Have you ever gone on a picnic?
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to go on a picnic! I have 3 favorite spots to picnic – first, Long’s Park, which has free music concerts of a wide genre on Sunday evenings during the summer. My husband and I take a blanket, 2 chairs, a simple fare, and friends to eat with while listening to the music. Secondly, Safe Harbor Park, which is on the banks of the Conestoga River. There are pavilions and grills there as well. We usually take a portable grill with us; if you choose to use one in the park, please cover the grates with aluminum foil as who knows what was on that grate before you decided to use it.
My third spot is my own backyard with my grandson. We eat finger foods that were simply prepared. Ja ckson loves to make his own peanut butter and Kitchen Kettle Village Low Sugar Strawberry Preserves sandwich. We also have all the modern conveniences close by. To find a more complete list of parks in Lancaster County, go to www.lancastercountyparks.com. On the lower right corner, click on the All Parks Brochure. You should be able to find a similar site where you live if don’t live in Lancaster County. Also, if you are fortunate to live close to a national park, they’re also great for picnicking.
Below are some tips to ensure your picnic is great.
- Keep your food safe. If you are taking any type of meat to grill, it needs to be in a separate cooler from the ready to eat foods. Additionally, use separate utensils for the raw meat.Make sure both coolers have plenty of ice.
- If you’re picnicking with a few people, my recommendation is to serve food in individual containers. We love Taco Salad layered into a wide mouth pint jar. Everyone gets a jar, they eat it, and there is nothing left over. If you have left over food that has been without refrigeration throw it out. No one needs a foodborne illness.
- Make sure you take plenty of water. You need to stay hydrated on hot days. I like to add fruits, vegetables such as cucumbers or a small amount of Kitchen Kettle Blueberry or Red Raspberry Syrup to the water, along with lemon or lime slices, and spearmint leaves if I have them on hand. Most parks do not allow any type of alcoholic beverage.
- Take hand sanitizer or hand sanitizing disposable cloths.
- Garbage bag – don’t leave anything there.
- Simple is best – have fun with those that are with you.
Try this fun, simple picnic recipe…
Gorgonzola Salad with Sweet Cherry Lime Vinaigrette
- 1 bag salad greens (approximately 5 oz.)*
- 1 cup halved pitted dark sweet cherries
- ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
- ½ cup gorgonzola crumbles
- 1 grilled chicken breast, thinly sliced – optional
- Place salad greens in to individual wide mouth jars. Top with the remaining ingredients, lid, and place in a cooler with ice.
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Basin Sweet Cherry Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Basin Persian Lime Olive Oil
- Place the above ingredients in to a small jar, lid, and shake well to combine. Pour over individual salads when ready to serve. *Choose any greens you prefer; right now I am using kale from my garden. I wash it and chop in to a coarse shred.