There is something
special about having picnics and eating outdoors, whether it is having
a barbecue in your own backyard or traveling some distance with your
packed picnic baskets and hampers to eat your lunch beside a babbling
stream under a large shady tree.
Of course the beach is
favorite spot for some, however, I am not one for sand in my
sandwiches and you will always get some "clever clog" who decides that
it is the perfect time to shake that towel just as the hamper is being
opened. No, with sand getting in every nook and cranny, I prefer the
countryside, and it sets the scene for a relaxed and informal get
together of sharing a memorable meal.
When thinking about picnic food ideas,
really eating outdoors can be as complicated or as easy as you want
them to be. If you don't have the time and you don't mind spending some
cash, then it can be as easy as going to the shops and buying some
ready-made treats. However, if will be a lot more expensive than if you
had cooked the food at home.
PICNIC FOOD IDEAS - Keep to 4 Dishes
Never bring more than 4
dishes to a
picnic. Keep it simple and stick to those. If you want something extra
just in case someone may still be hungry then pack a hunk of cheese or
an extra loaf of crusty bread. But 4 dishes, if well-planned, will feed
the hungry hordes and will be easier to keep chilled if needed.
PICNIC FOOD IDEAS for Shop-Bought Treats
I am all for finding short-cuts to food preparation. You know what I mean? Life is too short to stuff mushrooms!
So buy some bits and pieces at your local store or deli for ready-made picnic food. Here are some ideas for you:
delicious and versatile for
a number of great picnic food ideas. When they have been pre-cooked and
you can serve them up very simply with a jar of garlic mayonnaise and a
couple of wedges of lemon. Wash them down with a lovely Chardonnay, a
bottle of champagne or a couple of cold beers.
You can also bread them,
or even buy them breaded. Pan fry before you leave and serve with
Shop roasted chickens
are easy too. No mess, no fuss. Carve
the bird before you leave home to avoid having to bring extra knives
and cutting boards.
If you are looking for picnic food ideas with an Asian
Finally, for the last of
picnic food ideas, some ready made dips or a tub of hummous or hummus,
as it is sometimes spelt, can go a long way to making your outdoor
picnic an easy affair.
PICNIC FOOD IDEAS for Quick and Easy Treats
is a great
picnic food. For some quick picnic food ideas; If the weather is hot,
and they are in season, there is
nothing quite like a juicy watermelon to finish the meal.
are another and eat them just as they are. Peaches, apples also travel
well, as do grapes. Don't choose fruit that will easily get squashed or
is too soft as they will not travel well.
Bread is a staple
for the picnic basket. Crusty bread, French baguettes, rolls, baps or
even the Labanese flat bread can be used for either making sandwiches
or an accompaniment to your meal.
In fact the pita
bread is ideal for this situation, where you can create pita
pockets by cutting off the top of the bread circle and fill it with
fillings of your choice.
If you have a look at the pita pockets
left you can see that these are filled with tomatoes, celery, lettuce,
ham and cheese.
If you want to add mayonnaise to these,
do this just
before eating, or else the mayonnaise will end up soaking through the
thin walls of the pockets and you will end up with a soggy mess.
Thinking of other interesting fillings
and picnic food ideas for your pita pockets for your picnic lunch?
Another great filling is using roasted Mediterranean vegetables like
courgettes, egg plants, tomatoes, pitted black Robyn
Mackenzie | Dreamstime.comolives and
Again, because that these vegetables will have been fried in olive oil,
these pockets should be assembled just before eating. Drizzle olive oil
over the lot just before serving - delicious!
easy picnic food idea. Easy to pack in your picnic baskets, whether it
is a lovely chunk of cheddar or a soft cheese like brie to finish off
the meal with some grapes, dried apricots, dried figs and
cream cheese is also the base for many
quick dips which can be made at
home before hand
and then used to start your picnic with either fresh vegetables such as
celery sticks, carrot strips, cucumber, red and green peppers and other
crudities, or with either thick-cut crisps and biscuits.
Essential List for What to Pack for a Picnic
What you pack with your
really depends on who is going on the picnic. If it is just you and a
significant other, then pack your basket, a blanket to sit on, a small
table cloth for your food, 2 glasses for your wine or drinks
(preferably non-breakable), the corkscrew - How
many times have you forgotten that? :) - and a flask of coffee for the
afternoon. If you are going on a picnic with your family, then your
list would include far more. However below is a standard list of what
you should be taking with you.
salt and pepper
small pat of butter
your 4 dishes
cups and/or glasses
A cool box (Esky if you are an Aussie, Chilly Bin if you
are a Kiwi!) to transport food that may perish in high temperatures.
This is imperative as fillings like ham can spoil very quickly.
games for the kids and big kids alike: frisbee, ball, chess
A fly swatter!
Of course, not an essential, but so nice for having a picnic in
style, and a perfect do it yourself project for you own backyard, and
that is some plans showing you how to build a picnic table.
PICNIC FOOD IDEAS AND SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES
My childhood memories of picnics
often included mum's homemade ginger beer. Ginger
Beer is so simple to make although it will need to be made at least a
week before your outdoor event.
So, I am going to leave you this
Ginger Beer recipe and wish you a happy picnic! If you are looking for
some more quick and easy recipes for your picnic, including a Beer
Bread recipe that does just the trick, then visit our Country
Cooking Recipes page.
