Our picnic series continues with some our top tips for successful picnics and a sandwich inspired by Greece!
Make a checklist. There is a lot to bring, so a list will help you get organized. Don’t worry if you forget something—as long as it’s not the food!
Make finger food. The fewer utensils you need, the better. Lay out containers of food on your picnic blanket and call it a “garden buffet” so children can pick and choose what they like. Kids love to just pick up and eat their food.
Buy food. If you don’t want to wake up and cook before you head out, stop at your favorite deli or supermarket, and pick up your picnic. Purchase prepared sandwiches or wraps, some fruit, cereal bars, nuts and water, and you will be all set.
Bring plenty of cleanup supplies. You will need more of these than you think Bring a whole roll of paper towels or several dishcloths and perhaps even some wet wipes. Also, bring hand sanitizer if you are going to be somewhere you cannot wash hands. And don’t forget extra bags to collect your trash.
Bring safety items. Make sure you have a first-aid kit in the car or in your basket/backpack. Scrapes and cuts are inevitable, and it is best to be ready for them. Sunscreen is also essential, as are hats and bug repellant.
Bring games or toys. You can spend your time exploring nature, or bring some toys and games along. A travel-size board game or deck of cards will be easy to carry. Or bring a bat and a ball or football for some more active fun.
Select an enclosed space. To reduce your stress level, find a park or area that is enclosed. That way you won’t have to worry about your children wandering away. Particularly helpful when you have younger kids in your picnic party.
With July 4th coming up – head doors on a fun picnic!
Greece: Grilled Halloumi, Cucumber, Mint and Tomato
This sandwich translates the summery flavors of a Greek salad into sandwich form, and features Halloumi cheese, a traditional Greek cheese made for grilling and frying, alongside cool mint, briny olives, crisp cucumber and sweet summer tomatoes.
- 2 slices of your favorite rustic bread
- 4-5 kalamata or green olives, pitted and halved
- 2 thin slices of tomato
- 3-4 thin slices of cucumber
- Several pieces of Halloumi cheese, sliced ¼” thick
- Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
- Olive oil for frying the Halloumi
- Lightly coat the bottom of a sauté pan with olive oil. Over high heat, brown the Halloumi slices until golden, flip and brown the second side (about 2-3 minutes on each side).
- Layer the Halloumi and sliced olives on the bread and drizzle with remaining olive oil from the saute pan, then drizzle with lemon juice to taste if using.
- If you will be transporting this sandwich for a picnic, pack mint, cucumber and tomato in a separate container. When ready to serve, layer mint, cucumber and tomato on the sandwich and enjoy.