I spent a chunk of last Sunday afternoon laying on a blanket in the grass listening to iTunes radio and I forgot how delightful it is to lay under a tree and do absolutely nothing. Proper picnicking is definitely a lost art and I think this is the perfect summer to bring it back.
Random factoid: picnics became popular after the French revolution in 1789 when royal parks were open to the public for the first time. While I don't think you are planning on lounging around the lawn at Versailles anytime soon, you can take full advantage of the grass in Central Park, Prospect Park or on the High Line. And if you are anything like me, when you do something, you do it big. So enough with the sad ham sandwiches and warm bottles of water - below are some of my tips for ensuring your picnic is a success.
What you'll need:
- a hand-woven rattan picnic basket
- melamine plates and servers (for easy washing)
- a soft blanket that you can zip up and carry for easy transport
- portable iPod dock
- a great playlist
- chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot
- big bottle of water
- delicious snacks
Now the snacks really are the most important part of your picnic basket. I mean, they might actually be more important then whomever you are picnicking with... My ideal meal in the grass includes really good cheese (like manchego or spicy monterey jack), crispy crackers, salty almonds, thinly sliced soppresata and my world famous pasta salad. To be fair, I actually make the Barefoot Contessa's pasta salad, and just tell people that it's my world famous recipe. Whatever...by now I've probably made it more times than she has.
Word on the street is that this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous on the East Coast! Do yourself a favor and go have a picnic.
Image courtesy of Matchbook Mag.