Have you ever wondered if there is such a thing as a holiday for picnics? Well, there is! July is heralded as National Picnic Month — yes there is a holiday for almost everything, but hey why not celebrate with a picnic? Picnics are fun, add a different flair to a meal and when is the last time you had one?
We’re not sure if we consider sitting around the outdoor patio table in your backyard counts as a true picnic. When we think of picnic, we think putting food into a basket, grabbing a blanket and sitting on the ground under the shade of a tree and enjoying the day, the company and a meal.
You can definitely have a picnic and celebrate July with your own month of picnic activities, but get away from the furniture and sit on the ground. A blanket on the ground and eating cold food from a cooler is simply a different experience. Grill up burgers or chicken the day before, refrigerate. Make salads — macaroni, potato, pasta and a fruit salad the day before and refrigerate. Grab some potato chips and dip and cut up veggies. Add drinks and a few ice packs and viola — a picnic!
Plan your picnic so all the work is done the day before, if possible. This way, you’re just packing up and heading out — even if it’s only to the corner of the yard. The chilled food, the relaxed atmosphere and sitting on the ground together will make the meal special.
Don’t relegate the picnic to dinner. Eat lunch picnic style. Why not eat some quiche or a frittata or even breakfast burritos that you’re prepared in advance and just enjoy the morning of. If you’re doing a breakfast picnic, don’t forget the mimosas!
A swimming pool. Delicious food. A patch of grass. Shade trees. A picnic basket. Friends and family. There’s your picnic ingredients!
Enjoy the picnic in an area away from where you typically eat, but don’t forget to add the swimming pool into hte mix! Eat, swim. Eat, swim. Repeat! The pool and the picnic are what make your yard a staycation. If you’ve been quarantined and if you still are and if the children aren’t going back to school until the fall, then make use of the pool and enjoy the time together making memories and having picnics.
Invite friends over, but ask them to bring their own food and blankets and have a socially distant picnic.
Are You Ready To Celebrate Summer With A Picnic?
Who started the picnic experience?
Tony Willis is credited with starting the idea of picnics in 1692. He coined the word and the practice. Since then we have enjoyed eating meals outside. If you live in an area of the country that has limited sunshine or summer weather, there is nothing better than getting outside as often as you can and eating a meal, right?
We’ve put together some picnic favorites — some can be prepared in advance, others you may just want to fire up the grill and cook during the picnic.
What would a picnic be without the classic cheeseburger?
Nothing fancy here just beef and cheese (and maybe a bit of salt and pepper! Use quality beef and tasty rolls.
1 ½ lbs lean ground chuck with 20% fat content
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices American or cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns split crosswise
- Preheat grill. If you’re using charcoal, heat up the coals until they glow bright orange and ash over.
- Divide the ground chuck into four equal portions.
- Form into a ¾-inch thick burger patty.
- Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
- Place on the direct side of the grill. Cover and grill about 3 minutes or until the burger patties are golden and slightly charred on the first side.
- Flip the burgers and grill for another 3 minutes. Resist the urge to place the spatula on the burger and squeeze out the delicious juices.
- Add cheese onto tops of the burgers.
- Place the buns on the indirect side of the grill, cut side down.
- Cover and grill for another minute to melt the cheese and toast the buns.
- Remove the burger patties and buns from the grill.
- Add your favorite condiments or stick to traditional condiments like mustard and ketchup. Place a buffet layout of mayonnaise, onions, pickles and your other favorite burger toppers.
- Place the patty on top of the bottom half of the bun and top with the top part of the bun.
- Serve immediately.
Hot dogs with Coney Island topping
- 6 ounces of burger
- Eight hot dog buns
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat on the grill
- Cook and stir beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly
- Discard grease.
- Add chili sauce, water, chili seasoning, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until Coney sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. (some people like to add corn to the mix for an added crunch for the Coney sauce
- Grill hot dogs until done.
- Place the hot dog in a bun and top with Coney sauce.
Mom’s amazing Macaroni Salad
1 (16 ounce) package macaroni
4 boiled and peeled eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1 carrot grated
1 ripe tomato chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
Paprika to sprinkle on top
- Cook noodles until al dente.
- Rinse cooked noodles in cold water
- Set aside until cooled.
- Once noodles are cool, add in all ingredients except for eggs and paprika.
- Stir gently
- Slice eggs and arrange on top of Macaroni Salad,
- Sprinkle paprika on top.
Peach-Ginger Iced Tea
- Mash 6 canned peach or fresh halves
- Add peach juice if using canned or apple juice if you’re using fresh
- Add 1/3 cup sugar
- Add 1 tablespoon grated ginger in a pitcher
- Stir gently
- Add ice
- Mix in 6 cups cold brewed English breakfast tea.
Slice peaches and put one in the bottom of each glass. If you want to make this an adult beverage add in some peach brandy or a light peach wine.
- Make simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat
- Let it cool
- Combine the syrup with 1 cup lime juice
- Add 2 cups water
- Add frozen chopped strawberries
- Add ice
- Stir and enjoy.
To make this an adult beverage add a splash of gin or vodka to the drinks.
Margarita on the go
- Shake 3 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 1 ounce simple syrup (Dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat; let cool.)
- Add ice in a shaker
Strain into an ice-filled glass. (Recipes FoodNetwork.com
Our favorite finger foods and picnic snacks
Don’t stress about the finger foods and picnic snacks. Grab some chips and pretzels. Chop up veggies or buy packs of pre-packaged, chopped veggies. Some veggies and fruits to consider include: celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced apples, blueberries
- If you have time, make your own veggie chips. Use potatoes, zucchini, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Slice the veggies thin
- Toss them in olive oil
- Spread on a baking sheet
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Bake at 350 degrees until crispy — about 30 minutes.
Purchase chip-dip or grab sour cream or greek yogurt and mix in dill, or dried onion soup, mix it up. Chill. Enjoy.
It’s a watermelon turned into a bowl!
- One large, ripe watermelon
- Half of a cantaloupe
- Half honeydew melon
- Two cups of red grapes
- Half a can of pineapple chunks (optional)
Slice the watermelon in half and scoop the melon out. You will use the shell to hold the rest of the salad.
Use a melon baller for the cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon.
Chill and enjoy!
Get your picnic fun on!
- Get in the pool
- Play bocce ball
- Set up croquet
- Set up a volleyball net and play volleyball or badminton
- Purchase pool noodles
- Rafts are always fun in the pool
- Set up a kiddie pool for those youngsters who don’t want to be in the “big pool”
- Have a selection of life vests on hand
- Get some pool buckets and fill them with sunscreen and chapsticks with sunblock so the guests don’t burn
- String a clothesline and have towels available for your guests. Then hang them to dry before the next swim session
- Set up a Nature Scavenger hunt. Look at items around your yard and put them on a list for your guests to find: Leaves, twigs, you can hide various items around the yard, a four leaf clover, and more.