After a long season of growing and caring for your garden, it’s time to enjoy…
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy eating outdoors. A picnic can be a fun way to get outside and enjoy the company of friends and family around a cozy meal. Picnics work great as a potluck set up or as an intimate casual celebration that you can plan for a loved one. If you’re planning a picnic soon, we have a few tips that will help you and your guests have a tasty and memorable experience.
Bring finger foods
Eating with a fork and spoon can be a hassle when sitting on a blanket, and so an easy solution to create a simpler dining experience is to include finger foods in the menu. Sandwiches are a simple go-to option, and you can elevate the palette by creating homemade pesto or fresh meats and other ingredients for a more unique sandwich. You can also make a swap and opt for wraps or rolls, which can be healthier alternatives as well.
Other great options include fresh fruits and vegetables with a homemade dip, meatballs on toothpicks, baked mac and cheese or mozzarella bites, and pull apart breads. It can also be fun to pick a theme for your picnic and include foods from a certain location or that represent a certain color. No matter what foods you choose, the next step will be vital to a delicious experience.
Invest in a quality cooler
While we might enjoy the warm weather, most foods don’t. In order to transport your meal and keep it fresh, it’s important to invest in a cooler of some sort that will fit your food and drinks. Sometimes, including an ice pack can also help your cooler be more effective at preserving the meal until you arrive at your destination. Including ice in your cooler can be a cheap alternative to a designated ice pack, and can double as garnish for your drinks.
Don’t forget dessert
A sweet treat is a necessity for a great picnic and a fun way to wrap up the day. While cupcakes are a fun and easy treat, they tend to be messy and it’s best to avoid leaving crumbs all over your blanket. Ice cream is always delicious, but it doesn’t travel well and will be difficult to keep frozen. When choosing a dessert for a picnic, it’s important to consider how the treat will be presented by the end of the meal.
We recommend bringing a baked good that can tie together your meal. One example could be a fresh baked pie, whether you prefer chocolate, cherry, or apple. You could also provide cookies or bars for a simpler option that sticks with the finger food theme. A less common but still sweet and delicious option would be a homemade banana or zucchini bread. Whatever dessert you choose, your guests will gladly accept a sweet ending to your picnic meal.
Prepare cold drinks
On a hot day, having a cold beverage is essential to keeping your picnic party relaxing and enjoyable. It’s always a good idea to bring bottled waters, but you might also want to consider packing pre-made cocktails or mocktails. One of our favorites for a hot summer day combines vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice to make a breezy, fresh drink that will refresh your guests. Consider also bringing limes or other finishing touches to up your drink presentation and make it a fun concoction to sip. While we’re on that note, there are a few other elements that you should consider regarding your guests’ comfort.
Picnics are meant to be relaxing. The warm sun on your skin can either be a pleasant experience, or a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. Providing cold drinks is one step in keeping your guests comfortable, but you should also consider seating arrangements. While it’s traditional to sit on a picnic blanket during your outing, there are ways you can make this a more comfortable experience.
Consider bringing throw pillows for your guests to sit on. This will make sitting on the ground for longer periods of time easier and more enjoyable. You should also consider packing a blanket that is big enough to allow everyone their own space to spread out a bit, rather than packing in like sardines on a hot day. While you’re considering your set up, there is one important element that you need to plan well ahead of time.
Scout out the perfect spot
The key to any successful picnic is finding the perfect location. An ideal picnic spot will be flat and soft. You should keep an eye out for any bugs in the area or other disturbances that would be unpleasant to encounter during your meal. Another element to be on the lookout for is a shady spot so that your party won’t have to squint to see each other or their food. This can also help your guests stay cool in the hot months.
Prepare for cleanup
It can be easy to get wrapped up in preparing the setting and the food, but it’s important to also remember to plan for cleanup. Bring extra napkins, wipes, and other elements for your guests to use when they’re finished eating. You should also bring along a large trash bag to put any dropped or unfinished food or other items into. It’s important to leave your site as you found it, and that includes not feeding the wildlife.
Whether your guests are helping you clean up or you’ve taken it upon yourself, packing a large bag to fit your blanket and any other items you brought along will help you transport your day of fun back home.
Presentation is essential to a great meal
If you’re looking for an exciting way to present your dishes to your friends and family, a picnic is a great way to create an experience they’ll remember. While the weather is warm, it’s a great time to take advantage of the sun and create memories surrounded by delicious foods. If you don’t want to take the time to pack a picnic or the weather isn’t cooperating, consider dining at a restaurant with high quality dishes and drinks. At the Albert, we believe in creating one-of-a-kind dishes and dining experiences year round.
Interested in dining at the Albert? Book your reservation here.