The Picnic – Today is in fact international picnic day! I love a picnic. They are a simple yet superior way of entertaining both intimate and large crowds. Picnics can be casual pot-lucks for a crowd or intimate suppers a deux.
There are a few products one needs for superior picnics. First, depending on the size, larger crowds may meet their organizational needs with a Picnic Evite! One of the great things about Evite is that for large crowds, you can use the technology to help you keep track who is coming and who is bringing what to the picnic. This can be helpful if there are lots of guests meeting in a park or beach.
No matter what the crowd size, Food Network has a large assortment of recipes to feed even the hungriest of extended relatives and college roommates.
Sur La Table has a wide assortment of fabulous picnic products for the picnic connoisseur, but Target has a great assortment as well for 1/3 the price.
· Mayonnaise is okay if the food is refrigerated or well iced. So don’t freak out – just make the potato salad and cover the Tupperware in an ice igloo.
· S’mores are always necessary even if you don’t have a flame to roast the marshmallows.
· Plastic water bottles filled and frozen make great ice packs for the cooler. Not only are these recyclable, but as the water melts, you’ll have fresh, cold drinking water. By the end of the picnic, you can just toss the bottles in the recycling can, making clean up a lot easier!
· Wrapping up individual bottles of root beer or Jones Soda (everything from FuFu Berry to Blue Bubblegum to Obama and McCain Soda for this 4th of July) in linen or cotton oversized napkins are a great carrying device. I suggest wrapping a bottle on one side, utensils on the other, and handing each one to a guest. That way their drink, utensils and napkin are neatly packaged and ready to go!
· Of course, depending on the time of day, you really should consider some citronella candles for outdoor evening events. These necessities really help keep the bugs at bay – and they aren’t that expensive. You can find fancy shmancy ones at Crate & Barrel and plain simple versions at Home Depot or any hardware store. Target, of course, also has a wide variety.
· Sunscreen – you know why. And someone always forgets it. Always. The new aerosol version rocks (every major brand has it).
· Festive paper goods are available on the cheap, and they look great. Yes it sucks to waste, but depending on the crowd, sometimes it’s just easier.