Spreading your blanket on a small swath of grass in a park, in the backyard, or in the woods immediately creates a space for simple pleasures to be enjoyed.
The gift of a picnic is multi-faceted as it doesn’t require reservations and yet can be enjoyed in the most magnificent of locations, and the bounty of food takes on a heightened flavor perhaps due to the proximity to Mother Nature from which it was plucked. As well, a picnic offers not only the table space on which to dine, but following the meal, a cozy place to rest your head, take a nap, get lost in a good book or conversation with good company without a waiter or clock to keep you on time.
A few weeks ago I enjoyed my first picnic of the season with new friends, and since I didn’t have my own picnic basket as of an hour before the event, I quickly bee bopped down to a local antiques boutique and found a wicker basket for $13 (see below).
Since that time, the weather has been extraordinary and dining outside has been something I have been yearning to do more often. And so it was this past weekend, I packed up my picnic basket once again, filled it with homemade salads, entrées, a fresh fruit tart, drinks and of course freshly made bread from a local bakery along with cheese and prosciutto. The meal was ready whenever we wished to devour it. The funny thing was by the time we were able to sit down and enjoy, the sun had set more than a few hours prior, and so the picnic was brought indoors. However, it is true that “A picnic is a state of mind and can be made anywhere.” The simple gesture of pulling food out of a basket, ready to be savored, there is something rustic, but sophisticated, no matter where the blanket is laid out.
A few things to consider adding to your basket/picnic to make it a delicious and memorable affair:
- melamine plates – durable, look like glass plates, but are not and available in a wide array of playful prints and colors
- plastic wine/water goblets
- a blanket
- a good book to savor upon completion
- for evening dining: glass solar sun jars
- bottle and wine glass steel holders
- keep food warm or cold with stackable thermos food holders
For me a picnic is a revelation about an individual. Can they just relax and be outside with the weather? Can they be outside and not care who sees them basking in the casualness of dining al fresco? Such questions may seem silly but I have met a few individuals who cannot for one of the reasons or another and to me it revealed a loss. A loss of appreciating the simple moment to be present with the food, the sustenance we need without a care in the world.
“There are few things so pleasant as a picnic eaten in perfect comfort.” —W. Somerset Maugham
I hope you have time this season and many more to enjoy a picnic or two or three. Bring a friend, bring a lover, dine on the beach with family or simply lay out a blanket at a beloved park in Paris or a field of poppies in Provence all by yourself. Picnics have no rules except to relax and savor. So why not bring more moments doing just these two pastimes into your life?
“May we never stop loving the simple things in life. Like bonfires, picnics . . . and romantic dates under the stars.“
~Books to read for inspiration and ideas for your next picnic:
- The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket
- A Year of Picnics: Recipes for Dining Well in the Great Outdoors Small Measureby Ashley English of the blog
- Le Picnic: Chic Food for On-the-Go
- The Picnic: A History
~SHOP PICNIC Baskets:
~Stop into your local second-hand or antique boutique or peruse seasonal yard sales; you will be surprised at what you will find and usually at wonderful prices as well