Mary Ann's Blog

Six Picnic Pointers

Hefty muffuletta sandwich sliceI'm thankful that picnics are a rite of summer. I don’t know what it is about eating out of doors, but I always seem to have more of an appetite! I like waving a blanket down on cool grass, kicking off my shoes and munching away under blue skies.

Family reunion picnic seems to be the most popular of all. Red checked paper tablecloths drape picnic tables, lawn chairs, Frisbees, paper plates are scattered about. And lots of picnic food like hamburgers, hot dogs, corn and watermelon are the components to this picnic. Along with, of course, a bevy of relatives not seen in ages, who gravitate to this once a year renewal of identity.

Whatever form a picnic takes, there are a few tips worth noting when planning one.

  1. Select foods that are easily portable and will not spoil; for example: opt for a marinated salad in place of one with mayonnaise.
  2. Keep prepared foods cold in a cooler or a portable refrigerator.
  3. Prepare as many things as possible ahead at home so there is no preparation necessary at the picnic location
  4. Do not let raw meats stand at room temperature at the picnic site. For example, form hamburger patties at home, refrigerate them en route and keep them refrigerated until they are put on the grill. Ditto for chicken, ribs and steak.
  5. If you plan on bringing hot foods like a casserole, wrap it well in newspaper to keep it hot.
  6. Think outside the box and make something ahead and different like the muffuletta sandwich pictured here. Arrive at the picnic destination, unwrap, eat and enjoy.

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