Life’s a Year-Around Picnic (Shorelines – Spring 2012)

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I don’t know about you, but this year’s warmer-than-usual winter weather puts me in the mood for a picnic a little sooner than most years.  Which is fine with me because there’s nothing I love more than a stroll on the beach with guests, followed by a special picnic dinner and one of our delicious sunsets for dessert.

The nice part is, there’s little if any food prep.  Sometimes we order our entrees to go from our favorite restaurant.  Sometimes we get gourmet sandwiches from a deli, where we can also choose from a nice selection of imported cheeses, fresh baguettes, old-fashioned potato salad, exotic fruits, and desserts to compliment our main course.  Also, it’s a good idea to bring fruit drinks and drinking water, plus a nice bottle or two of wine.

Next, depending on the size of our party and the theme of the outing, it’s a good idea to make a checklist of essentials to avoid forgetting items that are easily overlooked.  These items include:

*A picnic basket or tote bag for carrying food and other items
*A food chest (cooler) to keep food cold or warm
*Frozen blue ice for chilled foods
*Paper plates and plate holders, or plastic plates.
*Flatware for all courses
*Wineglasses, coffee cups, water glasses (plastic ware is recommended for the beach)
*Serving utensils
*Bottle opener, corkscrew or a can opener

So, next time you find it difficult to get a reservation at a window table in  your favorite waterfront restaurant, consider a picnic at the beach for two or with a few close friends.  Your seat will be a lot closer to the water, and you won’t have to worry about reservations.  Bon Appetit!