5.8.14

Indoor Picnic? Yes please!

Picnics. Who doesn’t love them? They are like outdoor parties, which don’t really need a reason or an occasion. Find a clear beach on a warm day, or a garden filled with crisp autumn breeze, just pack some sandwiches, salads, some easy finger food, some cool wine, and you are good to go. Right! But what is a person to do when it’s pouring outside and the skies are all grey and your mood is all blue? How about a living room picnic? I will admit that this idea works best for two, but with a little patience and ingenuity, you can get the kids involved as well, or plan one for your entire set of friends.
  
Here are a few simple and delightful ideas that I dug up for your living room picnic inspiration. They key to creating a magical indoor picnic is planning and organizing. Do not stress yourself out. As always, keep things simple, and make sure that you are not too over-worked to enjoy the picnic yourself. The best bit about this is that you don’t have to take out your expensive china, and heirloom silver. A picnic is the perfect excuse for using break resistant serving plates and cutlery. Make it colourful, playful and relaxed. I love to use my enamelware for picnics, sturdy and lightweight! Throw in some fun board games, play a soothing music compilation, light up those candles, and get going!

FOOD
While planning the food, go for popular classics that everyone will like. Avoid foods that require any cutting. Forks work better, and finger foods work best for picnic menus. Wraps, sandwiches, chips, vegetables with dips, or salads packed in individual jars are a good choice. Don’t kill yourself over the stove or the oven. Just hop over to a local deli to pick up some artisanal breads, sliced cold cuts, and don’t forget some cookies or brownies to end the meal with! I usually prepare a large pitcher of ice tea well in advance for our living room picnics. For this wet weather, hot chocolate might be a good option.

  
PLANNING
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of making a list of everything you need to buy and do. I usually put my list on the fridge, and check items off as I pack them. Use a picnic basket or a tote bag, packing everything in just the way you’d do for an outdoor picnic. Keep a bedspread, quilt or blanket ready to be spread on the floor. Pack in the plates, cups, serving pieces, paper towels, and napkins. Make small packets or jars of condiments like salt, pepper, mustard, chutneys, ketchup, etc.
PACKING
It’s always a good idea to pack soft foods like cakes, fruits, or salads in hard plastic containers with lids. Of course, pack the food in the order in which it will be eaten, with first courses on the top, and last courses on the bottom. I use parchment papers and colourful pieces of wool to pack individual servings of sandwiches. Always gets me squeals of delight. For salads, I usually forego leafy ones and opt for Quinoa or couscous based ones, as they are more filling, and pack well in glass jars. One of the key advantages of indoor picnics is to not having to lug around a heavy ice-box. You can keep the things that need to stay cool tucked away in the refrigerator till the time the guests are about to arrive.



MOOD
Picnics are largely an outdoor celebration. But believe me, once you start your indoor version, you won’t be able to stop. Play some ambient music, preferably with sounds from nature. I usually brighten up the house with some colourful flowers, more so because indoor picnics are a great way to counter the monsoon blues. Aroma candles are another one of my favourites, and a big advantage of indoor picnics, because you can’t usually carry them for a simple outdoor setting. 


2 comments:

  1. Wow! wonderful and tempting images and cool suggestions in the post too. Yes we all love picnics, we all love celebrating, we all love food too! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words, Shesha. Picnics are such a fabulous way to spike up any normal day!

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