July is National Picnic Month and we know that once we’re in the hazy, lazy days of summer and if you have a swimming pool in your own backyard, having a picnic and celebrating national picnic month is even easier, more convenient and fun! Pulling a plethora of delicious summer picnic foods from a wicker basket and sitting on a blanket spread out on the ground is a throwback to simpler times, right?
If you have a swimming pool, a tree or two and a patch of grass you can host a picnic party for friends and family or just for your own family right in your backyard. Don’t forget the blankets, wicker baskets and other items that make a picnic a picnic! One of the things we like best about having a swimming pool is the idea that you have a “staycation” spot in your backyard. You don’t have to fight traffic and crowds or vie for space at the local park for your picnic. You can have all of the picnic fun without any of the picnic hassle!
Celebrate National Picnic Month
When we think “picnic” we think:
- Grilled foods
- Summer beverages
- Veggies and dips
- Pickled foods
- Fun picnic games
History of Picnic Month
Eating a meal in the great outdoors is one of the purest joys of the summer months. This is especially true for those who live in areas of the country that experience rainy autumns and snowy winters. We know that once summer rolls around there is a great big world waiting for us and it beckons us to leave the confines of the house and enjoy dinner out of doors.
It’s believed that the word, picnic, was coined by Tony Willis in 1692. From that first usage of the word and enjoyment of the practice, we have long enjoyed eating out meals outside.
Picnics can be simple family gatherings to large multi-generational family reunions and everything in between.
How You Can Celebrate Picnic Month
The beauty of picnic month is that it is simple to celebrate! Grab friends, food and a shady spot outside and enjoy the wonderful sights and smells of summer!
Here are some of our favorite picnic recipes
Cheeseburgers are a mainstay on any outdoor barbecue party. The key is to use quality beef with a little bit of fat. Don’t worry about the extra calories. One bite of this will assure you that it’s going to so worth it!
1 ½ lbs lean ground chuck with 20% fat content
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices American cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns split crosswise
- Preheat your grill to high heat if you’re using a gas grill. If you’re using a charcoal grill, heat up the coals until they glow bright orange and ash over.
- Divide the ground chuck into 4 equal portions, about 6 ounces each. Form each portion into a ¾-inch thick burger patty. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Brush the burger patty with canola oil on both sides. 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.
- Add the cheese onto the 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. Spread a liberal amount of mayonnaise on the cut sides of the buns. Place the patty on top of the bottom half of the bun and top with the top part of the bun. Serve immediately. Source: Food Network
Hot dogs with Coney sauce
- Eight hot dog buns
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and 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.
- Grill hot dogs on the grill until done. Place 1 hot dog in each bun and top with Coney sauce. (AllRecipes.com)
1 (16 ounce) package macaroni
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
2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
1 cup celery, chopped
Sprinkle paprika on top
Cook noodles until al dente. Rinse cooked noodles in cold water, set aside until cooled. Add in all ingredients except for eggs and paprika. Slice eggs and arrange on top of Macaroni Salad, sprinle paprika on top. Enjoy!
Peach-Ginger Iced Tea
Mash 6 canned peach halves with 1 1/2 cups of the juice, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon grated ginger in a pitcher.
Add ice and 6 cups cold English breakfast tea.
Make simple syrup: Dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat; let cool. Combine with 1 cup lime juice, 2 cups water, some frozen chopped strawberries and ice.
Shake 3 ounces tequila, 2 ounces lime juice, 1 ounce simple syrup (Make simple syrup: Dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat; let cool.) and ice in a shaker.
Strain into an ice-filled glass. (Recipes FoodNetwork.com
Pick up bags of chips and pretzels from the grocery store. You can also grab some of your favorite veggies — potatoes, zucchini, sweet potatoes, etc. and make your own “chips.” Slice the veggies thin, toss in olive oil, spread on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and 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.
Cut up various veggies and have them available for dipping.
Watermelon Fruit Salad Bowl
- One large, perfectly ripe watermelon
- Half of a small cantaloupe
- Half of a small honeydew melon
- Two cups of red grapes
- Half a can of pineapple chunks (optional)
- Two cups of strawberries and/or blueberries
Slice the melon in half, scoop out the melon and use the shell to hold the fresh salad. Use a melon baller for the cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. Chill and enjoy!
Fun Picnic Activities
Of course you’re going to have fun in the swimming pool. Purchase some in-pool games, some pool noodles and rafts. Have buckets poolside to hold sunscreen for your guests. If you have a kiddie pool available, set it up poolside and fill with sand and beach toys for those children who don’t want to swim.
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.
Croquet and bocce ball are always favorites for when you’re not swimming.
Get out and enjoy National Picnic Month as often as you can this July!