Before you head to your favorite spot — be it the park, the lake, the beach, or the backyard—read our tips for easy picnicking from Hoffman Media’s latest special collector’s issue, Classic Southern Recipes.
• Pack in an ice chest to keep cold foods cold. Place ice cubes in various sizes of resealable plastic bags so you can wedge the cold packs around food containers. When you get to your picnicking site, use the ice for beverages.
• Take a tip from your grandmother: Pack foods that are best suited for picnicking, such as fresh fruit or prepared foods you can eat with a minimum amount of additional preparation
• Wrap sandwiches individually. Pack individual portions of salad and fruit in plastic containers or better yet in small Mason jars. Once you’ve finished eating, just screw the lid back on, and save the cleanup for later. We also love metal tiffins, which can be found at World Market.
• Fold up one side of inexpensive cloth napkins, and stitch to create the picnic place mats pictured below. Slide earth-friendly flatware and plates into the pocket, fold, and stow away in your picnic basket.
• Don’t forget to bring moist towelettes or hand sanitizer for cleaning up after you eat. Other handy items to have on hand: trash bags, a fly swatter, sunscreen, a can opener, and a corkscrew.
• Bring along a football or Frisbee to work up an appetite.
• Be sure to pack up your trash before you leave, and take it with you. Leave your favorite spot pristine for the next picnickers to enjoy.
A few of our favorite picnic recipes to get you started: