People need people, so don’t starve yourself of all socializing this year. Just be smart about how you go about it! As the weather moves from the dog days of summer to the falling leaves of autumn, you’re going to want to get out there. Outdoors, that is. Be safe, be smart, and think: picnics.
This summer, BYOE (“bring your own everything!”) is key. No sharing! Set an outdoor table with settings a good six feet apart or lay down your picnic blankets with ample room between them. Then it’s time to enjoy your meal as your friends enjoy theirs. It can be fun. It can be delicious. Here’s what you need to have a great, safe-as-can-be time:
You’ve gotta have the gear. We have a couple of knockout pic-i-nic baskets, so ready your best English accent and break this baby out at parties to show you still know how to have a grand time. It contains everything you need: plates, knives, forks and spoons, wine glasses and mugs, even salt and pepper shakers and a fleece blanket! Just throw the blanket and the basket down, break out your charcuterie, and wait for people to start snapping your photo.
Yes, you could bring cheese and crackers and put them on sad little paper or plastic plates destined for a landfill. Or you could set them out on these little numbers, with olives if you’re feeling fancy, and feel much better about your life prospects. (Good design can do that!) For flatware, think: outdoors-friendly. You’ll want one good knife and a cutting board if your basket doesn’t contain them, because someone will invariably show up with a log of something difficult but delicious, like soppressata or a very hard cheese. You can come to their rescue! (You, of course, will be prepared.)
I mean. Imagine traipsing up to the event in question, breezily floating in your finest florals, with nothing but this bucket, some ice and your favorite wine in hand. We have a quartet of coolers designed for the outdoors, from the chic, linear Yeti to this one, which looks plucked from a museum. It’s a stylish way to avoid drinking your wine too fast just because you don’t want it to warm up!
Forgive us our laser-like focus, here, but: Don’t let your wine get cold! For shame. This little beauty can keep you chill for up to nine hours! Talk about nursing a glass of wine, happily, for ages. And it comes in 10 colors and with a lid, to boot. Ahhh.
Yes, you can use the standard picnic tables kicking around, with that errant ant and that who-knows smudge of whatever. No problem; rustic works. But there’s something about draping a bright, beautiful tablecloth over the thing that really boosts the party mood. Festive can be hard to come by these days, so consider an easy-to-clean oilcloth cover.
Someone, we assure you, will bring canned salsa and a bag of tortilla chips. Some days, that will be you. And that’s fine. If the kid is sick or the dog went bananas, no one judges. But you could also root around the fridge, the pantry, and the countertop and make something like and bright with what you have. Chopped tomatoes, peaches, mozzarella and olive oil are a juicy salad, with salt and pepper. Bring a bunch of pristine stone fruit and see who complains. Make zucchini bread — there’s certainly a ton of it right now—with butter you let warm up in your bag. Consider cuisines that are not your go-tos. Maybe cold sesame noodles, like these shown above, ready in half an hour and packed with snappy vegetables. Or go for easy picnic salads or sandwiches you can make-ahead. Keep it easy, arrive calm and in style, and drop something simple and dead-gorgeous, like a huge sandwich of just rumpled prosciutto and butter on baguette.
You’ll feel like you’re all that… and a bag of chips.