Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Picnicking 101

Since we moved to Florida, picnics have become a regular part of our lives; now that the beach, children and grandchildren, are within reach, we find ourselves off on a picnic almost weekly… and for me it naturally follows that one of the side effects to regular picnicking, is the constant surfing the internet for picnic ideas.  I find great satisfaction in reading other peoples ideas, and mulling over them to decide which ones I would like to try, or to conclude after all my searching, that the old favorites are still my "favorites".  I even love looking through old pictures like the one above to see what they ate, and what they did to create a wonderful picnic a hundred years ago. I think they are working on the dessert segment, I can see cake and Pie

With Fourth of July coming up, we all talked about what wanted to do to celebrate and came up with a very original idea: "Picnic on the Beach".  Ha ha. Well what can I say, a good idea is a good idea, even if we have done it many times.  We also talked about what kind of food we wanted on our picnic that would set it a little above the regular weekly picnic, and decided on another "original idea" of Fried Chicken and Potato Salad…. like I said, "Old Favorites are still our favorites; and we don't very often have fried chicken… perhaps once a year around the Fourth of July… so why not make it a tradition.

With all that searching and thinking about picnic ideas for the Fourth, I decided to do a post of favorite picnic ideas, and list of things to remember. We have made most of the food ideas at one time or another, and others I have wanted to try, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Perhaps they will inspire a picnic or two for you.  I would love to hear some of your ideas as well, so be sure to leave a comment of some of your picnic favorites.

Favorite Picnic Meal Ideas:

Main Dishes
Homemade Fried Chicken
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Tortilla wraps…. cream cheese, cheese, cold cuts, green chills, olives, veggies, beans etc rolled in tortilla and eaten as a wrap, or sliced as spirals
Hot Dogs and Chili : (we just did this picnic last for our Grandson, Zane's, Birthday), and it hit the spot for all the hungry swimmers.  This is also yummy for a campfire picnic.
Salad Sandwiches.
Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Tuna Salad, are great regulars, but you can get creative with salad sandwiches, depending on what you have on hand, I have used Tofu, Roast Beef, Crab meat Ham and even Bologna to make a Sandwich Spread, all of them are delicious.
Saddle Bag Sandwiches
Muffin Tin Sandwiches and Pies: such as:
Meatball Sandwich,                                                                                                                    
Reuben Sandwich,
Beef Pies                                                                                         


Salads and Sides:
Potato Salad
Russian Potato Salad
Picnic Beans
Mexican Bean Salad
3 Bean Salad
Black Eyed Pea Salad
Sweet Potato Salad
Pasta Salad
Spaghetti Salad
Broccoli Salad
Cauliflower Salad
Brown Rice Salad
Wheat Berry Salad 
Barley Salad
Quinoa Salad

Deviled eggs, 
Sliced Veggies
Fresh Fruit

Texas Sheet Cake,  
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Strawberry Cookie Tarts,
Berry Handpies
Slab Pies can be made, cooled, sliced into squares and packed nicely in a picnic basket

Iced Tea
Coffee: In our family, no picnic is complete without coffee in the thermos.  Those of us who like cream in our coffee bring along a little cream in a pint sized canning jar.
Hot Tea:  Sometimes we enjoy having a little tea party picnic.  We bring our hot tea in a thermos, and cream in a little canning jar, and a few tea time type sandwiches.

Here's a link to Country Living for more wonderful picnic recipes

 Pack, Haul and Serve It

1.  Tupperware, Rubbermaid,
I don't know about you, but when it is time for a picnic or potluck,  I am always looking around my cabinets for good ideas to pack and store and haul the food and supplies. My Daughter Elizabeth found this Tupperware set at a Garage Sale a little while back.  It is the cutest little picnic set, that carries 6 each of large plates, 6 small plates, 6 bowls, 6 beverage cups a tray and two bowls, all of which store together nicely in this little cute package.

2.  Empty Plastic Coffee Cans or plastic tubs with lids.
Last week, we had a picnic at the Beach for my Grandson Zane's birthday, we planned to serve Hot dogs and Chili. We wanted to cook it ahead and bring it hot.  So we heated the Chili in the crockpot and brought the Crock pot in its entirety to the picnic.  We cooked the hotdogs and packed them into a large and sturdy coffee can (the plastic variety), packed it into an insulated food bag, and surrounded it with hot towels (that had been wet down and placed into a large ziplock and then microwaved).  The food  arrived hot and delicious at the picnic site just in time for lunch.

3.  Canning Jars , make easy storage and charming serving containers. They are wonderful for serving drinks, salads,  and even desserts: Don't you just love all of those desserts in a jar on Pinterst. This link at By Stephanie Lynn, will inspire a variety of ideas for you. and this link  from My Baking Addiction for the recipe to this picture of Cherry Crisp in a Jar.

4.  Coolers: the modern-day picnic basket that can't go wrong. I personally love the kind with wheels that can be pulled easily by the weaklings of the family (such as myself).  I also love the small insulated bags that are now popularly used for lunches.  I have one of them and use it all the time for traveling in the car, or picnics on the beach.

5.  Picnic Basket: Nothing Beats the romance of a picnic basket for packing up food and memories. I find any kind of basket or hamper is wonderful to haul all the food and supplies for a perfect picnic.

6.  Blankets and Tablecloths: 
7.  Umbrella:  A large umbrella on the beach is a must to provide that protection from excess sun. It is well worth investing in if you are a regular to the beach.
8.  Plates, Cups, Utensils, Napkins
9.  Wet Wipes and a Wet and Dry Towel:  I have started putting a wet hand towel or wash cloth into a ziplock and freezing it for cold packs, and microwaving it for a hot pack.  It is a wonderful addition to helping keep things hot or cold, and as it cools or melts, becomes a perfect clean up towel.
10.  Sun Screen: Yep, I have learned the hard way not to forget this one!

 Happy Picnicking Everyone!


  1. Great picnic post! When our kids were young one summer we went for a picnic every Sunday after church. Went to local parks and little out of the way places. It was so much fun and something the kids still remember. Nothing fancy but a lot of fun.

    We still love to go on picnics. Like to pack a lunch sometimes when we go places and just find a spot to stop and eat. The most unusual place was last fall coming back from some quilt shops and we couldn't find a place we stopped at a little cemetery that had a very beautiful view.

    Have a wonderful 4th.


  2. Picnics are lovely things!! I can just picture you and your sweet family out enjoying the day today....happy Fourth to you!! Hugs, Camille

  3. Cheryl,
    I loved hearing how you used to go on picnics every Sunday after Church. I imagine your children all have wonderful and cherished memories of that. Those are the kinds of memories we should all instill in our children. I also like how you decided to stop at the cemetery for your last one. I am sure it might sound strange, but makes perfect sense. I have seen some beautiful cemeteries that are like parks.

    Thanks for the sweet comment, you are always a blessing. Happy Fourth to you as well.

  4. We have not done much in the line of picnics lately but they are always so fun. A picnic basket does add to it for sure. :)

  5. You always have the best ideas. Loved them all. I will be coming back again and again to this post (as I do to others) to glean from all your excellent ideas.

    p.s. I love picnics too!