There are many things that can be both function and art. A prime example is a picnic dinner. It can simply be a function that happens at the end of baseball season with all of the team, or being picnic savvy can become an artful practice.
Both are enjoyable in their own respective ways. After all, you are eating food outside when the weather is balmy and sunny, probably with bare feet and finger foods. What’s not to adore about that?
Since I lean towards the glam side of decorating and dining, I’m definitely drawn to the artful side of the picnic. I know I’m in good company when glancing at books like “The Picnic” by Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker and Jen Stevenson. These ladies know how to picnic in style. In fact they started the Portland Picnic Society. They share oodles of ideas from packing a basket to laying out a blanket; impromptu meals from the farmer’s market to menus prepped at home.
Plastic and paper is okay, but real plates of stoneware or porcelain say art instead of function. Scour your cupboards or a favorite second hand shop for pieces that show some character and fit your style. I’m so very fond of Astier and Mud Australia. There’s a sweet organic feel to both of these makers.
Take along a tablecloth to drape over the table at the park, complete with matching or coordinating napkins. In the absence of a table, a blanket or throw will come in handy to spread on the grass and might just serve a dual purpose when the evening temperatures drop.
A mix of homemade and purchased items makes easy work of picnicking. Make sure foods are packed in airtight containers and are kept at the correct temperature, utilizing ice packs. Remember plenty of water, and baby wipes are indispensable for wiping hands, faces and the fork that fell to the ground.
Now, for the hardest part, deciding where to go for the al fresco meal. It might be the park down the street or maybe a concert. I’d suggest, just for fun, making it something out-of-the-ordinary like driving down a dirt road, finding a big tree for shade and spreading out the fare.
Happy picnicking –