Ever wonder what the deal was with celebrating Chanukah for eight nights? Why all of the greasy, oil drenched food? For the love of g’d, why do Jews spin wooden tops on Chanukah? Why in the world are there 40 different variations of spelling for Chanukah??
I’ve been feeling awfully nostalgic lately, and wanting to go back to a time when things were much simpler. You know, when we waited for dial up Internet and had to consult the weekly TV Guide to find out what was on all 45 channels we got? Way back when, in the good old days, I also enjoyed a good picnic. It’s hard to imagine a time when you could have a nice meal with a group of people who weren’t more busy texting than eating.
Let’s bring the picnic back, shall we? Here are some tips to consider when putting together a fun, food-filled outing:
Pick a Location
I like to think of a picnic as taking place in a grassy park. I’d sit on a huge red and white-checkered tablecloth on a fantastically sunny day and nosh on a fresh sandwich straight out of a woven basket. But you know what’s crazy? People are getting pretty creative with where they’re setting up for an epic mealtime. If you’re all about thinking outside the basket, head to a beach, city rooftop, or lush pasture. Just remember to pack lightly if you’ve got a long walk to your destination!
Whip Up Something Delicious
Okay, when I said sandwich earlier, I meant a completely mouthwatering sandwich. I’m talking about a ton of colorful veggies and flavorful cheeses piled between slices of bakery-fresh bread. Where you can, add flair to the usual picnic grub. Try trading pre-packaged cheddar singles for deli counter Muenster. Or why not toss succulent extras like just-picked chives or roasted red peppers into typically boring potato salad? Make it unique!
Keep it Simple
While it might be an awesome thought, it’s probably best not to haul your grill along for your picnic journey. That being said, your food should also be easily transportable and simple. Even though it seems like that eliminates much of the fare you’d like to bring, a Thermos and a thoroughly chilled basket can come in handy for bringing that vegetable soup or shrimp you might like to chow down on.
Add Finishing Touches
If you’re a minimalist and all about soaking in the sights and sounds of nature during your meal, you may want to skip adding décor to your picnic. Otherwise, bring along fresh flowers, candles, or paper lanterns to set the mood. Don’t forget a portable speaker for your smartphone’s playlist to keep your picnic rocking!
Check It Twice
Here’s a quick list of things you won’t want to leave behind:
- Picnic basket or cooler
- Plastic dinnerware, glassware, and silverware
- Bottled water (freeze and use in lieu of an ice pack)
- Corkscrew and bottle opener
- Trash bag
- Bug spray
- Tablecloth or blanket
What are you waiting for? Dig out that dusty picnic basket and revamp your idea of a picnic with a modern twist!