My Best Picnic Tips

If you're like me, you love the idea of ​​a picnicbut in practice, when someone tosses the idea out into the air on a Friday night, in this wonderfully spontaneous way that people do, your inner grumbler wakes up (“ugh, so much to organize, I have no ideas, who's going to do the shopping, we always end up eating the same thing, the kids get stuffed with chips and it's so uncomfortable to sit on the floor anyway”).

So, for you, for me, for us, here are some ideas I have ready to ease the fears of my Inner Grouch and lift the corners of his mouth: yes, we can organize easy and colorful picnics this summer!

Of course, we all dream of lounging in bed all Sunday morning, then getting up and going on a picnic right away. PinterestBut the hard truth is this: without a little forethought, it will just end up being soggy buns, canned corn, a crushed roll of paper towels, and lukewarm soda.

No. What we want are ideas that are fresh, cheerful and a little unusual.

My Top Picnic Tips: Recipe Ideas

French picnics are all about the Ham butter sandwich — a split baguette spread with butter and stuffed with cooked ham — but for a nice change of pace, I like to make a banh me of sorts, the Vietnamese sandwich I love so much. Take a thin baguette without much crumb, fill it with meat or tofu (marinated and grilled), grated carrots and cucumbers topped with magic sauce, sliced ​​chili peppers, a little mayo and lots of cilantro: it's a pretty close approximation and a delight.

And if we think that sandwiches are good, but that there is still a lot of bread to eat, we can do rice or nori rolls rolling raw vegetables in rice paper wrappers or sheets of grilled nori, maki-style, as in these Cucumber and Avocado Nori Wraps (which are one of my most popular recipes) on Pinterest! Look how well it reconnects).

Another option is to go for sandwichthe Danish sandwich. Instead of making sandwiches for everyone, provide sliced ​​brown bread and a variety of simple ingredients: butter, cucumber slices, sliced ​​hard-boiled eggs, thin slices of Gouda cheese, pickled herring, thin slices of roast beef, sliced ​​spring onions, fresh herbs… Lay everything out on the picnic table or in the center of a tablecloth spread out in a beautiful meadow and have everyone make their own open sandwich.

As for Saladswhich are always a bit uncomfortable to eat on your lap, with the vinaigrette dripping down one side when the discussion gets heated, I like it assemble them in jars (I use the glass containers from my yogurt maker since I have an extra set), in alternating layers that look nice. Cooked grains and/or legumes on the bottom, cooked vegetables, raw vegetables, something soft (tofu, cheese), something crunchy (toasted nuts, sprouted seeds) and dressing simply poured on top. Shake before eating.

My top picnic tips

If it’s a last-minute picnic, I have no problem bringing along a few well-chosen items from the pantry: a good tapenade, sardines in olive oil, a jarred terrine with pistachios… I also keep my local shops in mind: my favorite deli will carve up a roast chicken for me (better to call ahead), the Greek deli can make a nice assortment of dips for raw vegetable sticks, and from the bakery I can pick up a flight of chouquettes to accompany a green tea peach salad.

You’ll find a dozen more picnic recipe ideas in this post: My Best Picnic Recipes.

AND drinking with all that, there is nothing more elegant and casual than carrying bottles of water (even better, homemade sparkling water) in which you will insert some mint leaves, slices of organic lemon and/or a cucumber stick.

My top picnic tips: gear

When it comes to picnics, the devil is in the gears: Nice plates and sharp knives can make the difference between a chic picnic and a budget one.

I am quite uncompromising on the issue of sharp knives: there is nothing more depressing than ruining a sublime saucisson or a juicy tomato with a plastic knife. Besides, if you are the one who thought of bringing your own Laguiole pocket knife, the real one you bought in the real Laguiole village and had your name engraved on the blade, it is safe to say that you will be the Indeed picnic leader. If you don't have a folding knife, bring your best kitchen knife: wrap it tightly in a dish towel and secure it with a thick rubber band.

My top picnic tips

And while we're at it, don't forget that little chopping boardto cut something on a surface other than the palm of the hand.

As for the plates and the cutleryI like to go for the real and reusable as much as possible: it's much more pleasant and much more sustainable. Glass cups (those Duralex (They are virtually indestructible and infinitely more stable than plastic cups on the grass.) Reusable plates (melamine for lightness, if you prefer; from my research, the material is safe for occasional use), forks and spoons from the silverware drawer. Depending on what you are serving, you may be fine with just forks and spoons, or even just chopsticks.

Instead of carrying a large tablecloth or picnic blanketI find it more convenient to take several smaller ones: so those who are afraid of the sun can sit in the shade while those who love it can enjoy its rays, and avoid the embarrassment of finding yourself on the outskirts with everyone's feet in the way.

Unless you’re picnicking at a highway rest stop or near a stream, it can be difficult to wash your hands before and after your meal. I don’t recommend disposable wipes and antibacterial gel (due to their environmental impact and controversial composition). Instead, a few small towels or wipes moistened with slightly soapy water will do the trick. It’s also very refreshing, oshibori style.

My top picnic tips

My Top Picnic Tips: My Ideal Checklist

❑ Several small blankets or tablecloths Made of thick and durable fabric
❑ Various dishclothswhich will be used to wrap food and dishes and clean what needs cleaning
❑ One or two cutting edges knives
❑ A small one chopping board
❑ Real dishesglasses, forks, spoons, chopsticks, knives
❑ Fabric napkins (see my tutorial on cloth napkins)
❑ Great spoons or better yet, locking pliersTo serve
Ice packs and a big one thermal bag to keep food fresh and safe
❑ Small wash the clothes moistened with soapy water
❑ A corkscrew or bottle opener, if you bring wine or beer
❑ Two Trash bags to collect what is recyclable and non-recyclable
❑ Some condiments (a jar of mustard, a container of grey salt or spicy gomasio)

Join the conversation!

What are your best? recipes and tips for a successful picnic?

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