Sunday, July 26, 2015

How To Throw A Party: Picnic-Version

A lot of things in life don't live up to the hype created for them. Macarons, for one thing. I always thought that something so pretty must taste equally beautiful. When I had macarons for the first time last month, it felt like a mistake. "Macarons can't taste like this. Impossible. Something's wrong." And of course something was wrong - the texture.

photo by charity klicka 
photo by charity klicka
photo by charity klicka

I don't love the crackle followed by gummy cake. It tastes like failure, to me. I'm not sure what I expected, but like Anne Shirley's affair with diamonds, macarons didn't live up to what I hoped. But disappointment with macarons aside, some things are far better than they're hyped up to be. Picnics, for one thing.

photo by charity klicka

photo by charity klicka

photo by charity klicka

i am willing to acknowledge the fact that getting a decent shot of over ten people is an impossibility.

photo by charity klicka

- How To Plan A Perfect Picnic -
(in five easy steps)
  1. Choose a favorite place on a weekday or a Sunday - location is honestly half the attraction of a picnic. All picnics that I've actually planned have ended up being conducted at Colonial Williamsburg. The first time we sat under a spreading tree in front of the old insane asylum and realized all too late that the spot where we'd spread our blanket was also a popular bus-stop. Que sera, sera. The next times we went for a more secluded location. A picnic is one of those times in life when you don't want everybody and their brother walking by and staring at you.
  2. Plan a simple menu - picnics feel, to me, very French. If I am planning the picnic, depend upon it: I will provide crusty bread, several varieties of good cheese, fruit, and some lemonade or cool rootbeer in glass bottles, which can be done very cheaply. If I feel especially hungry, I'll propose a rotisserie chicken, shamelessly purchased at the nearest grocery store. This type of meal can be carted from Point A to Point B with minimal effort and inconvenience as it is light, not bulky, and still reasonably filling.
  3. Pack a table-cloth - cotton tablecloths are my favorite thing to use as a picnic blanket. Maybe it's the fact that I usually have more than a couple co-picnickers, but a tablecloth is an easy way to fit a billion-and-one people in one place.
  4. Bring a knife - no one ever thinks to bring knives to picnics, but I can't tell you how often one finds oneself in need of a knife when there is none. Pocket-knives are often produced instead, and we try not to think about fishing tackle, deer-skinning, and string-cutting while slicing up our pears and gouda.
  5. Take it easy - a picnic doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to have little toothpicks with pennants on them. It doesn't have to look like it stepped off Pinterest. There will be over-sized ants and your napkins will blow away. Picnics are relics of a calmer, quieter, gentler time. Don't rush, enjoy the company of your fellow picnickers, and relax. Limit use of iPhones. Lay down and view the sky through the branches of the tree overhead. Talk about simple things. Snort lemonade. Throw cherry-pits everywhere and wonder if they'll grow into trees, and if so, will anyone slow down long enough to speculate about who planted them?
Picnics are severely underrated. I hope that on your next day-off you'll grab a friend or two, find a favorite spot, and share your lunch outdoors with a few humongous ants. Your day (like my birthday picnic) might end up the perfect temperature, mosquito-less, not humid, and ideal. Or it might be muggy, buggy and overcast. If you've got good company, none of that matters. Venture out. You might just find a part of life you never realized was missing. And even if you're already hale and hearty? Well, who's going to pass up a chance for bread and cheese? Not this girl. 



4 comments:

  1. I love this post! And I love your blog!! Hope it's a GREAT SUCCESS!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Caroline! As long as people like you are here to support the blog, it WILL be successful. :)

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  2. THIS! What fond memories. I very much need to have a picnic, preferably in Williamsburg, with you again. And the last point, Take It Easy, is so ESSENTIAL (although all your points are picnic necessities)! I think we can both wholeheartedly attest to that, per our picnic. Folks were so jealous of how much we were taking it easy, hehe.

    #RattyandMoleForever ♥

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  3. This made me smile. Macaroons are best admired and not eaten. Alas. And I adore picnics! :)

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