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5 Ways to Plan the Perfect Picnic

Summer is far from over, and sandwiches just taste better in the backyard or in the park. Here’s how to plan the perfect picnic.

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Opt for Reusable, Not Disposable

“There’s no need to create garbage,” says Zorah Freeman-McIntyre, owner of the Island Café in Toronto, which caters outdoor dining events. “Paper plates are just silly, because food leaks through them. It’s just as easy to bring real dishes and flatware,” she says, then wrap them in plastic for rinsing at home.

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Pack in Layers

“Dishes that can be stacked, as well as sealable Mason jars for drinks and salad dressings, are a must,” says Jill Curran, owner of Lighthouse Picnics, based out of a historic lighthouse in Ferryland, N.L. When packing a basket, place heavy items first, wrap glasses in cloth napkins, and take a plastic bag to contain spills on the way home.

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Check the Weather

If it’s going to be windy, salads may not be the best idea; if there will be lots of wasps or mosquitos, keep fruit, wine, beer and other sweet stuff to a minimum.

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Think Outside the Sandwich Box

“Extend your scope of what a picnic can mean by bringing jars of pickled herring and beets, or a big pot of homemade stew,” says Freeman-McIntyre. For dessert Curran suggests baking cookies, muffins or anything that will hold its shape during the trip to your destination.

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Don’t Forget the Blanket

Go with gingham for a traditional vibe, a Hudson’s Bay point blanket for a Canadiana feel or towels if you’re on the beach. Curran opts
for a stylish yet practical solution: “We have blankets that are a nice wool on top and waterproof plastic on the bottom.”