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How to Picnic The Joyful Approach Way

76200032Since I’ve been living in New York City, I have spent many beautiful weekend days picnicking with my family and friends in Central Park. A picnic is a special way to spend the day in nature, a social way to enjoy with friends, and a bonding experience to engage with your children, creating the best of memories. Since I only live a few blocks away from the park, we walk over with our convenient system for picnicking (as it’s sometimes challenging.)

Here are some tips to ease up the picnic process:

Prep at home: I do all my food preparation at home to avoid the potential hassle and obstacles faced at the park. Choose dishes that travel well, can be made mostly in advance, are eaten at room temperature and don’t involve sauces or other ingredients that will get too soggy. Avoid foods that require cutting and opt for those that need only a fork and can be held in hand.

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Main Dishes: Choose hearty bread, such as a baguette, for sandwiches. Making open-faced sandwiches are a great idea and are easy to eat.76200005

Salads:In place of lettuce-based salads, serve ones built on sturdy sliced vegetables or grains, such as quinoa chopped up fine. Serve in Mason jars and dress them lightly to avoid sogginess.76200011

Containers:Parchment, twine, lightweight serving bowls and mason jars are environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic wrap and throwaway containers. They look nicer, too.

Tableware: Forgo disposable goods when possible, and use break-resistant plates, cutlery, and glasses.

Packing: Use two big canvas bags, one for room-temperature food and an insulated one for anything that needs to stay chilled. After you pack a layer of food in the bottom of a bag, place a small cutting board over it. Then add another layer of food. The board will act as a shelf and prevent the food from toppling over. When you get to the picnic area, place the cutting board in the middle of the serving area and use it as a makeshift table for drinks. Pack a large bag, and use itto line one of the canvas bags when toting home dirty dishes.76200008

Extras: Other useful items include napkins (cloth if possible), tea towels (to use as an added layer around packed foods or to lay down as place mats), salt and pepper shakers, and serving utensils. Don’t forget a large tablecloth or sheet to use as your table. A corkscrew, moist towelettes and paper towels will all come in handy.

Drinks: I am very big on infusing waters.. I like to fill large jars of water infused with lemon fruits and various herbs for a refreshing beverage. Depending on how big your picnic is, you can either fill a large jug with infused water and bring plastic cups or individual mason jar glasses for everyone to enjoy. Rosé wine is a wonderful addition to a picnic but don’t forget the corkscrew! To keep the wine cool use a insulated bag.

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Seating: Depending on your comfort, and if you prefer the support of a chair, choose a lightweight chair that can be worn as a backpack and has a pocket for extra storage.

Miscellaneous and Fun 

~Frisbee
~Football to have a catch
~A Kite
~A yoga mat to get some yoga in
~A reading book
~Speaker for pleasant background music

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