Packing a Picnic

Combining food, the great outdoors, and good company, a picnic is one of life's great pleasures. To savor the last days of summer, prepare an easy alfesco meal. then pack up your basket, gather your friends, and enjoy.


Step 1: Keep it easy. Picking a food theme - pastries, fruit, and iced tea or wine, cheese, and bread - can help simplify the menu.

Step 2: Be prepared. Choose ready-to-serve foods to reduce prep work. Sandwiches, whole fruit, and individual-sized desserts are ideal.

Step 3: Stock up on drinks. Thoroughly chill your beverages before pouring them into thermoses to ensure they stay cold and refreshing.

Step 4: Stay cool. If you're not planning to eat right away, pack mayonnaise-based dishes in a cooler to maintain proper temperatures.

Step 5: Add memorable touches. A small pot of buttercups makes a charming, low-maintenance centerpiece that complements a simple meal.

Ever ready: Keep a blanket and supplies in the trunk of your car and you'll be all set for an impromptu picnic whenever the mood strikes. In your kit, stash a few inexpensive plates and cups.

Related Links:

Summer Sandwiches

Set the Table Outdoors

Build a Better Burger

Simple Summer Party Planning

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.