In a hurry? Run into the market and pick up cold deli chicken, crusty bread, fresh fruit and a wedge of cheese. Add a bottle of wine and you have an elegant meal with zero prep! If you have a few minutes to spare, go all out! Get inspired by different world cuisines – chilled sesame noodles, chilled gazpacho in a thermos, quiches, Greek salad… the possibilities are endless. Just remember that the foods you pick should be movable and simple.
A few picnic pointers:
To make it easy to get at the items you need, pack your basket in reverse order. Place nonperishable food on the bottom, then serving items and tableware, and finally the tablecloth on top.
When packing a cooler, it should be about 25% ice and 75% food. Place ice on the bottom and along the sides of the cooler. Then place the heaviest and most perishable foods on top of the ice. Fill in with lighter items.
Don’t forget some essentials: insect repellent, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, condiments (salt and pepper especially), extra napkins or paper towels, and possibly matches for lighting candles.
If you’re planning to sit on the ground, a tray is nice for setting drinks on so they don’t tip easily or for cutting up food.
Bring along plastic bags to cart home dirty dishes and silverware, and for garbage in case there are no trash barrels at the picnic site.