Perhaps there is no better sign of looming sunshine than picnic baskets. The idea of an entire meal tucked into pretty packaging can get even the crankiest person excited about summer. And because a bad picnic can also spell disaster, unless a lot of rosé is included, here are 10 tips for creating a leisurely meal under the sun.
1. Use Frozen Bottles Of Water As Ice Pack
Self-explanatory. Place them in your basket to keep the cold stuff cold. Plus, you can turn around and use those same bottles of water to drink, once they thaw, of course. Go for glass bottles instead of plastic ones.
2. Use Frozen Fruit As Ice Cubes
Grapes work great, as do blueberries and other sturdy fruits. By default, they’re also natural sweeteners. So plop some in your drink of choice and hydrate.
3. Put Your Salads In Mason Jars
Clamp jars will also do the trick. Layer from wet to dry. Croutons and other toppings should be at the top. Deconstructed burritos and rice bowls are also great. This example is a little over-the-top for a casual Saturday in the park, but you get the idea. (This is also a great travel hack for pasta salads and other side salads).
4. Put Your Condiments In A Muffin Tin
Slap a piece of cling wrap over the top and your condiments should stay in place. The tins also work great for transferring handheld foods, like baby quiches and muffins. And cans of soda fit perfectly, too.
5. Put Salt, Pepper And Other Spices In Old Tic Tac Boxes
6. Use Cupcake Liners To Cover Drinks
Not only are they great popsicle drip catchers, they can protect your uncovered drinks. Just pierce a cupcake liner with the straw to create an automatic umbrella drink. So tropical!
7. Use Berry Baskets Instead Of Paper Plates
They’re eco-friendly. And everyone will think you’re a genius for coming up with the idea.
8. Add Roasted Beets To Your Hummus
For a gorgeous spring colored dip. Try this recipe from The Splendid Table.
9. Make Individual Desserts In Jars
Just screw on the lid, throw in the picnic basket and enjoy. Crumbles and cakes work great.
10. Ditch The White Bread
Instead, make one long baguette sandwich and slice up for everyone to enjoy. The crusty bread is a sturdy alternative to sandwich bread. For extra fanciness, wrap sandwiches in grease resistant paper and secure with twine.
Not into one big sandwich? Just bring the bread and pack the toppings separately (in jars) and let people assemble their own.