Guest Blogger: Lyndi Fultz
Mark your calendar, because we are officially in picnic season! Depending on where you live, picnic season may actually thrive 365 days each year or as little 90 days. The inspiration is still the same: get outside, prepare portable treats, and remove your watch. That’s right, go ahead and remove your watch.
Picnics are meant for slowing down.
Planning for a picnic can be as complicated or uncomplicated as you desire. Having done my fair share of family picnicking that all but needed a professional event planner, these days I like to keep things simple.
Some of my favorite picnic memories were of my mother and I running errands around town. She would pack the simplest of provisions in our ancient circa 1970s Igloo that could only take on a few items, such as sandwiches, milk in a thermos, and cheese or peanut butter. As we weaved our way from town to town making our stops, she would keep an eye out for any park where we could enjoy our snacks. The more intimate the park the better. Often they housed a few picnic tables, a jungle gym, and lots of shade trees.
Picnics set the stage for relaxation.
Picnics often have a sweet air of togetherness, lending themselves to lazy conversations that can either wander to the deep or wade in the shallow end.
Here are five essentials for creating a family picnic:
1. Sweet fruits.
Nothing says picnic more than fresh, in-season, and local fruit. Particularly enticing during hot muggy summer days, fruit has a way of waking up the senses.
2. Salty cheeses.
Who says that picnics have to be all fried chicken or sandwiches as the main dish? Cheese makes an excellent nibbler and incorporating mozzarella into a caprese salad will bring in the unexpected.
3. Fragrant flowers.
Imagine their surprise as you pull out a simple centerpiece. Extra credit if you have wildflowers – or pick a few while you’re there.
4. Comfort-food sides.
Just as potato salad goes great with brisket and coleslaw holds hands with baked beans, your picnic needs a little carbohydrate to encourage abundant happy feelings. A pasta salad with fresh vegetables is a warm-weather favorite.
5. A touch of sparkly.
Everyone knows that bubbles = special. Bring along Mountain Valley’s sparkling water in blueberry and pomegranate or sparkling lime for a kid-approved drink you can all feel good about.
Happy picnicking. Lyndi Fultz, nwafoodie
Arkansas Women Blogger member Lyndi Fultz writes about living and eating well from her life in beautiful Northwest Arkansas at nwafoodie. Much of her blogging inspiration comes from this gem of a place, which she refers to as the proverbial land of milk-and- honey. Read more related to cooking, entertaining, gadget suggestions, ingredient explorations, local finds, local restaurant treasures, kitchen tour spotlights, and always with a healthy and simplistic approach.