Take a deep breath, y'all...this is a long post!
Remember the move that almost broke me? Yeah. That one.
Well, once the dust settled and we were box-free and unpacked for the most part I wanted to plan a little outing for the family-our boys have been stuck inside with two ornery parents for a couple weeks and were driving each other (and us!) a bit batty.
I decided to plan a picnic on the National Mall over Memorial Day weekend and wanted to share some tips for packing a fun family picnic with you today as well as an easy patriotic berry tart recipe!
First, let's get picnicking!
1. Get the goods
I hopped over to World Market to grab some picnic goodies one afternoon and hit the jackpot when I found a gorgeous picnic tote. It comes with a blanket in the top section and I love that it's collapsible so I can store it when not in use...we've had another picnic basket set for years but it's huge and bulky and guess what? It never gets used because we store it in the garage. This tote is perfect to pull out for a full-fledged picnic of even just a trip to the park!
For the grownup food on our picnics I like to pack gourmet-type finger foods: nuts, dried fruits, prosciutto, salami, table water crackers, cheese, and brushetta. For the kiddos I found veggie straws, orange soda, and I threw a pack of Kinder Bueno candy bars-one of my favorite chocolates from the years we spent in Italy!
To keep things organized in the picnic tote I grabbed a few cute little plastic containers for my boys-I can see these getting a ton of use from now on.
I also bought myself this too pretty to resist tea carafe-it comes with a tea strainer so I can use loose leaves and can store hot or iced tea...I'm a tea girl so this is my new go-to drink cup!
On the way home from World Market I stopped by the store to grab a loaf of fresh bread and some grapes, strawberries, and blueberries to round out or meal..and made some easy berry tarts to take with us well!Print
These easy to make berry tarts only look difficult!
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flower
- 1 cup butter, softened
- lemon curd (I bought mine at World Market)
- strawberries, sliced
- Combine powdered sugar, flour and butter in a mixer and blend until uniform.
- Press dough in mini tart pan (these have removable bottoms to facilitate removing the tart without breaking it.)
- Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the tart crust.
- Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until golden.
- Allow tarts to cool completely before removing from pans.
- Once completely cool spread lemon curd in generous layer on tart and top with fresh berries.
Keywords: berry tart
2. Pack Smart
When it was time to pack the tote I got all of my food, drinks, cups and other necessary accoutrements out on the counter so I could see what needed to go in the bag. I packed the larger items first and kept cold items together, layering additional items on top being careful to take full advantage of every bit of space-a meal for 5 in a tote takes careful packing!
Don't forget necessary items such as utensils, napkins, and bags for trash if the area you are picnicking in does not have trashcans. For my spread I was sure to pack a small cutting board and utility knife for the cheese and salami as well as cups and straws for the crew.
Leave your softer items like chips and breads to pack last so they are on the top of your bag and carefully zip. It's time to go!
3. Bring Entertainment
Another item I had picked up at World Market was a kite-this was the big time for my 3 boys! Having the kite to play with on the lawn of the National Mall was awesome and it occupied the boys enough that we managed to get some grownup conversation in too!
We arrived at the National Mall on the Sunday morning before Memorial Day. Little did we realize it was the same day as a big Memorial Day motorcycle rally so there were tons of police and road blockages and food trucks all around.
The event didn't start for a few more hours so we luckily found parking and able to walk to the Mall and find a nice spot for our picnic.
We had a lovely morning flying our kite and enjoying some food-the weather was just perfect!
This will definitely be the start of a new tradition for our family!
Do you take family picnics? What are your favorite picnic foods to pack?