Picnic Trick

The weather is turning lovely. The days are longer, and we all want to get outside. We all need a bit of a getaway after a long winter. But spring means planting and cleaning, leaving little time for excursions. We may not be able to head to the park or the lake just yet, so I have a little trick for staging your own little getaway. I call it the picnic trick.

Before you change your mind, go ahead and prepare a picnic basket right now to keep by the door for that first perfect spring afternoon or midweek evening when you need an instant-getaway. By having it ready, there’s no excuse when the picnic mood strikes. You’ll be ready at a moment’s notice to call a few friends, throw some blankets in the car, visit your local grocer then head to your favorite park for a simple picnic meal that will transport everyone to a much slower rhythm of life.

Don’t want to leave home? Have a picnic in your backyard or on the front stoop. The location isn’t important. It’s the simple act of doing something different, something out of your routine that helps you break free from spring’s other demands.

Picnic Basket Kit

1 large basket, vintage suitcase or favorite backpack

selection of mismatched cloth napkins (perhaps ones that have seen better days but are too lovely to toss).

jelly jar glasses

A tin can filled with inexpensive flatware (My favorites come from flea markets and dollar stores.)

Melamine dishes for everyone, a few extra for serving

salt and pepper shakers

roll of paper towels

kitchen knife

a comfy quilt or a large rectangle flannel backed tablecloth

bug spray


kite, sidewalk chalk, bottle of bubbles


citronella jar candles

hand sanitizer

small cutting board



Easy European-inspired Picnic Meal

This is our favorite meal to grab at the grocery store on the way if we decide on a last minute picnic. It’s inspired by what I imagine a picnic in the rolling provincial hills of France would be like.


1 loaf of crusty French bed

bottled sparkling lemonade

bottled water

fresh fruit

grape tomatoes

package of fresh mozzarella

package of classic hummus

rotisserie chicken



Spread the cheese, fruit and tomatoes on your cutting board to serve. Use the bottled water to rinse fruit and veggies if needed.

Leave the chicken and hummus in their containers, carving the chicken as needed.

No need to stand on ceremony. This is a picnic. Instead of slicing the bread, just let everyone tear off chunks.

jeruArkansas Women Blogger Jerusalem Jackson Greer is a writer, speaker, nest-fluffer, urban farm-gal and author of A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together. Jerusalem lives with her husband and two sons in a 1940s cottage in Arkansas at the crossroads of beauty and mess with an ever-changing rotation of pets, including a hen house full of chickens. As a family, they are attempting to live a slower version of modern life.  She blogs about all of this and more at http://jerusalemgreer.com