Let's Have a Picnic!

“A picnic is more than eating a meal, it is a pleasurable sate of mind.” ― DeeDee Stovel
Picnic: 125 Recipes with 29 Seasonal Menus

As the weather finally warms up, I'm tickled with excitement mainly because with warming temperatures comes days spent enjoying the cooling tides of the beaches here in The Bahamas. 

If there's one thing I enjoy most about completing my clinical rotations at home, it's definitely having the luxury of never being more than 15 minutes away from a beach. 

Today's post is all about planning a memorable picnic and will incorporate a few pictures from a picnic I planned during my elective period in the twin island country of Trinidad and Tobago earlier this year.  

Trinidad and Tobago is known for its flora and fauna and for gourmet treasures that can be found nestled in certain pockets of the country. One particular gem is Adam's Bagels, located on Saddle Road in Trinidad. If you're a lover of all things "flour" you'll definitely want to give this place a try on your next visit (if not first) to Trinidad. 

Some may comment that throughout Trinidad it's hard to find good customer service; this is not the case at Adam's Bagels. Customer service is one of their top priorities, followed by good food and welcoming ambiance. 

When I was first scouting the island for local eateries that would cater to the overall vision I had for the food I wanted to have at my picnic, I had never even heard or seen for that matter Adam's Bagels. It wasn't until I was taking a break from medicine and perusing Instagram when I came across the most meticulously layered tartlet. After speaking with Mr. Aboud, I knew I wanted to work with him and his staff and the deal was sealed after our first meeting and my first taste of their lentil soup! It was not only filling and delicious but reasonably priced. What more could a student ask for right?

Tips for Planning a Picnic

1. Find a Venue

Depending on the time of year and the type of picnic you're trying to plan; be it formal or informal you would want to secure a venue before you delve into planning. 

Consider local parks, botanical gardens, the beach,  or even the zoo-if allowed. 

Initially, I had planned on going to the Wild Fowl Trust in Point-a-Pierre, Trinidad but the humidity as well as the length of the drive one way was a deterrent.  In the end I decided on the Botanical Gardens which I was quite pleased with. 

2. Choose a Date

Depending on when you're planning your picnic, local venues may either be congested or unavailable. So choosing a date and ensuring all of the necessary arrangements are made is important.

Try to avoid local holidays as residents may take advantage of the day to enjoy the outdoors.

Weekends if you're off, can work in your favor or even a weekday if you're wanting more of an informal picnic.

3. Send invitations

If you're planning a picnic to socialize with friends you may not have seen in a while, be sure to send an invite. There are multiple ways by which this can be done from electronic e-vites to more personal, paper made invites that can be mailed out or hand delivered for an extra special touch. 

4. Choose a Theme

This step isn't mandatory, but it does make it easier to plan if you choose a theme. Some themes that I had in mind initially were "tea in the park"; "boho flair"; "finger foods only". Well the last one wasn't so much of a theme but I think you get the idea. 

5. Food

With any picnic or outdoor event, nonperishables are the choice. Unless you're planning on packing a cooler with ice for foods like potato salad, try to pack things that are easy to prepare, pack, carry and of course eat. 

Foods such as salads, sandwiches, fruit and cheese platters are ideal. You can choose to purchase pre-made platters from your local Sam's Club or Costco or simply recreate ones to suit your palette.  For my picnic Mr. Aboud and I came up with foods that were vegetarian friendly, easy to tote and of course easy to eat. 

Kibbies, Samosas, Baklava

Fruit and tasty eclairs

Tartlet and chicken salad mini quiches

Each item was delicious on their own, but simply better together

6. Accessories

Now that you've figured out what food items you'll be taking on your picnic, let's talk about the minute details. What are you going to tote all of that food in? Where will you sit? Do you plan on entertaining your guests? How? Do you have games? 

If you've chosen a venue that provides seating such as picnic tables and lawn chairs, then this is one less thing you have to worry about. If not, then you'll want to plan on packing either lawn chairs or having each guest bring their own, or simply pack a large enough sheet, blanket or quilt along with some extra large garbage bags or tarp paper for your quilt to be placed on. The tarp paper or garbage bags will stop your quilt from getting soak from any moisture when its spread out, and it'll keep grass and dirt off as well. 

You can pack your food in a picnic basket if you have one, or a large tote bag or even a box. To make unpacking easy, place all non-perishable items at the bottom, then serving items and tableware and finally the tablecloth or quilt on top. If you're catering to a fair amount of people, consider packing a cooler with ice (keeping the ice in the bag if you're using store bought, or in ziplock bags until you arrive at your picnic site) to store drinks along with the food items needing to be kept cold. 

Entertainment is also a good idea for crowds or if small children will be at the picnic. Frisbee, Taboo, Dominoe's if a table is at your picnic site all are games that will keep your friends entertained until the food runs out or the sunsets. 

Be sure to include garbage bags to pack any dirty containers and to ensure you leave your picnic site cleaner than you met it. 

Picnic's are fun activities for people of all ages. Be sure to plan at least one this summer and get creative with your planning. I did- by incorporating a cake! 

From the cake that my dear friend Adrian (medical doctor and cake extraordinaire) created that complemented the overall theme, to the intricate details and the talent of the one who was able to capture it all Mr. Rany Horne it was truly a memorable picnic.