We’re planning a Newport Picnic in August and need some tips on how to make it work well. Please give us some dos and don’ts.
–Jennifer, Providence, RI
- Organize ahead of time, plan the menu and do the advance work.
- Base the picnic food around a signature drink: Pimm’s cup, Dark & Stormy, Cosmopolitan and craft beer from a local brewery.
- Even if you’re serving sandwiches or prepared food from a local eatery, pack colorful napkins, bamboo flatware and plates, tubs for ice, spices, salad dressing, and colorful tablecloths or light weight blankets.
- Include prep tools for putting the picnic together: a sharp knife and cutting board, serving spoons, opener for bottles and cans, trash bags and paper towels for cleanup. Be safe about spoilage and take a thermometer for the coolers to keep track of the temperature of any salads with mayonnaise, egg dishes and meats.
- Plan blankets for everyone to sit on and have a fully charged wireless speaker.
- Text the location dropping a pin in a map app with the location.
- Ask everyone to bring water, those with food allergies and restrictions should bring their own food.
- Know who is bringing what.
Not everyone will want to eat at once, so keep it casual. Don’t stand on ceremony serving everyone with a sit down time, it’s a picnic. Let people help themselves as they arrive. Don’t over season because as hot food cools down its seasoning becomes saltier and in some cases more flavorful.
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