Picnic season is here! Whether you’re walking, cycling, or driving, you need a good plan of attack to make your picnic run deliciously smooth.
A classic wicker hamper (basket) to hold everything is a fun thing to have, but you can use anything to transport your goods. A cooler with wheels works great, but if you have kids and a ton of stuff, a large folding wagon is your best bet. Load up with cooler, a blanket, and all the food, and plop baby (human and/or fur-baby) down in the back.
Food storage is crucial, and you need to keep your food at 4 degrees C or below for food safety. Reusable ice packs in a variety of sizes help you customize cooling to your payload. Place these at the bottom of your cooler. We use glass when we can (mason jars or saved containers from grocery items) and spill-proof Glad-type containers when needed.
Pro-Tip: refreeze and reuse those gel-filled ice packs from food delivery services.
We also grab some utensils from home; tongs, spoons for serving, a cutting board, and cloth napkins for each person. If we can bear the weight, we take small serving plates from home, but if not, compostable paper plates are light and convenient.
A large blanket or a lightweight tarp is great for carving out space on the beach or in the park.
If your style is to simply arrive, plop your basket down, and crack a cold one, we suggest making ahead of time: a frittata (made with any of our cheeses), roasted chicken drumsticks, or a pressed sandwich (see recipe below!). These items are finger friendly, less mess, and easy to deal with. Supplement with a chopped salad, a potato salad, or a pasta salad and you’re done.
If you like to settle in and do some assembly on-site, we always love a classic French baguette with a wheel of Buffalo Brie or Comox Camembert – or a good cheese board filled with a mix of cheeses, like Aged Farmhouse, Smoked Boerenkaas, Mozzarella di Bufala, and Pacific Wildfire Verdelait
For the true Picnic Pro: bring a portable grill. The sky’s the limit: grilled marinated kebabs are fantastic (try with cubes of Buffalo Paneer!), as are fresh-made sausages from your local butcher, little steak fillets, and you can also grill our Buffalo Paneer in the style of Halloumi.
Some other easy to-bring items: Caprese skewers, homemade soup, empanadas, quiches, and savoury tarts.
Here’s a very nice pressed sandwich that you can make and refrigerate the night before:
If you’re in North Vancouver this summer you can pack your craft brew growler to be openly consumed at a variety of public parks LIST HERE.
For virgin drinks, we love making a homemade iced tea, lemonade, or iced coffee. Flavoured soda water is nice, especially with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.
Don’t forget your local small businesses serving up picnic baskets, take away food, and food truck vendors. It saves a lot of prep to pick something up along the stroll to the park or beach.
Get out there! Practice social distancing but enjoy being out in nature on your luncheon in the sunlight.