Concerts in the park, lazy days at the beach, backyard soires, neighborhood block parties, day trips, hikes, camping adventures – the opportunities to pack a picnic this time of year abound. How wonderful to eat out in nature when the rest of the year we may be limited to indoor dining options.
What you’re probably most focused on when preparing picnic food items for family and friends is what will taste great on a warm summer day! Secondly, you have to figure out how to transport all that tasty food and keep it at a safe temperature throughout the day.
Large, round containers with tight, seal-able lids will double as great serving dishes and prevent spillage when you’re en-route to your picnic site. Packing extra bowls and ice will help you safely serve an American picnic staple like egg salad or potato salad. When serving chilled foods, place the container inside a slightly larger bowl of ice to nest the salad and keep it cool and safe for consumption all afternoon long (you know there will be people coming back for seconds)!
Insulated bags are a great way to contain and transport picnic foods. Insulated fabric bags come in a variety of sizes and will keep your food either hot or cold for you until it’s time to serve! Need some extra chill power? Get a great cooler and fill it with large ice packs to keep items frozen or chilled for long periods of time.
When possible, pack your items in plastic re-usable containers. Many state or local parks don’t have dumpsters and it’s always best to keep what you can out of a landfill! Don’t bring glass into parks, avoiding breakable containers will prevent a safety hazard.
If you’re planning on having serving trays out for a long period of time, consider covering them with mesh screen domed food covers to keep insects away. They fold up for easy storage are available in the camping section or larger store and sporting goods shops.
How do you pack and serve up a great picnic meal? We want to know!