Preparing the Perfect Picnic

Posted on 26 Feb, 2014 by Kiwi Faves

freyas-wrap

Char-grilled Vegetable and Puhoi Brie Wrap

It’s still picnic season Kiwi Favers, so we want to help you make the most of it. The picnic is a family-and-friends event that’s a staple of the Kiwi summer. The first thing to remember is that there are three key parts to a memorable picnic – the surroundings, the set-up and the spread.

The Surroundings

One of the best things about a picnic is they can happen just about anywhere with very little preparation. Whether it’s a grassy spot in the park or a rest area on a road trip, just pull out the rug and you’re ready to go. Of course, good weather is a must and a spot with a view doesn’t hurt either. If you’re out in the middle of the day, remember to pack the sunblock or find shade under a tree. You can also wait until the late afternoon, when the sun’s a little less intense.

The Set-Up

There are a few essentials you’ll need for an enjoyable picnic. The first is, of course, the picnic blanket. You’ll also need something to eat off. Paper plates are great for picnics because they make cleaning up a breeze, just don’t let them blow away. When it comes to drinks, we recommend plastic cups. They travel better and save the hassle of broken glass.

The Spread

The most important part of a picnic is the food. One of the best things about a gathering with friends is sharing. Getting everyone to bring a plate is a good way to ensure a varied spread and try some dishes you might not make yourself. It’s best to discuss what everyone’s going to bring too, to avoid doubling up.

Sandwiches and Wraps

Sammies and wraps are perfect for picnics – they’re quick to make, easy to transport and eat, and they don’t leave a mess. They’re also really versatile because you can fill them with just about anything. The classic salad sammie is easy and can be made to eat on site. Throw in a few strips of bacon and you’ve got one of Annabelle’s BLT’s Yum. For the chicken-lovers out there, Rebecca’s Chickenberry Sandwiches are a delicious twist on the cranberry and brie classic. We also shared a whole load of sandwich inspiration on the blog last month – take a look: Back to school lunch ideas: Keep lunch exciting in 2014.

Wraps are also a great option. Try letting the kids make their own by bringing along all the fixings for Fajitas, or wow your friends by putting together these Char-grilled Vegetable and Puhoi Brie Wraps. If you’re after something a little less traditional, then these Freya’s Wrap Quesadillas or David’s Pizza Wraps could be a great way to go.

Pies

Nothing goes down at a picnic quite like a pie, so of course the Kiwi bacon and egg pie is a must. We’re particularly fond of Sophie’s Bacon and Egg Pie, made with Edmonds Flaky Puff Pastry. For a more sophisticated palette try Annabelle’s Feta and Hazelnut Tart with Edmond’s Filo. That’s not the only New Zealand classic on the list though – Vince’s Mince and Cheese Pies  are also well worth a go. They’re small, making them ideal for sharing.

Salads

Another ideal picnic meal is the humble salad. Joanne’s Broccoli and Bacon Treat is an easy favourite, and a bit of Bouton d’or Blue Vein cheese makes a great addition. Barbara’s Spinach and Feta Salad is another of our faves, especially with a sprinkle of Bouton d’or Feta. Last but not least – the potato salad. We all know it and love it, but Deb’s recipe adds that little something extra. Give it a go.

Baking

Baked goods are a nice addition for any meal, especially picnics. They’re great for sharing too. Muffins are a good way to go if you’re baking for a crowd and with sweet and savoury options you’ll never be out of ideas. Sweet treats like Annabelle’s Raisin and Chocolate Chip Biscuits or Kara’s One-Pot Brownies can be a tasty way to end an outdoor meal.

Drinks

When you’re out in the sun, it’s important to stay hydrated. A tasty drink to wash down a delicious meal never hurt either – fruit juice is a good alternative to sugary drinks, the fresher the better. You could also have a go at making your own iced tea. On a hot day, chilled water with a lime or lemon wedge is a real treat too. If you’ve got a bit of time to prepare, smoothies always go down well, just make sure to store them securely in the chilly bin.

Freya's Wrap Quesadilla

Freya’s Wrap Quesadilla

If you’ve got any other tips for preparing the perfect picnic, we’d love to hear them in the comments.

Posted in Tips & Tricks

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