Summer is starting to close in on PEI. The days are noticeably shorter and the daytime temperatures are sometimes dropping to the high teens/low twenties (Celsius). Before everything starts up again in September, the days all of a sudden get more hectic, and everybody tends to go their own way with a multitude of activities and commitments, I thought I would host a girls’ relaxing day out picnic.
The inspiration for this picnic theme came from the old-fashioned picnic box lunches. Each guest gets her own box with her individual picnic lunch packed inside.
Here are the elements of my updated classic picnic box luncheon:
The pretty decorated lunch boxes…. Why go plain when I can turn the picnic into an event by presenting the picnic boxes as gifts! All it took to create the look were basic white bakery boxes and a spool of pretty hot pink ribbon (you have probably figured out the color theme by now!)…
a pretty summer tablecloth (I so love Waverly fabrics!)…
some lovely pink carnations enhanced by Queen Anne’s Lace that grows so prolifically along PEI roadsides this time of the year…
and fancy china tea cups and saucers to go with a china tea pot. I guess you could say this event is a cross between a picnic and an afternoon tea (but tea does taste ever so much better out of china cup and saucer, wouldn’t you say!)
Part of the fun and charm of a picnic box lunch is opening the box to discover what culinary treasures await. So, let’s open one of the picnic boxes to see what the picnic menu is for today.
Each box, lined with hot pink tissue paper, contains a Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwich on Marbled Rye. Packaged in parchment paper and slipped into a tiny gift bag, this sandwich is as much a treat for the eye as it is for the tummy!
Some munchy trail mix will make a tasty (yet somewhat uncommon) accompaniment to the sandwich. I sometimes like to use different meal accompaniments rather than always the usual potato chips, pickles, salad or traditional coleslaw (although they are always good and tasty options, too).
This marbled rye bread is a good, thick density type bread that holds together well so it makes an ideal picnic sandwich bread. It does not need to be thickly sliced – in fact, it is best if sliced rather thinly.
As a bonus, this bread gets high marks for presentation. I like to use unique and different breads and rolls for picnic sandwiches because it steps up the presentation factor a notch! If you have been following my blog entries about picnics this summer, you will find that I have used different breads, rolls, or wraps, each time. You will also notice that, even though this is a picnic box event, I have included some plates and cutlery for the sake of guest comfort and convenience – the sandwich cuts easier with a knife and on a plate and the tart is less messy when eaten with a fork!
The Waldorf Salad Sandwich is very easy to make. I used chopped cooked chicken and added some sliced green onion, golden raisins, chopped celery, finely diced Granny Smith apple, salt and pepper to taste, and enough mayonnaise to hold the sandwich filling together.
Blueberries are in season right now on PEI so I have chosen blueberry tarts for dessert. These are easy to pack in some small plastic containers I have on hand (which just happened to have hot pink-colored covers that match today’s picnic color scheme). Desserts like this are somewhat fragile so need to be packaged carefully, particularly if travel to a picnic venue is involved.
A nice red summer pear will finish off the meal.
I have also included an individually-sized bottle of Hardys Stamp of Australia Chardonnay Semillon in each box. I love how Hardys have included the convenience of a wine glass right on the little bottle! These small bottles of wine fit perfectly into the picnic boxes.
Add a colorful matching napkin and this picnic lunch can be eaten anywhere, with or without a table.
Preparing picnic lunch boxes is a fun and creative way to serve picnic fare. They can be simple or elaborate, themed, and used for any age group by simply varying the menu contents. There are so many ways to prepare and host picnics so that guests enjoy the al fresco dining experience.
I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my pretty pink picnic today. Enjoy your day and have a great week ahead.
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