I love picnics. When I was a child growing up in Florida my Mom used to make her famous fried chicken along with potato salad, coleslaw, chips and drinks. Oh…can’t forget dessert. Usually cookies or brownies. No matter what the menu was easy to transport to our favorite picnic place – Ft. DeSoto Park. While those were wonderful times of my childhood, my most favorite picnic with my family was at Glacier National Park. There was a small grocer as you entered the park where we stopped. We bought some amazing potato buns, a variety of deli meats and cheeses, some pasta salad and chips and headed into the park. By the time we got to Logan’s Pass, which was closed, we were hungry and decided to picnic on some big rocks with the most beautiful view.
So to celebrate National Picnic month I gathered some recipes from blogger friends. Every great picnic needs some basic components. Good beverages, a variety of salads and side dishes, sandwiches or a main dish and, lest we forget, dessert.
Let’s start with a refreshing beverage for a summer picnic, raspberry sun tea I made last month. I remember my Mom also making sun tea as a kid. While you do have to plan because it takes a few hours to brew in the sun. But, with that said, it’s kind of fun to make it this way. I used loose raspberry tea in cheesecloth. You can certainly use any flavor your family enjoys as well as traditional tea bags to make sun tea. For a picnic you can put the tea in mason jars then add frozen fruit and ice at your picnic destination.
Salads are a must at any picnic. Books-n-Cooks has a couscous and grilled vegetable salad that perfect because there is no mayonnaise. This salad offers a nice variety of vegetables and you could even customize it to ones you and your family enjoy. Green bean salad is another recipe I remember my Mom making often. Jolene’s Recipe Journal has a fresh green bean salad that is also mayonnaise free. The third salad is from Simple and Savory and will absolutely be popular in my area. I live near Tarpon Springs, FL with a large Greek population. Not only is Greek pasta salad another mayo free salad it’s full of fresh vegetables including Bermuda onions, cucumber, tomato and fresh herbs. Now, I have to include one mayo salad. I’m one of those people who brings the salad with a mayo base and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures Texas caviar ham salad would be something I would bring. It’s a combination of fresh and convenience foods and the perfect opportunity to use up some leftovers. Just bring some extra ice to keep it cool.
Moving on to main dishes we have a sandwich and a roll up. The roll up also involves ham. It’s a ham pinwheel that’s easy to make, easy to transport and easy to eat. Palatable Pastime knows how to make it flavorful. It uses prepared potato salad that you can either purchase or make your favorite. I found a more traditional sandwich at Karen’s Kitchen Stories. A BLT sandwich with roasted pimiento cheese and tomato marmalade. You do need to plan in advance to make her version because it’s all homemade meaning it’s got to be good!
Now dessert. Cookies are a favorite picnic food and Cooking with Carlee makes a triple (yes, you read that right) triple peanut butter cookie. Easy to transport and nothing to melt makes them perfect picnic food.
If you’re unsure how to set up a picnic or transport your goodies, this post from Red Cottage Chronicles will show you how. It was designed for two but you can certainly adjust it for more people.
So plan your menu, grab your family, friends and picnic basket and head to your favorite spot.
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