Picnics are fun, it’s in the name. PIC-NIC. It even sounds fun just saying the word. As owners of children who are ALWAYS hungry we very rarely leave the house without sandwiches and to be hilarously funny the kids start asking for the “car picnic” ten minutes after we’ve left home.
Picnics take the unpredictablity out of daytrips, and mean that we can feed the kids whenever we realise they are seconds away from hunger related meltdown, as opposed to having to wait until we find somewhere suitable to eat and for our food to be brought to us.
This year our summer was full of days out, walks on the beach and picnics everywhere, but picnics aren’t just for summer, we picnic all year round. Sure, we eat all year round, and in autumn and winter there is less chance of wasp infestations or sunburn while eating, so why not?
Around here we keep picnics simple. Yogi bear would be disappointed if he swiped our pic-a-nic basket. In fact, that’s a lie, we don’t even own a picnic basket. Sure, why would you want one of those impractical yokes?
We have a sensible blue coolbag with a removable inner lining (for easy of cleaning) that looks like a sportsbag. it has a shoulder strap that hangs off the buggy perfectly and sensible pockets to keep stuff in. This is exactly it:
The picnic is boring food, nothing fancy. It does the job and we move on, energised. (OK, full)
We don’t do gourmet picnics. Sure, I swoon over beautiful photos of picnics in magazines, with freshly baked pies and quiches and champagne flutes, laid out on gingham picnic cloths, but around here, that’s a loonnnng way from reality.
Anyway, the food we bring on picnics isn’t exactly exciting, in fact it’s, well, boring food that travels well and that we know the kids will eat. Sometimes, if the location permits (Glendalough is a favourite for this) we’ll go mad and order a bag of chips to have with our boring food. Chip and ham sambos, glorious.
Here’s what’s in our sensible picnic bag:
- Ham somethings: sandwiches or wraps or rolls, with ham inside have universal appeal
- Cold pasta: if there’s leftovers in the fridge, never freshly made
- Leftovers salad together
- Salad vegetables separately in a plastic box- lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes and will often bring a small container for relish or mustard
- Yogurt: Glenisk Go-Yos are great as they’re a natural product, not too sweet and you don’t need to bring a spoon
- Biscuits: every picnic must have a treat- we almost always have a packet of Custard Creams or Malted Milks in our picnic basket in our picnic basket.
- Pots of dry cereal: Cheerios are favourite
- Popcorn/crisps: I buy the microwave popcorn and carry it in the bag it came in. The boys love to see Pringles as a treat, but my preference is for O’Donnell’s crisps (but I’m not sharing)
- Fruit: always apples, sometimes grapes or raisins, occasionally on special days strawberries or blueberries
- Breadsticks: essential small child snacking material, I rarely leave home without them
- Ricecakes: the kids prefer the apple ones, but I still buy the plain ones too for nobody to eat
- Cake: For special picnics there might be buns or cakes in the bag, Cathal loves the chocolate chip mini-muffins from Aldi.
For winter picnics we’ll often bring soup in a flask to insulate us (from the looks people give us for feeding our children outside in that weather- people who visited Glendalough on a certain day, you know who you are!)
What’s in your picnic basket?
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