How To Pack The Perfect Picnic
Whether you’re enjoying an alfresco feast or a simple, laid-back lunch, eating outdoors requires planning ahead. From picking your kit to transportable treats, we’ve got everything you require for the very best picnic ever …
Packing The Perfect Picnic Lunch
Venturing into the outdoors with a heaving picnic hamper is among the great delights of summer. But before you settle into a shady spot to eat up your sandwiches and Scotch eggs, there’s lots of preparation to be done …
Pack With Panache
Pick your equipment carefully – absolutely nothing dampens the picnic spirits more than a leaky cool box. Prior to you set off, inspect your Tupperware is shut tight, and cover any particularly pungent items in a plastic bag. Plastic cups or bottles are best for youngsters to prevent breakages. If you’re bringing wine glasses for the grown-ups, consider packing a lightweight tray to stand them on during the pouring and in between sips, and if you’re sampling cork-sealed wine, do not forget the bottle opener!
There’s no need to run the risk of a funny tummy if you plan and pack carefully. Cold boxes and ice packs are necessary to make sure that items normally kept in the fridge stay as cool as possible, so keep things like meat, fish or dairy dishes stowed away, and don’t delay tucking in when you’ve reached your picnic location.
While it may look appealing to set out your fare for all to see, keeping your food on ice for as long as possible will lower the threat of having to throw out anything that’s sat in the baking sun all day. Cutting dishes such as quiche into wedges, and serving them up straight from the cool box is alway a great option. Finally, bring some hand wipes or anti-bacterial gel, and make sure that everyone’s hands are clean before they start to eat.
Avoid The Dreaded Soggy Sandwich
A top tip to avoid soggy salads and sandwiches is to keep components such as dressings, fillings and optional extras stored away in different containers (chilled if necessary) until they’re needed. Add ingredients like goat’s cheese or pre-chopped fruit to your dessert at the last minute, and dish out with confidence that your food is going to be at is best.
Once you’ve assembled your picnic basket, it’s time to plan your picnic provisions. Sandwiches, pies, Scotch eggs and chicken drumsticks are considered traditional picnic treats for a reason – they’re all finger foods that travel well. Make a batch of perfectly portioned mini pork pies with piccalilli, or bake a big pork and rabbit pie to enjoy as a centrepiece. Bacon-wrapped or spicy Coronation drumsticks are also guaranteed to please a crowd.
Go gourmet with chorizo Scotch quail’s eggs or whip up a lighter batch of vegetarian falafel Scotch eggs. A simple tip is take your cooled dishes out of the refrigerator and wrapping in foil, then in bubble wrap before putting into your cool box, to keep them at a safe temperature for as long as possible.