Tips for a quick picnic in a bag

A fun thing to do on a sunny weekend afternoon is to pack a picnic in a bag. Tuck a few self-sealing plastic bags into your pocket, purse, or backpack, and visit a local bakery, a cheese shop and a meat shop. Food taken care of, head to a park or courtyard and enjoy your feast outdoors. Use your imagination, and fill a bag or two with any combination of the following.

Tips for a quick picnic in a bag

Tools

Your picnic will be useless unless you bring the right materials! Remember to carry a bottle opener (should you choose to bring a nice red or white wine), a small picnic knife, a napkin and something to sit on (like a picnic blanket), to enjoy your out-of-doors feast. When you're done, put your trash in another sealable plastic bag and go on your way.

Hard cheese

Cheese is one of those foods that just go hand-in-hand with a picnic. Cheddar, Parmesan, Swiss, Gruyere, and Gouda are all cheeses that travel well. If you're in a foreign country, ask for advice from the cheese monger. Stay away from ultrasoft cheeses that may not survive a long walk to a picnic area or park.

Bread

Baguettes, rolls, or thick slices of fresh bread are ideal for out-of-doors picnicking, and local bakers will often lend their advice on great places to enjoy your meal. Use your bread to make sandwiches, or get a soft, fresh bread to eat on its own.

Meats

Cured meats — smoked turkey and smoked ham, for example — will withstand not being refrigerated for up to two hours and are delicious accompaniments to hard cheeses. You can use the mix of cured meats and cheese to make your own fancy meat and cheese platter!

Whether it's by yourself, or with a special someone for a spontaneous romantic afternoon, this picnic in a bag filled with cheese, bread and meats is sure to quickly turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one.

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