Art Of Picnicking

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The art of picnicking is one that requires very little expertise, but a great deal of enthusiasm. A successful picnic may be one that involves numerous bugs, howling winds, sand in your sandwiches or even a thunderstorm. That is all part of the fun, but that is in fact the secret. For all the planning you do, you need to keep an open mind and a sense of humour, remembering that the reason you wanted to have a picnic in the first place was to have quality time with loved ones.

So, let me talk about the planning part: the more flexible you can be, the more chance of success you have. If you put the tomatoes in a separate container instead of already adding them to your sandwiches, then the extra time to drive to the prettier side of the lake will not make them soggy! Having a tarp and some rope or one of those pop-up canopies will mean you can still picnic in the rain (although I have been known to spread the fare out on the dash of the car!) And always having your picnic basket at the ready, with cloth napkins, a cheese board and knife and a few wine glasses means you can go on an impulse to watch the sunset from the beach.

Okay, I know, you’re thinking “When is she going to get to the food?!” Well, here are a few of my favourite ideas for picnic fare:
  • “build-able” sandwiches – take your favourite fillings and sides, along with a couple of types of bread and let everyone make their own sandwich (anything goes, from cold cuts to tapenade with cheese)
  • roast chicken with salads – this can be a fun potluck picnic, and I learned the secret to a great green salad is to put the dressing in a plastic bag and then you can toss the salad in the bag when you arrive and it will not be already wilted!
  • Quiche can be a fancier picnic item, served from the dish – add asparagus in a spoke-like pattern for a beautiful presentation
  • Oysters make a decadent picnic if you know how to shuck them, but some steamed mussels can be lovely too and they are tasty cold with a vinaigrette
  • Desserts can be as fancy as you can carry – when I was a kid, Oreo cookies were special picnic treats, but cupcakes are fun and fruit pies or tarts are a wonderful celebration of the season.

(If you would like any recipes, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the website, as we are happy to share.)

I hope some of those ideas inspire you for a picnic sometime soon – take a load off and enjoy watching the world go by. Remember the corkscrew and the camera so you can toast your initiative at sunset and record the memories!

500ml of Kalamata Olives, rinsed in warm water to take away the saltiness
One whole bunch of Italian Parsley
2 cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup of Roasted Pine Nuts
1/3 of Lemon Rind with a rasp
1/4 cup of Olive Oil

1- Using a food processor, chop the garlic and parsley very small with some olive oil
2- Add the olives and pine nuts and chop to desired texture
3- Season with black pepper and lemon rind

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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