Five essentials for the perfect summer picnic

No need to slave over a hot stove to put together some great dishes for family and friends

Picnicking is made easy when you leave the menu to the pros. Try one of Quality Foods’ delicious deli platters

Sponsored by Quality Foods | Impress Branded Content

 

If you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen – especially during the sweltering summer months.

Instead, keep your cool by making a reservation with Mother Nature and enjoy an alfresco lunch or dinner in the great outdoors.

With a summer picnic here on Vancouver Island, you can’t beat the view, ambience or affordability factor.

There’s also no gratuity required. Speaking of tips, you might want to consider these five picnic pointers when planning your next outdoor dining experience.

 

1- Take inventory

Before you plan your picnic, take inventory of the supplies you have on hand. While a picnic basket, and/or a cooler probably come to mind, thermal bags are gaining in popularity because of their versatility with hot or cold foods and everyday usefulness. These bags come in handy for everything from grocery shopping and road trips to picnicking.

For stability in transport, option for one with a rigid bottom, sewn handles and a zipper-top closure.

 

2- Ice ice baby

Chilled salads, ice-cold beverages, cold chicken and dips galore are popular picnic fare that go down great on a hot day, but can make you ill if you’re not careful.

To keep these items at a safe temperature –40F or colder – invest in an insulated cooler and/or ice packs.

If using a cooler, keep the ratio: 25 per cent ice and 75 per cent food.  Also, steer clear of packing any warm items in your cooler.

 

3.  Location is everything

Vancouver Island boasts plenty of beautiful picnic hot spots and hidden gems. Whether it’s an ocean view and sandy beach you crave or a woodland setting, complete with a waterfall, the choice is yours for the picknicking. Look for spots with ample shade to protect your food from spoiling and have the bug spray handy to ward off any pesky unwanted dining guests.

 

4 – Keep it Simple

For those short on time, picnicking is made easy when you leave the menu to the pros.

Try one of Quality Foods’ delicious deli platters, featuring assortments of fresh cut vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, sandwiches, wraps, and other appetizers.

Beyond the traditional and trustworthy potato, egg and pasta salads are a new breed of healthy delicious sides featuring kale, quinoa or blueberries.

Nowadays, many grocery store deli departments are basically in-store commercial kitchens, much like a good quality restaurant. For example, QF can crank up your picnic basket with new hot or cold offerings like slow-cooked pulled pork, fall-off-the-bone barbecued ribs, grab and go crispy chicken, delicious sides, etc.

 

5- Fun Factor

Outdoor games and activities that are easy to transport and set up are always a must for any picnic. Whether it’s beanbag toss (cornhole), ladder toss or game of bocce, a little friendly competition will up the fun factor and help you burn off all those extra calories.

 

With these five picnic pointers in mind and plenty of sunshine still on the forecast, there’s no need to slave over a hot stove.

From mouth-watering already-prepared picnic fare to essentials like ice, hot dog buns and aluminum foil, Quality Foods has everything you’ll need to plan the perfect summer picnic.

 

Just Posted

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Greater Victoria MP Randall Garrison calls on Ottawa to extend peacekeeping mission in Mali

The Esquimalt-Sooke-Saanich MP just returned from a trip to Mali and Senegal

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Most Read