Gabriel Wilson loves to cook, eat tasty foods, and drink a glass of wine—without having to do the washing up.
Sliced Lemon and Herb Chicken, Topped with Coleslaw on Homemade Brown Soda Bread
Great Foods for Adult Picnics
The great outdoors is the best place to be when the days grow warmer and the sun rises high in the sky. A picnic is one of the simplest ways to enjoy being outside. Throw some tasty food and a bottle of plonk together and you have the ideal basics for an adult picnic.
Whether you opt for the beach, the mountains, a lush green field or your own back garden the food you choose for your picnic is just as important as the setting. Delicious food doesn't have to be difficult.
I have a few ideas to share with you to ensure the perfect food for the perfect adult picnic. The book: The Picnic as advertised by Amazon (on the right) has lots more interesting ideas if you are a Picnic Junky (from your basket to your blanket).
Perhaps the next time you decide to meet friends for lunch you'll pass on the restaurant and go on a picnic instead. You'll save money, breath in some fresh air and eat some great food.
- First and foremost: a picnic is about having fun outdoors not slaving away in the kitchen all day preparing loads of food. Check out the book: From Basket to Blanket for even more inspiration.
- Second: a picnic basket is an ideal investment as is a cool box or basket. They last forever and your food arrives fresh and intact (no squashy bum prints in sight or sweaty hot food).
- Third: if your group is a really large one and glasses. Why? they can all be thrown in the bin when finished, cutting down on the washing up!
- Fourth and last: transport your food in plastic containers. The food will stay fresh and won't get squashed. What's left can go straight in the fridge on your return.
A special picnic to celebrate a special occasion doesn't have to be hard work. Choosing the right foods and where to buy them is half the battle. First port of call, the seafood counter at your local supermarket.
- cooked lobster or crab meat (allow 150g/person)
- cooked prawns or muscles (allow 6 to 8/person)
- a regular jar/bottle of ready made prawn cocktail sauce
- a regular jar/bottle of lemon mayo (if not available, squeeze some fresh lemon juice into a jar of mayo and mix)
- a fresh lemon
- a mixed leaf salad bag
- a tub of cherry tomatoes
- a large bunch of green grapes
- a tub of mixed berries
- ready made potato salad
- a french stick or crusty bread rolls
- a jar of pickled vegetables
- a pre packed cheese selection and crackers
- a couple of bottles of quality white and red wine
- Cut the lemon into slices and put it into a small container.
- Slice the french stick or bread rolls and butter, placing the buttered pieces together, put the slices into a paper bag.
- Put your cooked seafood meat into a sealed container.
- Put your cooked shellfish into a sealed container.
- Pack the seafood, lemon slices, cocktail and mayo sauces, salad leaf, tomatoes, grapes, berries, potato salad and cheeses into your cool box.
- Pack the white wine into a cool box too.
- Everything else goes in your basket.
On Arrival at Your Picnic Spot:
- Dish up your seafood on to individual plates, with a choice of lemon mayo or cocktail sauce and a slice of lemon.
- Everyone can help themselves to the salads, crusty bread and pickled vegetables.
- The mixed berries, grapes, cheese selection and crackers are for dessert.
Quick and Easy Options:
- Swop your seafood for smoked salmon and cream cheese.
- Lose the cocktail sauce and add a sweet onion chutney.
- Pick up a cheesecake and pass on the cheese selection.
- Add a bottle or two of sparkly.
- Change the berries and grapes for strawberries and dunk them in the sparkly, delightful.
Everyday Picnic Options:
- A whole cooked chicken (ask the deli assistant to cut into pieces).
- A tub of coleslaw.
- A good quality salad dressing.
- A bag of mixed salad.
- Your favorite sliced cold meats (add a jar of mustard for ham, and horseradish for beef).
- Assorted cheeses.
- Pickled gherkins.
- A jar of pickled onions.
- A jar of sweet chutney.
- Salted biscuits.
Finger Food Picnic Options:
If you want to keep your picnic extra simple, opt for finger foods. Pick up some of the following tasty treats from the local deli.
