A Perfect Picnic
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Five Go-to Supplies Elevate the art of picnicking with these mo
This Summer, Make a Plan to Revive Casual Outdoor Dining
Written by Ashley Gartland
As the season shifts from spring to summer, you’ve no doubt started entertaining the idea of picnicking outdoors. But if you want to pull off a truly memorable picnic this year, you’ll need more than paper plates and a wicker basket at your disposal. To set yourself up for success as a picnic planner, organize the details of your meal well before you spread your blanket on that grassy knoll.
Whether you’re planning an intimate picnic or an outdoor meal for a few dozen friends, here’s what you need to consider if you want pull off an unforgettable alfresco meal during prime picnic season.

Select a Spot. A visually appealing environment, such as a public garden or a scenic butte overlooking town, sets the stage for a beautiful outdoor meal. But there’s more to picnic planning than finding a pretty park. You’ll also want to consider the available amenities of a potential site before you finalize the location. For example, you’ll want to make sure picnic-goers will have access to on-site amenities such as running water and restrooms. Similarly, you should check to see that the site can accommodate the size of your group and that it’s pet friendly if you plan to invite guests’ four-legged friends.  

Decide on a Theme. You wouldn’t plan a dinner party without a theme, so why should a picnic be any different? A menu theme—be it tapas or classic summertime picnic foods—will help inspire guests, should they wish to contribute to the meal. (It also keeps them organized and ensures you’ll end up with a well-rounded spread of complementary foods.) To get everyone on the same page, send out an Evite or start an e-mail chain for guests a few weeks before the event. Use it to announce the theme and then invite picnic-goers to respond with the dish (or dishes) they’ll be making to prevent having too many duplicate foods.

Better Your Beverages. This year, vow to forgo plastic water bottles and cans of cola in favor of serving beverages with a bit more class. Set up an ice bucket in a colorful cooler, then fill it with bottles of your favorite artisan sodas, homemade lemonade, or water flavored with lemon or lime wheels. (Individual-size bottles allow you to skip the cups, but you can also opt to bring drinks in larger glass bottles or pitchers and invite guests to bring their own glassware to serve the drinks in if you wish.) You might also look into bringing bottles of wine, a pitcher of sangria, or pre-batched cocktails for the event. Just make sure to research your destination’s open-container policy before you start to imbibe.

Send a Runner. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the decided-upon spot only to discover that all the picnic tables and shady swaths of grass have been snatched up by other picnickers. You can prevent this from happening by designating someone in your group to stake out a prized spot at your location well before the appointed picnic time. (Times will vary depending on the location, but roughly thirty minutes to an hour before start time should suffice.) When the rest of the guests arrive, all they have to do is spread their blankets and add their dishes for the party to begin.

Set the Table. It’s time to curb your habit of dining on flimsy paper plates and plastic silverware. Instead, bring real plates to dine on or invite guests to bring their own. Similarly, don’t be shy about decorating a table with real linens or a vase filled with fresh flowers. Your fellow picnickers will appreciate the thoughtful touches.
Sharon Medairy, RealtorŪ
Sharon Medairy, RealtorŪ
510-517-9969 cell
BRE 01885305
Real Estate Source, Inc.

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