Memorial Day Picnic

Now is the time to get the summer off to a delicious start. Pack a picnic and have some good, old-fashioned fun!

By FamilyTime


Summer may still be a few weeks off, according to the calendar, but for all intents and purposes, Memorial Day marks the first big weekend of the season.

If the weather cooperates -- and it usually does -- this is a time for family gatherings. These may include a softball game, a trip to the lake, or a day planned around the annual Memorial Day parade and commemoration.

Whatever your family has planned, chances are a picnic will be part of the fun. We have organized one that requires no last-minute cooking. All preparation is done at home and then the food is packed into coolers for easy transport -- even if you are transporting only as far as your own backyard!

Beyond Sandwiches
We suggest two sandwiches. One is chicken salad made on crusty French bread. The flavor is heightened by the addition of juicy orange sections (that's a switch from the ordinary). A sprinkling of watercress makes these sandwiches very adult.

The other sandwich is a ham sandwich wrapped in corn tortillas. Kids love these! Before wrapping, warm up the tortillas to make them pliable. Whole wheat tortillas are just as good as corn for the sandwiches.

Other Fixins'
We suggest homemade coleslaw flavored with cheese to round out the meal. Make it with any kind of cabbage you can easily get at the market, but if you can find heads of both red and green, mix them for a pretty salad.

No picnic is complete without a sweet treat to round out the meal. Since kids most likely will be part of the fun, we suggest Crispy Rice Cereal Treats - always crowd pleasers.

Include some fresh fruit, such as a watermelon, sliced strawberries, grapes, or early plums to complete the feast.

And don't forget a thermos of lemonade, bottles of soda, or chilled juice boxes. Bottles of water are a great idea, especially if you will be playing games or hiking.

Pack Up and Go!
Pack the food in rigid plastic containers with tight-fitting lids or sturdy plastic bags. Put them in a large cooler and add several frozen blocks of blue ice or another cooling device.

Include paper plates, napkins, cups, and forks. You might want to wrap these in plastic bags, too.

Pack the cooler just before leaving to insure that everything is as chilled and fresh as can be.

Enjoy the day, the weather, the food, and the pure joy of spending a happy, playful day with the family!