Picnic? Now? In the midst of winter? Am I crazy? Not in the slightest. In fact, with proper planning, warm gear and an adventurous spirit, a picnic in your car on a crisp sunny winter’s day can be just as much fun as a summer one – maybe even more so! Let’s look at how.
It’ll probably be cold out there, so all the more excuse to snuggle up in your car in a pretty location with a gorgeous view and enjoy some ‘just the two of you’ time. Tuck yourselves up with a big woolly blanket or under a downy duvet, put on some groovy tunes you both love and open up the picnic basket. If you don’t have a basket or hamper, a sturdy cardboard box or shopping bag will do. After all, it’s what’s inside it that really counts.
Let’s Get Started
The idea is to fill your picnic container with lots of specialty items that are easy to eat and drink. You’ll also want to pack some recyclable or reusable cutlery, napkins, glasses and dishes.
I recommend having a couple of multi-compartmented covered serving options like this Home-X Sectional Serving Bowl with Cover which are great for picnics in the car (or anywhere, for that matter).
What’s In Your Basket?
Here are a few tips to consider when planning a romantic winter picnic in your car.
Because it’s cold outside, think warm! Thermoses filled with a hearty homemade soup, a spicy hot chili or some savoury stew make excellent choices. They’ll heat you and your significant other up in no time flat.
Bring along food items that don’t need assembling on site and aren’t messy to eat. Wraps filled with cold cuts or tuna salad work well, as do fresh veggies and fruits cut into bite size pieces. Serve with dips such as hummous, guacamole, and spinach/artichoke which are easy, tasty choices that won’t spill all over the place.
Consider some firm cheeses – cheddar, gruyere and edam don’t crumble and when pre-cut into cubes, they make for easy nibbling.
Pack some hearty ‘pâté de campagne’, pâté de foie gras or other delicious spreads such as smoked salmon mousse. You may wish to bring along a selection of olives and cornichons to accompany them. Pre-cut French bread or a selection of fancy crackers are a must to serve with them.
What’s For Dessert?
Don’t forget to include a dessert that’s finger food friendly and easy to pack and serve. A selection of rich chocolate truffles or homemade cookies or some quintessentially Canadian Nanaimo Bars or squares always fill the bill. Check out this site for more inspiration. Yum. To heck with waiting to go on a picnic, let’s make some now!!
Keep It Hot
A couple of good thermos flasks are essential to an enjoyable winter picnic. Depending on your drink preferences, fill them up with hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate! And, if you’re packing chili, stew or soup, choose a wide mouthed thermos; I personally like this one.
Tip: To prep your thermos(es) for hot liquids and foods, be sure to fill them first with hot water. Pour away the hot water once you’re ready to fill them up with your favorite hot beverage, soup or stew etc.
Keep It Cold
If cold beverages are on your picnic menu, follow the same method but pre-cool your thermos with icy cold water. Dump out the ice water prior to pouring in your favourite non-alcoholic drink. Remember that it’s against the law to serve alcoholic drinks in your vehicle (not to mention unsafe), so leave them at home.
Pick a Spot & Go
So, now you see there’s absolutely no reason not to pack a romantic picnic, hop in the car and head out to a favourite park, maybe a treasured waterside location or maybe take a road less travelled down a country lane and enjoy a bit of “you two time”.
Equally, there’s nothing to stop you going off on your own either – especially if you need some simple “me time” or a change of scenery during these wintry days. Maybe you just want to sit and ponder the universe from the cosiness of your car while munching on some special picnic items — I get it! Now, off you go.