Back in the day….
When I was little my family used to drive up to my Great-Aunt’s summer camp in northern Wisconsin. Along the way we’d stop for a picnic. The menu was always the same: A cooler full of fried chicken, potato salad, “relishes” like olives and pickles, a tomato or two to slice and a big “picnic jug” thermos of iced tea. My family being MY family, they had to have table for their picnic. I always wanted a “real” picnic on a blanket. Possibly due to this book–which I loved and still have. Plus, I was part of the Yogi-bear generation. Picnics had style back then.
A proper picnic needs a blanket–ideally an itchy wool Pendalton stadium blanket like my parents had from their college days. Ours was like the one on the right–it lived in a plastic tote bag made specially for it. Apparently this is how people tried to keep warm at college football games in the 1950s. It didn’t cover much, but would have looked great for a picnic.
At least we did have a real picnic basket–with its own plates, cups and silverware–it was pure ’50s. The plates and cups were pastel colors in that weird, brittle 50’s plastic. (image source unknown)
Had Mom needed any inspiration, Better Homes & Gardens had picnics covered! I collect this cookbook series, but haven’t acquired this one yet. I only buy them at garage sales and thrift stores–makes the collecting more fun.
The modern picnic-lover has all kinds of great products to help enhance the picnic experience!
First the essential picnic blanket! No need for scratchy wool today. And they’re made to be carried–a real plus.
Red/white: Amazon Red/white/blue: Target Plaid: Amazon
What to eat?
Well, you can browse incredible looking picnic food on Tumblr or Pinterest or read these amazingly fun and delicious-sounding cookbooks! Martha Stewart has great suggests as well–find them here and here.
Grilling on your picnic?
I was just given one of those great grills, but you can buy one here. I have the little red sandwich baskets and love ’em. I’ve always wanted one of those little picnic tables for grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. Some day.
Taking little ones?
What do you take for picnics? Do you take a picnic dinner to the 4th of July fireworks to get a great spot? Leave a comment with your favorite picnic foods, memories, products, whatever picnic related info you want to share!
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