My husband and I love to picnic. Around here, our favorite place to picnic is Duke Gardens on the campus of Duke University. But we like to picnic wherever we are. When we travel, we always have at least one meal in the form of a picnic in the park. We simply visit a grocery or gourmet shop, buy some food, and walk to the nearest park.
I especially remember one gorgeous Saturday when we picnicked under some trees in New York's Central Park. We picked up some food at Dean and Deluca and enjoyed a beautiful day. Unbeknownst to me, a tick fell onto my arm. It wasn't much fun back at the hotel to discover that little souvenir. But aside from the natural hazards, picnicking makes for an inexpensive and fun date.
Our anniversary is coming up this month, and I wanted a gift for Jack that wouldn't cost much. I was glad I remembered this cool picnic blanket I'd picked up on clearance at the end of summer last year and stashed away in the gift closet:
So I decided to make a picnic supply kit to go along with the blanket.
Now, when I picnic, there are a few things I really want to have in the basket:
- good bread
- good cheese
- good beverage
If I can nosh on good bread and cheese and wash it all down with something yummy to drink, I'm a happy girl. But more than once Jack and I have arrived at our picnic destination only to say, "Did we remember a knife?" or "This cap doesn't screw off; do we have a bottle opener?" Well, with our new picnic supply kit, that'll never happen again!
First I bought a zippered book case to serve as the holder. You've probably seen these at Bible bookstores:
Here's how it looks inside:
I distinctly remember giving a couple of these to Goodwill a few years ago. Oh, well. This brown one matched my blanket and only cost $10.
a small cutting board, a small sharp knife, a bottle opener/corkscrew, and two sets of silverware. Most of these things I had in my kitchen stash already. The brown-handled flatware I bought on super-clearance at a department store. If I hadn't found flatware on sale, I would have picked some up at Goodwill; they always have a large bin of utensils. Or I might have just taken a couple of place settings from my everyday flatware.
The cutting board and bottle opener fit neatly on one side of the Bible case; I simply slid them in. I taped together a cardstock sheath for the knife and slipped it into the pen holder.
On the other side, I laid out my flatware, then simply glued 1/2" elastic snugly around the utensil handles to hold the pieces in place.
Voila! A picnic supply kit, ready and waiting for a pretty day!
I think I'll fold a couple of fabric napkins and tuck them into the kit, too. Then we can just throw our bread and cheese and drinks into a basket or cooler and set off for the park. Who knows? Maybe I'll even tuck the kit into my luggage the next time Jack and I go on a trip.
What's your favorite picnic food? What would go in your picnic essentials kit?