Five essentials for the perfect summer picnic

No need to slave over a hot stove to put together some great dishes for family and friends

Picnicking is made easy when you leave the menu to the pros. Try one of Quality Foods’ delicious deli platters

Picnicking is made easy when you leave the menu to the pros. Try one of Quality Foods’ delicious deli platters

Sponsored by Quality Foods | Impress Branded Content

 

If you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen – especially during the sweltering summer months.

Instead, keep your cool by making a reservation with Mother Nature and enjoy an alfresco lunch or dinner in the great outdoors.

With a summer picnic here on Vancouver Island, you can’t beat the view, ambience or affordability factor.

There’s also no gratuity required. Speaking of tips, you might want to consider these five picnic pointers when planning your next outdoor dining experience.

 

1- Take inventory

Before you plan your picnic, take inventory of the supplies you have on hand. While a picnic basket, and/or a cooler probably come to mind, thermal bags are gaining in popularity because of their versatility with hot or cold foods and everyday usefulness. These bags come in handy for everything from grocery shopping and road trips to picnicking.

For stability in transport, option for one with a rigid bottom, sewn handles and a zipper-top closure.

 

2- Ice ice baby

Chilled salads, ice-cold beverages, cold chicken and dips galore are popular picnic fare that go down great on a hot day, but can make you ill if you’re not careful.

To keep these items at a safe temperature –40F or colder – invest in an insulated cooler and/or ice packs.

If using a cooler, keep the ratio: 25 per cent ice and 75 per cent food.  Also, steer clear of packing any warm items in your cooler.

 

3.  Location is everything

Vancouver Island boasts plenty of beautiful picnic hot spots and hidden gems. Whether it’s an ocean view and sandy beach you crave or a woodland setting, complete with a waterfall, the choice is yours for the picknicking. Look for spots with ample shade to protect your food from spoiling and have the bug spray handy to ward off any pesky unwanted dining guests.

 

4 – Keep it Simple

For those short on time, picnicking is made easy when you leave the menu to the pros.

Try one of Quality Foods’ delicious deli platters, featuring assortments of fresh cut vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, sandwiches, wraps, and other appetizers.

Beyond the traditional and trustworthy potato, egg and pasta salads are a new breed of healthy delicious sides featuring kale, quinoa or blueberries.

Nowadays, many grocery store deli departments are basically in-store commercial kitchens, much like a good quality restaurant. For example, QF can crank up your picnic basket with new hot or cold offerings like slow-cooked pulled pork, fall-off-the-bone barbecued ribs, grab and go crispy chicken, delicious sides, etc.

 

5- Fun Factor

Outdoor games and activities that are easy to transport and set up are always a must for any picnic. Whether it’s beanbag toss (cornhole), ladder toss or game of bocce, a little friendly competition will up the fun factor and help you burn off all those extra calories.

 

With these five picnic pointers in mind and plenty of sunshine still on the forecast, there’s no need to slave over a hot stove.

From mouth-watering already-prepared picnic fare to essentials like ice, hot dog buns and aluminum foil, Quality Foods has everything you’ll need to plan the perfect summer picnic.

 

Just Posted

Sooke resident Nathan Hanson popped both his driver’s side tires on a pothole near a construction site on Sooke Road. Hanson said he was following a line of traffic and was just before the 17 Mile Pub when he drove over the pothole. (Photo contributed/Nathan Hanson)
Driver blows two tires on pothole near construction site on Sooke Road

Ministry of Transportation says keeping highways in good condition a priority

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

Rebecca Lang of Any Thyme Gardening installed a seed exchange library in front of her home on Beechwood Avenue. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Victoria gardeners scramble to create local seed exchanges

Fairfield resident’s seed exchange an instant hit

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read