Home Economics: How to pack for a picnic

Summer is such a fun season and there are so many outdoor concert and movie options. I’ve been going to Movie Monday’s at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa for years. Over time, my group of friends has perfected the art of packing a picnic.

imageFirst, you need a chair and blanket. I love my Tommy Bahama backpack chair. It has a regular and an insulated pouch on the back. My leopard Snuggie fits perfectly in the top pouch. I received my Snuggie as a gag gift, but I actually use it all the time. It’s great if you need to stay warm and still have the use of your arms and hands!

Next, you need a good picnic basket and insulated tote bag. I inherited an awesome picnic basket when my friend Adam moved and not only is it useful, it has serious sentimental value. My insulated bag is from Trader Joe’s. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.

imageAn inflatable ice bucket is also essential. I bought mine at a Duffy boat store, but I found a similar one here. It is so convenient, and it takes up no room. You blow it up when arrive and fill with ice and your drinks. I’ve also been bringing mine to hotel rooms to keep waters cold when traveling.

imageYou also need a table in a bag. It rolls out and has screw-on legs. You can buy a similar one here. You also need a tablecloth, battery powered candles, and cute serving ware. For this picnic, I bought sandwich baskets and plastic divided mini trays. I love that the sandwich baskets came with checkered wax paper inserts. I bought the plates, baskets and battery powered candles at Wal-mart. I also pack trash bags for trash at the end of the night and grocery store bags for the dirty dishes.

imageSince the movie for the night was “Spice World,” which by the way is the worst movie ever, I wanted to make something British-themed to go with the movie. When I was in London, I had the best sandwich ever. It was so simple… Brie cheese, cucumber, and tomato with a hint of mayonnaise on a crusty baguette. Once I made the sandwich, I wrapped the baguette in wax paper and divided it into six sections. I used tape to hold the wax paper in place and then tied each individual sandwich with baker’s twine. Not only were they delicious, they also looked really cute. The six sandwiches fit in a gallon sized Ziplock bag.

imagePretzel sticks are so great to serve with dips. I bought these at Trader Joe’s. They are stronger than chips and crackers, so they don’t break when dipping. I served the pretzels with Yummus, an almond spread similar to hummus. They sell it at the farmer’s market near my house. I go to the farmer’s market every week to buy more. It’s so good! The pretzels are also great with spinach dip and hummus.

imageThe friends I was meeting brought side salads and other treats from Whole Foods.
imageEven though the movie was horrible, we had a blast! Only picnic with people you love.

Homework: What is your best picnic tip?

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