Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Picnicking

Cooking articlesWe owe the French for the name "picnic," derived from pique-nique, a fashionable social affair where all guests brought something to the meal—an earlier, swankier version of the potluck. We all know what they are nowadays—family, friends, food and fun. And, we hope, a less hectic and more natural environment that invites a new way of looking at things.

Keep Your Cool

Pre-chill your cooler by placing ice bags or cold packs inside 30 minutes before packing it. When the food goes in, place the containers of food so there is ice between, rather than just setting the containers on top. To maintain the cold during the trip, carry the cooler inside the car rather than in the hot trunk. And finally, keep the cooler in the shade, rather than out in the sun, after you arrive at your picnic site.
Here are some tips for keeping your food safe while picniking.

Twice As Cool

It's actually a good idea to bring two coolers—one for drinks and one for foods. (Check out our tips for iced tea and other cool drinks.) Your family will trek to the drink cooler all day like a trail of ants, and every time the lid is opened, cool escapes. By packing a separate cooler for the food, you’ll be better able to maintain a cold temperature for your perishable items. And, about that drink cooler—remember to pack plenty of water. It does a far superior job of quenching your thirst and keeping your body hydrated than alcohol or caffeinated sodas, which are actually dehydrating.

Make and Take

If you're looking for a complete getaway with maximum time to relax and rejuvenate, you'll want to prepare your picnic fare in advance. Here are links to a couple of substantial salads that fit the bill:
Fruit Salad with Honey-Poppy Seed Dressing: This bright, sweet salad features melon, pineapple, and strawberries deliciously tossed with a sour cream/mayo, honey, ginger and poppy seed dressing.

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