Making plans to picnic in the park for Memorial Day? Has the pleasant weather and the imminent end of the school year made you eager to get outdoors? Whatever your reason is, planning an outdoor meal can be simple and fun when you follow these tips for a picture-perfect picnic.
Tips for Transporting Food
One of the biggest challenges of planning a picnic is getting your food to the picnic area at the right temperature and in presentable conditions. No one wants hot drinks or mushed baked goods. So, here are a few tips for transporting all of your food, serving ware, and drinks.
- When you open and close the cooler frequently, you release the cold air. So, pack two coolers. In one cooler, store drinks and frequently used items. In the other cooler, pack a salad and other perishable food items.
- Keep warm items in their cooking vessel instead of transferring them to a new container. They’ll stay warm longer.
- Pack your picnic basket strategically in reverse order. Place non-perishable food items at the bottom (not bread). Then add serving ware. Finally, add your baked goods and then your tablecloth. This way, you can get to each item as you need it and nothing gets mushed.
Safety Tips for Grilling
If you plan to grill at your picnic site, follow these tips to keep your family safe.
- Transport raw meat in a separate container from your other food if possible. If not, it should be wrapped in an airtight plastic container or a resealable bag.
- Fully cook your meat at home or on-site. You might be tempted to partially cook meat at home and finish the process on-site, but bacteria grows faster in partially cooked food. So, choose one cooking location or the other.
- Keep hot food at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Fun Picnic Games and Activities
Part of the joy of having a picnic is getting to spend more time outdoors. Take advantage of it by planning some outdoor fun alongside your meal.
- Pack a Frisbee or a softball and mitt to play with.
- If you have a large group of people, you can form teams and play this giant outdoor Scrabble game.
- Pack a set of Hula hoops and play a game of human ring toss.
- Bring a rope for a classic game of tug-of-war.
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