Late spring, early summer and early autumn are ideal for an Aussie picnc. Don’t limit yourself to just lunch, a mid morning chicken and champagne brunch or an early evening sunset picnic overlooking to sea or a meandering river can be equally enjoyable.
Prepare just a few things and do them well. You don’t want to be busy serving 10 courses so to ease up on the cooking visit your local deli or gourmet food store and top up a few homemade goodies. When planning a picnic menu, choose items that travel well - now is not the time for fussy, delicate food. Dishes should be robust enough to withstand the knocks and bumps of transportation - think a roast chook with a great potato salad and coleslaw . If there is a BBQ - just ensure you pack any raw food away from cooked food to avoid cross-contamination. Pack salads and dressings separately to avoid the soggy salads. Dessert is the perfect end to a picnic - so think banana or carrot cake, strawberries and yoghurt, muffins or an easy block of chocolate.
Although it's best try to keep items requiring chilling to a minimum, you always need a cooler. Good quality picnic baskets will have a thermally lined cooler unit which help keep your food cool . This is essential for drinks, yoghurt, sushi, chicken, salads and the occasional bottle of white wine. Put small bottles of water or juice in the freezer the night before your picnic if you have time. These frozen items can then double-up as chiller-blocks to keep food cool and when you reach your picnic spot. You can store ice in a plastic container – to drop into the drinks when you get there.
Putting your food in plastic containers makes packing your food easy, and helps keep the picnic basket organised and spill free.
Choose a Memorable location- not too crowded, easily accessible , with a level spot to spread your blanket and preferably in a location with some choice between sun and shade (or out of the rain if need be).
Having a dry place to sit down, and set out your picnic will assist in your enjoyment of the experience.
Choose foods to serve all at the same time. The fun of a picnic is to spread all the food on the blanket and let everyone laze around, helping themselves.
A few extra additions to your picnic basket may make all the difference. If you have bottles of any kind with your picnic, be sure you have a way to open them. Keep a bottle opener and/or a corkscrew with the cutlery caddy (most are standard with Satara’s baskets and picnic backpacks). Don't forget the utensils you might need to serve food -- trying to portion out chicken salad with a teaspoon doesn't quite cut it. Moist hand wipes and plastic bags for storing rubbish and dirty dishes are also handy additions. The sun may shine so take sunglasses, hat and sun block and insect repellent to keep the bugs away.
An Aussie picnic is a great place to have fun so don’t forget to pack a few simple games such as a cricket bat and tennis ball, a Frisbee or a soccer ball . Those less energetic might enjoy a set of dominoes, a pack of cards or a game of old-school quoits. Just remember to keep it light and easy to carry.
As soon as you get home from your picnic, wash the bits that need to be washed immediately and replace them in the picnic basket so they are ready to grab next time your feel the urge for a picnic.