Maybe it was because my
husband asked me to marry him during a romantic fall picnic in a pine tree
grove, or maybe it’s just because fall is my favorite time of year – but
to me, there is no other season that begs for the picnic basket to be
dusted off and a blanket to be grabbed from the closet.
Plus, there are usually
less bugs to swat away.
Perfect for a couple on
a romantic retreat close to home, or for a family out to play a few games
together, the menu possibilities for a fall picnic can be much more
interesting than standard summertime fare.
Here are a few fall picnic tips and ideas to get you started:
Think warm – fill a
insulated thermos with warm a warm pureed soup (try
our creamy pumpkin soup) that’s easy to sip from mugs. Or,
bring along hot cider, hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Stop by your local
apple orchard – now is the perfect time to pick-up homemade apple
dumplings or a homemade apple pie right from the source. Pair with a
sharp cheddar cheese for a great, and easy, dessert. Want to make your
own pie, try our
French Apple Pie (no rolling pin needed).
Don’t miss the deli –
from great cheeses to pasta and vegetable salads – it’s easy to throw
together an impromptu picnic with some crusty bread, wine and glasses.
Take advantage of
harvest time – summer fruit salads are all about the citrus and melons.
But for fall, try preparing fresh from the tree pears and apples. Just
core and slice, and as you go along toss the slices in water that has
lemon juice added to it. Drain and pat dry and you’ll have fresh fruit
that won’t brown. (Chill and you can do this step a few hours ahead.)
Look for picnic items
on sale – fall is a great time to snag a few picnic items when they’re
being marked down to make space for holiday items. Picnic baskets,
melamine plates in classic colors/patterns, or roll-up portable picnic
tables are great finds.
Get comfy – grab a
special picnic blanket on sale that is lined with plastic on one side,
or bring along a piece of plastic to put under your own blanket. With
colder nights, the ground can stay cold and damp longer. Don’t forget
to bring along a second blanket – something to cozy up under when a fall
breeze takes you by surprise.
For more great recipe
ideas to plan your next picnic,
visit our food pages.