- mini pork pies
- slices of quiche
- scotch eggs
- boiled eggs
- sausage rolls
- cocktail sausages
- mini pasties
- pineapple chunks
- cheese squares
Check out the desert section for some simple delicious deserts.
- mini eclairs
- individual fruit tarts
- mini danish pastries
- apple tart-lets
- fancy cup cakes
- fruit bars
- dried fruits (apricots or dates)
- fresh fruits (peaches or plums)
Easy Peasy Picnic Food Ideas:
A Fabulous Book: Great Picnic Ideas to Indulge
Cold Roast Joints Perfect for Picnics:
A Few Extras to Add to Your Picnic
- If you'd like your picnic to last a little longer than a mere lunch date, start off with some sliced melon wedges and cured ham. Honeydew melon or watermelon are great with prosciutto. Slice the melon into wedges and serve the prosciutto straight from the pack. An easy no fuss picnic starter that will tickle those taste buds.
- Pick up a large tub of cooked prawns (shelled) and let everyone help themselves to some cocktail sauce, a slice of lemon and mix leaf lettuce to make the perfect prawn cocktail. Add slices of buttered brown bread or rye bread and you have a wholesome picnic dish.
- Choose a delicate smooth pâte from the deli to start your picnic. Duck with port, pork with apple or a wild mushroom pâte spread lusciously over crisp french bread will have everyone smiling. Bring along a jar of onion marmalade to really impress. Deliciously easy.
- Love cheese: head for the deli and choose your favorite flavors (three varieties are more than enough). Serve your cheese choices with a selection of fancy salt biscuits and pickles (onions, gherkins, capers). Slice up some apples in easy to bite wedges to go on the side. Add some chopped walnuts, seedless grapes and celery sticks, you'll have a cheese plate that makes an impressive dish without any fuss.
- An adult picnic wouldn't be a picnic without the vino. White wine is lovely with a picnic, being lighter than red wine. Make sure you choose wines that your companions will enjoy (of course you can tell them to bring a bottle of their favorite wine). If you prefer to go easy on the vino add a bottle of sparkling water and make wine spritzers. Keep white, rosé, or sparkly (cheaper than Champagne) in the fridge. Packing carefully into your cool box.
- You can always pack a red wine or two to have with your cheese platter or make a sangria; adding fruit and lemonade to your red wine. Screw caps are great for picnics, as you can put the lid back on. If you like the old fashioned cork (like me) invest in a wine sealer. Don't forget the bottle opener. I leave one permanently in my picnic basket and another in my cooler.
Easy and Tasty
Keep Food and Drinks Cool: use a handy picnic cooler for fresh food and cold drinks
Pay attention to this last tip, it's a very important tip indeed.
Make sure your picnic blanket doesn't take half the sticky things on the ground back home with it. How? buy a plastic sheet, a little like a plastic table cover. Put the cover down on the ground first followed by your picnic blanket. You've gone to so much trouble not to cook, or wash up! You don't want to spend the rest of the evening picking the forest floor off your blanket, trust one who knows far too much on the subject.
Happy picnicking ...
Make Your Own Picnic Salads
- Classic Coleslaw
Coleslaw is a great accompaniment to all types of dishes, a side dish to your steak and chips or fried chicken, great with a sandwich or fresh roll, perfect with your favorite salads and brill for picnics....
- Perfect Potato Salad
I'm not a big fan of potatoes, I know it's a sin_my family always frown on my lack of interest in the mere potato, however I am the family treasure when it comes to my potato salad. Will I share the recipe?...
© 2010 Gabriel Wilson
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on July 30, 2011:
I hope you'll get some sunshine soon Thelma so you can stir up some good memories and have a picnic :)
Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on July 30, 2011:
Thank you for sharing this great hub. It makes me a bit homesick for I associate picnic with my home country where there is almost always sunshine. Picnic on the beach is what I love. Voted Up and Bookmark.
askjanbrass from St. Louis, MO on June 14, 2010:
Watermelon is an essential picnic food, whether the picnic is with kids, adults, or both. Thanks for the great Hub...now I'm in the mood to organize a picnic with my friends. :-)