Who doesn’t love a picnic? Being in the UK we don’t get that many opportunities for dining alfresco and when the weather is good enough we tend to drag the barbecue out of the shed. There is however, something special about a picnic. Our countryside is fabulous and enjoying a great spread in gorgeous surroundings is the ideal way to spend a summer’s day with friends or loved ones. I’m sure that wherever you live, there’s a similar feel. A really good picnic needs planning unless you can simply dash to the supermarket and load up with ready-made goodies, but that just doesn’t feel the same. Here are 10 Great Picnic Basket Ideas for a Great Day Out that will leave you longing for clear skies and bright sunshine.
1. Basket Case
Often guidance for picnic basket ideas focuses merely on the food and drink and forgets the actual basket. If you’re lucky enough to go on many a picnic, a traditional wicker woven basket fully equipped is a great investment. With flatware, cutlery and blanket already thrown in, usually the only thing you need to be concerned about is the food. If you’re an occasional picnicker as long as you have a suitable bag/s that hold everything that’s all that matters.
2. Weather with You
Remember to consider the weather. It isn’t just about it being a nice day. If it’s hot and you forget to think about how to keep the food cool and the drinks cold, all your great picnic basket ideas and efforts could be ruined. Hot, limp, sweaty sandwiches and lukewarm drinks are hardly the most appetizing are they? If you don’t have a cool box make sure you have those plastic ice packs and ensure you leave them in the freezer for at least 24 hours before using them. There are plenty of solutions for keeping food and drinks cool. Buy them on special at the end of the summer when everyone is thinking of woolly jumpers and soup.
3. The Right Tools for the Job
Great picnic basket ideas also cover the practicalities of eating. When picking the food, give thought to how it will be eaten. You might consider simply doing finger food and then you won’t have to worry about cutlery. If you want something more fancy and want to show off some great recipes , make sure you pack the right eating implements. Paper plates are great for easy disposal but not very chic. Plastic cutlery is perfectly acceptable but make sure it works for the food you’ve chosen. Things that are difficult to cut are frustrating when faced with a blunt plastic knife.
4. Don’t Screw It up
If you’re going for a boozy picnic and intend partaking of a bottle of vino or two, there is one sure thing to remember to pack - the corkscrew. Of course, if it’s champagne you’re going to be quaffing there’s no need to worry or if you find bottles of wine with screw caps, so much the better.
5. Beware Unwanted Guests
Do you want to be bitten? When dining alfresco you want to eat food not be eaten. Great picnic ideas can all go awry if you find yourself plagued by mossies and little insect invaders. Make sure you’re got a blanket to sit on to keep the little grass dwellers off you and the food and pack a suitable insect repellent. Burn some citronella candles but keep them away from the food as they are rather pungent.
6. BBQ PDQ
Picnics don’t all have to be about cold fare. One of the great picnic basket ideas comes in the form of portable disposable barbecue grills. Have a look at these amazon.com.
Aren’t they a fabulous idea? Not only can you have a barbie anywhere but they are simply disposed of at the end of the picnic so there’s no trying to scrape a grill clean.
7. Food, Glorious Food
So now it’s time for the food, surely the most important consideration of all. Great picnic basket ideas for food should be in context with the overall occasion. If you’re including kids make sure the munchies include things they like to eat and are easy to manage in the chosen location. If you are plumping for sandwiches go for something different – there’s some great sandwiches on great little ideas greatlittleideas.com. If you want something fancy shmancy the excellent foodie blog, Divine Dinner Party, has some great picnic basket ideas set out in menus suited to a variety of occasions. Here’s the link - divinedinnerparty.com
8. Clean up Operations
Every good picnic covers all eventualities so every good picnic host knows to pack the essentials to clear up. You should include napkins for during the meal, wet wipes for after and plenty of plastic sacks for disposals. When you leave your picnicking spot there should be no trace of you having been there except your butt imprint in the grass. Take everything away with you including memories of a delightful time.
Planning the perfect alfresco dining event and implementing great picnic basket ideas is about being prepared for all eventualities and not forgetting things. If you’re miles out in the country there’s no nipping into the house or a shop for something like the salt and pepper you left on the kitchen counter.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of 8 Great Picnic Basket Ideas for a Great Day Out. I’ve focussed on the whole event rather than just suggestions for food because everyone will be looking for something very different. Use these great picnic basket ideas but make your own picnic individual with your choice of location, food, drink and guest list.
Top Photo Credit: data.whicdn.com