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shutterstock_155387735Packing for the Perfect Fall Picnic

Aside from the harder decisions you make when you plan your picnic (location/occasion and company), preparing for the perfect fall picnic is easy!

Choose the perfect picnic basket by opting to go basketless! The traditional wicker baskets are bulky and non-insulated, which limits your food choices.

Insulated bags are lightweight and collapsible, offering gracious space and temperature protection. Add some ice to keep your food cold!  Pack your beverages in a separate tote for ease of access and to minimize the “squish” factor. Duplin Winery’s four bottle insulated wine bag is the perfect accessory for your picnic. Add a lightweight corkscrew and a couple of acrylic wine glasses and you will be ready to toast.

Store water in collapsible, reusable bottles–They are considerably lighter than the hard plastic variety. Never let the lack of proper utensils keep you from your food. Shop your local flea market or yard sale and pick up some odds and end serving pieces. It won’t break the bank, and you won’t be heartbroken if you lose a piece or two along the way. Keep the pieces handy in a Ziploc bag that stays with your basket! Add a flexible cutting mat and some cleaning wipes and you will be ready to go!

When planning your meal, be mindful of adding food items that may require refrigeration. Consider finger foods like fried chicken, sandwiches, cheese and crackers! If you plan to pack sandwiches, invest in a sturdy plastic sandwich container that will keep the bread fresh. Store meats, cheeses, and condiments separately to avoid the soggy sandwich and opt for vinegar based sauces which are not as likely to spoil!

PB & J is great on the go but remember to add peanut butter to both insides of the bread before adding the jelly. The added layer will prevent the jelly from soaking through the bread! If you are packing crushable items (chips or crackers), try adding extra air to your Ziploc bags! The pillow-like protection will keep the crush to a minimum! Keep a few empty bags handy for loading up the leftovers for the trip home.

Don’t forget dessert! Easy to serve items like cookies, brownies or cupcakes are always a hit. Leftovers? Store the leftovers in the extra zip lock bags you packed in your picnic tote. If your cold pack or ice has melted before you return home- throw away the leftovers that required refrigeration! Better safe than sorry!

Pack your blanket (preferably one that is thick or has a waterproof underside) and a trash bag. You will be glad to have both. A water bowl for the pooch and a Frisbee for you all… add in the bug spray and the perfect fall picnic is yours.

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