The Perfect Picnic

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I have an idea. Not a revolutionary one; it has been done a million times over.  Nonetheless, it’s one I’ve never actually executed well.

I want to take my kids on a picnic.

But not the way we normally do. We’ve had dozens of “picnics” over the years. But it is usually a spontaneous thing where I pack a cooler or grocery bags full of whatever I can find in the cupboards and the refrigerator. Goldfish crackers, pudding snack packs, hastily made sandwiches. It is really no more than packing provisions for the day. Mostly we picnic at the beach where everyone eats at different times. I want to move beyond the beach where every bite of even the creamiest peanut butter sandwich becomes a gritty mouthful. I want to explore the romantic notion of a real picnic.

Is it too much to ask to want to defy our own family odds and have a civilized, well planned affair where we simple enjoy each other’s company? I will pick a beautiful location somewhere grassy and place our blanket where the sun’s rays are interrupted by the large leafy branches of trees so we are neither too hot nor too cool.

The perfect basket is essential to a great picnic.

At the center of our picnic of course will be a real wicker picnic basket from which I will pull out sandwiches. Sandwiches made thoughtfully to accommodate individual requests and wrapped in waxed paper with frilly toothpicks. I will borrow my dad’s large thermos and fill it with strawberry lemonade. Matching plastic dishes and cutlery and cute cloth napkins will add the finishing touches to the ambience.

The first order of business, I realized – invest in a real picnic basket. While igloo coolers are practical, they do lack a certain charm.

I was picturing a step up from the modest baskets that Yogi Bear would steal from campers in Jellystone Park. Yet, a step down from the cloth lined deluxe baskets with strapped in elegant china, hand carved cheese boards and special compartment for wine bottles and corkscrews.

After pursuing the internet and reading reviews and descriptions of a variety of different baskets, I found the one. It played right into my fantasy.

Here is the description – verbatim.

Amish handmade large picnic basket with pie divider tray and wood carrier handles. Truly the ultimate in picnic baskets! Place your homemade pie in the bottom of the basket and secure it by placing the divider on top of it, then place your meal and picnic supplies above the divider. The double swinging handles balance out this handmade basket when carried around.

To be honest, they had me at Amish.

The bit about securing my homemade pie in the bottom of the basket sealed the deal.

Before I knew it, I placed the order, justifying the cost by assuring myself we would quickly become avid picnickers.

And now, I am half expecting our handmade Amish picnic basket with a pie divider tray to arrive in a horse drawn Wells Fargo wagon.

Until then, there is much to be done. I need to find the grassy, tree dotted location and figure out what kind of pie to bake.

Any suggestions?

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