April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

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A Perfect Picnic!


Sandwiches for the Kids
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Egg salad
Ham and Cheese
Ham salad

Jazzed Up Chicken Salad - for everyone!
Whole Chicken
Sweet Onion
Pickle (personal preference)
Hard-boiled eggs
Powdered Curry
White Pepper
Major Grey's Chutney
Lettuce cups, lettuce wraps or bread
Green grapes (optional)

Additional Picnic Fare
Fruit slices

I also recommend going to the Woman to Woman® recipe archives and pulling down picnic-friendly fare! I just looked and found tons of yummy stuff including; sun tea, cucumber or broccoli sandwiches, salsa, guacamole, Greek pasta salad, poppy seed rolls, and desserts like New York Times Mud Pie and Gingerbread. All of those make nice picnic fare.


Have fun with your creative picnic. Keep it simple with lots of flavor. People eat more when they're outdoors! PBJ sandwiches are great for the kids! Trim the crusts and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Save scraps for snacks the next day. You can do the same with filled sandwiches, like egg salad or ham and cheese or ham salad. It's fun to eat an animal shape PBJ sandwich in the woods! For picnics, I have also served my "jazzed up" chicken salad. The chicken salad is simple: just cook your chicken until it's totally white and tender. Remove from broth [which you can save and use for soups and sauces or freeze for later] and when slightly cooled pull off the bone and cut up into bite sized pieces. Chop and combine celery, sweet onion, your favorite pickle and some hard boiled eggs. Add the chicken pieces, along with mayonnaise to moisten. Add some powdered curry, salt and white pepper to taste, along with Major Grey's Chutney. This can be served in lettuce cups, in a lettuce wrap or on bread. Some people even cut up green grapes and fold them into the chicken salad.

Of course no picnic would be complete without some nice crackers, cheese and fruit slices.

Picnic Tips

  • "Be SURE to chill everything ahead of time that needs to stay cool. Then include ice packs or bags of ice cubes to maintain that temperature until you eat the food!

  • The utensils must be washed and packed separately to stay clean. Hands can be cleaned before eating with wipes or wet towels.

  • Keep hot foods hot in thermal containers that retain heat.

  • Mayonnaise is safe for picnics if it is commercially made.

  • Do not take partly cooked foods. It must be cooked thoroughly ahead of time and refrigerated completely before being packed in the cooler or basket. Plan for no leftovers. Any food out for more than an hour, either put back in the cooler or...throw it out! Any questions about food safety, call 1.800USDA's food safety line.

  • I normally include a picnic party favor for each participant. It can be balloons to chase, or bubbles to blow or notepads and pencils to draw what they see, or write a poem about the picnic! Bottle shaped poppers are fun, as long as you clean up the curly paper that pops out!

  • Sprinkle talcum powder around the edge of your blanket. It keeps the ants away.

  • Make a summer picnic list of essentials like sun protection lotion, sun glasses, hats and insect repellant. I take along an aloe leaf from home, to open and spread on skin, just in case anyone gets a bug bite or even a slight burn, if there's an open fire.

If you want to experience a REAL picnic, join the people of Hancock, New Hampshire, who enjoy picnics so much that what started as a family picnic in 1879 has grown into a picnic for the town and anyone who ever lived there! They've celebrated Old Home Day, a state holiday, for over 120 years with a parade and invitations sent across the country to friends and relatives and anyone who ever lived there.

Interesting note: The BARBEQUES, cooked as part of picnics, are immensely popular in many parts of the world. Last Easter I visited the favorite site of the British Royal Family who always enjoy a barbecue picnic during their annual summer holiday at Balmoral. Word has it that the Duke of Edinburgh takes charge of the barbecue, while the Queen mixes the salad, her acknowledged speciality. I could not get her recipe on that trip, but there will be other times when I shall go to London to visit the Queen. Please stay tuned!

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