Summer wastes no time revealing its intended purpose, one of which is to go forth and enjoy the season of warm temps, cool waters and fun in the sun times practicing stylish and safe picnic tips.
Packing a picnic meal and heading out to a fun in the sun destination is a time-honored tradition; a simple activity most of us have engaged in and enjoyed during the good old summertime.
Working with a basic get the job done picnic of white paper plates- hamburgers-hot dogs-plastic throw away cups-pass me the bug spray- aluminum webbed lawn chairs passed down from grandma’s summer to yours picnic theme has worked for years because it works.
You know what else works?
Stylish and delicious alternatives to the traditional, reinterpreted vintage or in the style of vintage wares, and simple yet elegant accents perfect for creating a posh picnic.
Play with your food and see what edible centerpiece magic you can create.
Fresh wildflowers from the field or the famers market flower truck pretty up a picnic table or blanket.
Fun in the day and stylishly useful to light the night, picnic lighting options such as gingham paper lanterns, solar powered LED landscape path lights, and solar powered LED flameless candle lanterns set a comfy scene.
For $5.00+tax you can light your picnic space up with a 6-pack (not that kind of lit) solar powered LED landscape path lights from Walmart.
A red and white checkered print tablecloth drapes the picnic table in an instantly recognizable summer classic.
Layer the look with summer themed table and serveware in a picnic friendly mix and match of melamine.
These Riviera Beach Club plates are so summer picnic chic!
Disposable drives the easy express, and today’s options are super cute.
Coastal or oceanside beaches provide a picturesque picnic point for sure, but not all that picnic are blessed with this location option.
Options are always good, and imaginations adapt well to an entertaining challenge.
Have backyard, will picnic is the summer picnic spot of choice offering entertaining options for a casual affair for two or a take it up a notch nosh set for friends and family.
Local recreation areas and state parks provide picnic sites and man-made beaches – a summertime fun in the sun requirement.
Picnic Tips 101
Easy is a picnic must.
Packing your picnic goods from vehicle to table becomes a much easier trek with this inexpensive folding sports wagon.
Great option, too.
Summer activities should be relaxing, carefree, easy, and safe.
Hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, a roll or two of paper towels, and a mild mix of dish soap and warm water in a spray bottle will get you where you need to be in the fight against summer picnic cooties.
For a chilled picnic me up during and after your outdoor soiree, include a chilled package of cucumber and mint facial wipes zipped up in a zippered storage bag in your cold drinks cooler.
Refrigerate a package of cucumber and mint facial wipes the night before and bring along for a deliciously fragrant and instantly cooling refresher course.
Speaking of fresh mint, fresh mint ice cubes add a minty fresh kick to picnic beverages.
Place gently rinsed fresh mint leaves into each individual square of the ice cube tray.
Fill each square with water.
Pop ice cube tray into freezer until cubes are frozen solid.
Food safety and temperature regulation is key to picnic safety.
Fill empty, clean 2 liter soda bottles, milk containers, or a trio of water bottles ½ full with water (allow for expansion).
Place bottles in the freezer the day before your picnic. Use the frozen bottles to aid in keeping cooler items cold.
Food poisoning temperatures range between 40°F and 140°F.
Perishable foods should be kept at or below 40°F.
Hot foods should be kept at or higher than 140°F.
Make sure meats are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
The mix and mingle rule of fun does not apply to picnic food and beverages.
I highly suggest using 2 coolers; one for beverages and the other for perishable food items.
Wait until just before leaving home to pack perishable foods in the cooler.
Place cooler in a shaded area, and use a refrigerator thermometer to check and verify the temperature inside the cooler remains at or below 40°F.
After each picnic use be sure to wash out your coolers with hot, soapy water.
Throw away food left out for more than two (2) hours.
On a day where the outdoor temperature is 90°F or above, I would exercise extreme caution by throwing away any food that has been out for more than one (1) hour.
‘Tis better picnic safe than picnic sorry.
Refrigerator Garden Pickles
6 cups sugar
6 cups white vinegar
¼ cup celery seed
¼ cup mustard seed
2 tablespoons canning salt
10 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 medium cucumbers, sliced
3 medium sweet red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, halved and sliced
1 bunch green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
In a Dutch oven, combine the first 5 ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour hot liquid over vegetables; cool.
Transfer to jars, if desired; cover tightly. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Makes 7 pints.
Grilled summer vegetables in foil packets make an easy and tasty best of the season side dish.
Include a fruit and snack board or tray with items that place the emphasis on summer fresh and filling without fear of spoilage or the dreaded sugar high.
Hey kids, who can name the cities on the cutting board?
“It just wouldn’t be a picnic without the ants.”
Mix up a simple 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
Add a couple of drops of dish soap and you have an excellent solution to an ant situation.
Simply spray the ant invaded area with the mix, wait a few minutes, then resume your picnic activities ant free.
Food tents and domes keep the fresh in, the flying and crawling visitors out.
Mesh & Wood Food Dome – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
Cut and cart your watermelon wedges or slice on-site.
Avoid cross contamination by never using the same knife used for cutting raw meat, poultry, or seafood to chop or slice fruits and vegetables.
Aluminum foil makes a great grill or pot scrubber.
An onion makes a super easy grill cleaner, too!
Get the grill really hot (be careful!) in order to burn off any food leftover on the grills from previous use.
Stick an onion half on the end of a grilling fork. A heavy-handed spray of lemon juice or vinegar will assist with its acidity in super cleaning off the grills.
Onions have natural antibacterial properties, and that’s a good thing especially in these times.
Pour vegetable or olive oil onto a couple of paper towels or clean cloth, place between tongs and wipe down the grill to prevent sticking.
Vegetable or olive oil works best. Cooking spray burns too easy and will compromise the flavor of the meat.
Craft or butcher paper makes a great disposable table cover.
Roll it out.
Roll it up.
Toss it in the trash.
Knowing what we now know about overexposure to the sun proves we’ve all come a long way, sun babies.
Sunscreen now prevents sun scream later.
If you find yourself overly sun kissed keep calm and moisturize on!
First, refrigerate a bottle of vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar.
Cold vinegar applied to the burn will ease the pain of the burn.
A 20 minute soak in a cool bath with 1 cup of baking soda added to the water will calm and sooth skin.
Allow your skin to air dry and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
All the Buzz
Burn a bundle of fresh sage or rosemary over charcoal to help keep mosquitos and other bugs away.
Citronella candles- the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it mosquito defeater.
Pack a picnic basket full of summer picnic tips and celebrate summer down by the lazy river, on the beach, at a local recreation area, or in your own backyard with family and friends.
It is one of the best parts of summer!