With spring finally in full swing and plenty of reasons to celebrate on the horizon, the itch to get outside and enjoy the nice weather is stronger than ever. For many of us, maximizing our time outdoors can mean taking the things we would normally do inside out into the backyard or the local park— and of course, this means bringing our meals outdoors as well. Whether you’re setting up for a small picnic or a barbeque bash, read on for a few of our tips to make your outdoor dining experience a little easier!
- Stay hydrated by bringing plenty of water with you. This isn’t just for your health; it will help to keep you and your guests happy and enjoying each other’s company longer! There’s nothing worse than enduring a dehydration headache while trying to enjoy a gathering of friends and family.
- Sunscreen is a lifesaver— especially on those sunny days. Be sure to slather it on regularly to avoid that awful skin-prickling burn!
- If you’re in the backyard, set up an umbrella over your table for shade and put cushions on the seats to keep your guests comfortable (and to keep legs from sticking to chairs in these ever-rising temperatures!)
- If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, keep in mind the duration of your excursion and the temperature that day. Perishable foods shouldn’t be left out for more than an hour or so, especially in hot weather, so if you’re planning on being out for a while, be sure to bring plenty of ice and insulated coolers!
- Be sure to have covers for the food to keep bees, other insects, and any wind-blown debris out of it! This can also lock in coolness depending on the material used in the container. Try not to bring anything that will shatter to avoid an accident ruining the day!
- Keep the food simple. We’ve mentioned this as a picnic tip before, but it holds true no matter what your outdoor excursion is. Foods that are easily contained and easy to serve are the best options in outdoor scenarios, but don’t look at this as a limitation— your outdoor dining experience can still be scrumptious and include variations of your favorites!
- Blankets and cushions are necessities if your intentions are to have a picnic on the ground. If you have a picnic table available to you, set the food here to keep ground-dwelling critters and insects from bothering you.
- To avoid bees and other insects, first tip: find a spot that isn’t near a trash can. You can also set out mothballs near your setup area to keep them away— mothballs act as a stinky natural repellent to insects. To double up on your security measures (because there is nothing worse than having your picnic ruined by pests), you can create a concoction out of sugar, vinegar, water, and a chopped up banana peel inside of a 2-liter soda bottle, and hang it from a tree a little ways away from your site. This will get their attention and keep them from bothering you and your company! Mint is also a natural bee repellent, so by sprinkling mint leaves around the food and your picnic area, you can ward them off.
We hope you’re as thrilled about the return of the warm weather as we are. There is nothing sweeter than an outdoor gathering with all of your favorite people. Wishing you a beautiful spring— we’ll see you the next time you stop in for your picnicking needs!