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June is National Picnic Month. The first thing you need is picnic equipment to carry your food, drinks, and more. I love using an old-fashioned picnic basket. I’ve always been a fan of using a picnic table cover and many years ago created my own red-checked table cloth. It was very easy and cheap to make. I just purchased cotton fabric in a red-checked print. All I needed to do was sew a simple hem with the sewing machine to finish it and it went right into the washing machine after each use.
My table cloth fit our picnic table in the back yard as well as any we came across on picnics and road-side-rests as we traveled. We loved taking our picnic meals on trips as we would travel on vacation or those long trips to visit family. Although a table cloth isn’t necessary, it sure was festive and made each meal more fun. Creating a special atmosphere for your family helps to make great memories of family times.
It’s simple and easy to take paper plates and disposable forks and spoons when you will be traveling a great deal, but if you’re just picnicing in a spot close to home you can be more eco-friendly by taking non-breakable plates, cups, and cutlery from home. Just take it back home to wash and re-use on the next picnic outing. You can pick up plastic dishes at the dollar store or other department store.
The most important thing about a picnic is the food! What are your favorite picnic foods? Do you like to grill out when you arrive at your picnic destination or do you prefer foods that are prepared ahead of time. Both can be fun. When I was a child, my mother always cooked ahead of time. One of her go-to menus was: fried chicken, pimento cheese sandwiches and margeurites. She would fry a cut-up chicken in her black iron skillet and that was delicious! We had pimento cheese from the store on white bread.
I don’t know how her treat got it’s name, but she called it margeurites. To make them, you need saltine crackers, peanut butter, and marshamallows. She would fill a cookie sheet with crackers and stand one large marshmallow on each one. This cookie sheet went under the broiler in the oven until the marshmallows were lightly browned. The marshmallows can be flipped and browned on the other side as well. When the marshmallows are brown, another cracker with peanut butter was stacked on top. When you push down to squeeze them together, it’s ready to eat.
Other great ideas for eating at picnics:
- Pink Lemonade – Buy frozen concentrate and mix up a big jug to keep in the cooler.
- Brownies – Use a mix and add chocolate chips and white chocolate chips combo for a deluxe brownie.
- Mango Avacado Salad
- Chilled Watermelon – just make sure to remember a good knife
- If you grill – pre-shape burger patties and separate with wax paper (keep in a tupperware container)
- Cookies – grab a package from the store or make a batch of oatmeal cookies
- Potato Salad – make sure to keep it well chilled with ice
- Marinated Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad – is your garden producing yet? This is perfect with fresh veggies!
- Hand Pies – My grandmother always made peach hand pies with peaches fresh from the family orchard.
Make sure to pack a large trash bag and clean up every bit of trash. Leave your picnic area at least as clean as you found it.
I hope that you’ll share your favorite recipes with me, too. I am looking forward to many family picnics this summer.
@2021, copyright Lisa Ehrman