic basket and a beautiful tablecloth. Choose
foods such as patés, crackers, French bread, cheeses,
fresh fruits, and maybe even a chocolate fondue. You can
find candle powered fondue pots made just for chocolate
in many department and gourmet stores. Include a nice bottle
of sparkling grape juice or wine and a beautiful candle.
For the beach picnic, be sure to bring many drinks and be
prepared for the sun. You might want to look for a spot
that is sheltered from the wind and has a picnic table.
Most people bring a cooler and BBQ for these type of picnics.
Our family and friends always bring lots of salads and other
things to munch. It is a fun way for people to connect and
spend quality time together.
A picnic during a day hike is always a treat. Use an insulated
knapsack or a cooler bag to house pre-cut ingredients for
wraps or sandwiches. I often use leftover grilled vegetables
or meats for added flavour. Sometimes I make the sandwiches
ahead and wrap them in plastic wrap. My friend Roberta Orosz
makes a family-sized sandwich called a Muffaletta that would
be perfect picnic fare. Bring lots of water and a water
filter especially on hot days. Find a nice spot that provides
some shade and enjoy the scenery around you.
One of my favourite types of picnics it the impromptu after-work
picnic. This started a few years ago when a friend called
at lunch and suggested I grab some fruit and a few pre-made
salads on the way home from the office and she would make
the sandwiches and bring the drinks. Then our family was
to meet her family at the local lake. It was an extremely
hot day and there was a nice breeze. We had dinner, relaxed,
and enjoyed a swim. After watching the sunset we headed
back home. Doing this spontaneously is fun and reduces the
stress of the workday. It is now something we do quite often.
Many times, we will combine a picnic with another activity
like a trip to an outdoor event, a wildlife reserve or an
outdoor concert at a local park. Other times we bring badminton,
Frisbee, or a ball and play with the kids. Sometimes we
just get in our Jeep and drive on the back roads until we
find a great spot to have our picnic. We've even had picnics
where we sat in our vehicle and watched thunderstorms roll
in over Ontario's Georgian Bay.
No matter where or how you picnic, it is good planning that
makes it a success even on last minute excursions. I have
several picnic baskets and a picnic knapsack. I always keep
them stocked with a tablecloth, cutlery, unbreakable glasses,
a cutting board and plates so that I am ready on a whim.
Even if it is a spur of the moment idea you need to be sure
that you have ice and a cooler or cooler bag to keep foods
cool. If you plan to BBQ be sure you have enough fuel and
everything you need as far as utensils go. I also keep a
set of picnic-sized condiments in the fridge ready top pop
into the cooler and a set of spices in the picnic basket.
I also bring a little bag with first aid items; sunscreen
and bug spray.
to have picnics in the warmer weather as it brings a little
piece of the outdoors into our lives when we aren't able
to get out on a wilderness trip.
So what are you doing after work tomorrow
or on Sunday
afternoon? Check the weather forecast and go.
Picnic basket photo courtesy photos.com