Summer does not officially end until September 23, so continue to enjoy the beautiful outdoors – even if you’re cooped up in the city! Go for a beautiful bike ride around Central Park, take the Ferry in and out of Brooklyn, go for a stroll at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, or… have a picnic!!!
This week, Ascanio and I decided to enjoy an early nibble facing the Hudson River and admiring the multitude of boats gliding by. Since it has started to get dark relatively early, I made sure that our picnic basket was stuffed with all our delicious treats as soon as he walked in the door from work, so that we could maximize our time outdoors.
I believe that packing a picnic is somewhat of an art. You need to make sure that all the goodies fit perfectly within the basket, that you have enough paper napkins to tentatively mend any mishaps and that your food storage containers do not leak. Trust me, far too many times have I been stranded with sticky fingers, heaps of garbage and a royal mess.
To prevent any future picnic packing setbacks, here are a few of my packing guidelines:
- Always line your basket – If you don’t have a designated basket liner, use a beach sarong, an old scarf or tea towels. In case something spills (which happens most often than not) it would be easier to wash the liner rather than a beautiful wicker basket.
- Wrap individual plastic utensils in paper napkins – This makes it easier to pass out to your picnic companions.
- Extra Trash Bag – No one wants to put rubbish back into the (I’m presuming) clean basket, so bring an extra grocery bag to put finished bottles of vino, plastic cutlery and throw-away containers.
- Food Containers – Rather than using plastic tupperware to transport your chef-d’œuvre, place your main dishes in Chinese take-out containers. You can buy various sizes and therefore portion the dishes for individual use. Eating out of the containers is lots of fun, especially as you won’t need to juggle wobbly paper plates with your (full) glasses of wine!
- Blanket – Don’t forget to bring a blanket for you and your companieros to sit/lay/munch on. Sitting on the grass can be itchy and uncomfortable, and a beach sarong, cotton quilt or pool towel will give you that much needed coziness.
Summer isn’t over so head outdoors for a picnic with wonderful friends and many glasses of tinto de verano!