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Homemade Ginger Beer
Makes 4 x 1.2 litre bottles
1 teaspoon dried yeast (do
not use a brand that has bread improvers added to it)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
Ginger Beer Mixture
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon tartaric acid
2 litres hot water
juice and grated rind of 2
2 litres of cold water
A handful of raisins
Stir the yeast mixture ingredients
together and leave for about 10 minutes. Place the sugar, ginger and
tartaric acid and raisins in a clean bucket. Pour in the hot water and
lemon juice, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the cold water, cool
to lukewarm and add the yeast. (It is important to wait for the water
to cool down because if you don't and you add the yeast you will kill
it, and your ginger beer will not be nice at all.)
Cover the bucket with a clean tea towel
for about 24 to 36 hours. Strain equally into 4 thoroughly clean glass
or plastic 1.25 litre bottles. Fill the bottles to within 5 cm of the
top with extra cold water and add 1 teaspoon of sugar into each bottle.
Make sure that each bottle has a few raisins.
Screw on the tops and
shake each bottle to dissolve the sugar. Leave the bottles to stand in
a warm place for between 2 - 5 days. When the raisins start rising to
the top of the bottles then you know that your ginger beer is ready to
be refrigerated. Refrigerate to chill and your ginger beer is ready to
be drunk. The tops will have to be loosened every second day or so
until they are drunk as gas will be trapped in the bottles and needs to
be released. Ginger beer, made like this, should be consumed within 3
If you are looking for a recipe to make
ginger beer from a mother plant then have a look at our Ginger Beer page for more
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Homemade Iced Tea
For 8 cups of delicious
iced tea, place in teapot one
generous tablespoon of good tea (never buy a cheap, inferior grade of
Pour over the tea leaves 4 cups of freshly boiled, scalding
hot water; let stand five minutes, keep hot (not boil), strain from
the leaves into a pitcher, then pour over the tea leaves another 4 cups
of hot water, allow it to stand a few minutes, then strain as before.
Add the juice of one lemon and sugar to taste. When cooled stand on
ice and add chipped ice to tumblers when serving.
a large watermelon (about 10 lbs) and the night
before the picnic
cut a plug into the watermelon the same diameter as the vodka bottle
and core out some of the flesh to a depth of about 2 inches.
long-handled wooden spoon and push it all the way down to the base of
the watermelon. Now take a bottle of vodka (I like Smirnoff) and pour
the vodka into the plug and allowing the liquid to go through the melon
Put the plug back into the melon and refrigerate. Eat the next
Great picnic food ideas are so simple!
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Italian Tomato Salad
Thinly slice large, ripe tomatoes.
Slice 2 balls of mozzarella thinly. Layer the tomatoes with the
mozzarella and add a handful of fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with olive
oil and season to taste just before serving.
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Potatoes in Horseradish Mayonnaise
Take 1 kg baby new
potatoes. Boil until
tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Remove skins when cold.
Take about 1 cup mayonnaise and add enough horseradish cream to suit
your taste. (About 1/4 cup). Pour over potatoes.
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Easy Potato Salad
up into slices 6 large, peeled, boiled potatoes while
hot; add 2 tablespoonful each of chopped red
parlsey. Also add 2 boiled eggs, chopped.
pour in a liberal quantity
of good mayonnaise. If the mayonnaise appears too thick, thin with a
bit of pouring cream. Add salt and black pepper to taste and toss
so as not to break the slices.
boiled potatoes do not make a good potato
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Brie with Iced Plums
This is one of my
favourite picnic food ideas as it is so simple! Take a wheel of Brie
and allow to stand
at room temperature for 12 hours before serving. Combine ice cubes and
plums 30 minutes before serving. Serve cheese with crackers. Iced
grapes can be used together, or as an alternative to the plums. Pack
the ice in a vacuum flask to prevent melting when transporting it to
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Smoked Salmon Roll-ups
Take slices of smoked salmon, fill with
cream cheese. Roll up and slice into 2 inch fingers. Keep cold before
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Ham and Melon Roll-Ups
There is something
about melon and ham as a combination that just works. If you want to
really splash out, you can wrap your melon with prosciutto.
This is a no-fuss, quickly made food that will be well received by all.
Of course you can make the slices of melon as large or small as you
Although you can use both the green and the orange melons, I
personally think the orange melons work better. They are sweeter and
SUMMER PICNIC RECIPES for Cold Meat Medley
Buy a pre-cooked chicken
or do your
own. Slice up at home. Plate this with a variety of cold cuts; ham,
beef, salami etc. Add gherkins, olives, pickled onions.
Two very memorable picnics
stand out in
my mind. One was where we ate cold chicken and sun-ripe tomatoes, drank
champagne and finished up with strawberries - no utensils in sight,
while sitting on the bank overlooking the lake at Blenheim Place,
England. The other was eating a
lunch of ham rolls sitting in the shadows of the best preserved Greek
temples outside of Greece at Paestum, south of Naples. Although the
meal was very simple, the ambiance of where we were made it very
special. Which just shows that simple and easy picnic food ideas don't
need to be complicated to have a successful picnic!
We had the place to
ourselves as Paestum is largely ignored by tourists who would far
rather risk life and limb careering up and down the Amalfi Coast trying
to avoid wide tourist buses and crazy Vesper drivers. It was to our
picnic food is all you need. Memories of where you have your picnic and
with whom, will make it that special occasion you were hoping for.
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