When we think of picnics we tend to think of dining outside on blankets that cover the grass outdoors or a sandy beach. The term picnic really refers to any meal eaten outdoors whether or not you are seated on a chair at a table or on the ground. According to the Oxford English Dictionary a picnic is “Originally, A fashionable social entertainment in which each person present contributed a share of the provisions; now, A pleasure party including an excursion to some spot in the country where all partake of a repast out of doors: the participants may bring with them individually the viands and means of entertainment, or the whole may be provided by someone who ‘gives the picnic’. ” So therefore, a picnic – in my opinion – is a perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day!
Now first, one should take into consideration what the mother would like to do to celebrate the day. Picnics are a wonderfully relaxing way to keep the family together. With younger children, restaurant dining can be iffy, possibly troublesome. Picnics are wonderful for both large parties and intimate gatherings. Consider your crowd. Will it be just you, your husband and children? Or will you welcome extended family members and children? Picnics are lovely in that they can be as formal or as casual as you wish them to be. Food preparation can be done ahead of time, allowing you to fully enjoy the day. Do be sure to let your little and big helpers set the table and do the dishes for you!
The great thing about picnics is that just about anything can be served from burgers to finger sandwiches, antipastos, green salads, and pasta salads…. Really the possibilities are endless!
Caesar salad, Salade Nicoise, Chef Salad, Cobb Salad and Greek Salads are always crowd pleasers. They can easily be prepared and assembled ahead of time. Note: Don’t dress your salads until you’re ready to serve them!
Antipasto, tapas, and crudite are wonderful items to serve. They’re appealing to many different palates and your friends and family can choose what they like most. Serve with crackers or slices of wonderfully crusty baguettes.
Children in particular like anything on a skewer. Here ordinary sandwich ingredients are turned up a notch and become festive as they are served with individual servings of dressing.
Consider individual servings such as these little 7 layer dips. They will prevent you and your children from eating too much, and will keep the younger set from hovering around and double dipping!
And we shouldn’t overlook standard picnic fare that’s always a crowd pleaser such as pasta salads, coleslaw and potato salad.
Chicken salads and thinly sliced pieces of steak can be arranged prettily on a platter and served with bread or rolls so that your guests can make their own sandwiches. Don’t forget to bring out your condiments!
And what’s a picnic without dessert? Watermelon and cookies are always a crowd pleaser, especially with the children, and are easy to serve. One can always add fruit salad, pound cakes and tarts.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Sunday’s weather cooperates. My children have already told me that they want to have a picnic on Sunday… Since I already know who will be doing the cooking, I know I ought to get my grocery list made and start prepping!
Wishing you all a wonderful, wonderful Mother’s Day!