For whatever you do outside this summer-- be it a hike in the gorge, a day at the beach, or a movie in the park-- you and your companions will want to take a break from the action. So roll out a blanket, break out that basket, and tuck in to a wonderful, portable dining experience!
Here are four must-haves for the perfect picnic:
1. Fruit It simply wouldn't be summer without stone fruit, which practically begs to be included in your salads, side dishes, or beverages. Throw peach slices into sweet tea, or add cherries to your salsas to add sweetness and complexity. Watermelon, too, is one of summer's delights-- chop into cubes, add cilantro, feta, and lime for a wonderful, light side dish. Stop by your local farmer's market and take home whatever is at the peak of the its season!
2. Seating You and your guests are sure to appreciate the right seat when attending a movie in the park or a day at the river, so a sturdy blanket is a must. When it comes to seating, more is always better-- speciality cushioned picnic blankets are ideal for practically any situation, but a normal blanket or towel with a shower liner underneath will keep everyone dry and comfortable.
3. Drinks It's hot out, you're in the sun, and you're thirsty. Experiment with juicing at home to make your own tasty beverages and cocktails! Confer with friends and neighbors to swap or glean harvests of plums, cherries, tomatoes, kale, lavender, and more! Make simple syrups to add to your favorite summertime drinks, or use the summer's bounty as garnish for elegant cocktails.
4. The Basket A picnic does not necessarily require a basket, per se, but the portable element of the picnic equation may sometimes seem daunting or troublesome. Not to worry however: there is no need to spend lavishly on specialty picnic sets. In whatever bag you find best suits your needs, pack cold foods at the bottom and hot foods at the top to control their temperatures. Wrap wine bottles in a dish towel, twist up the length of the bottle, and tie at the top for easy transportation. Make mason jars and napkins work double time as transportation for food, cutlery, and ultimately left-overs.
Check out the events map to learn about movies at the park in and around Portland this summer!