As much as I enjoy cooking, there are those days when the last thing I want to do is heat up the oven, especially during Georgia summers. There’s something about the hot temperatures that zap the energy right out of you, and anyway, summertime is the season to slow down and take it easy. Nothing supports that line of logic more than a carefree picnic. Today I’ll share some simple and Some Kinda Good ideas to pack in a picnic basket. Whether you have your own swimming pool, or decide to take your picnic to the beach, the park or in your own backyard, picnicking is a great activity to relax and enjoy with family under the shade of an old oak tree.
A great picnic doesn’t have to mean ham sandwiches and bags of potato chips (though if you love ham sandwiches, there’s nothing wrong with that). On a Friday night recently at the end of a long work week, I found myself in the grocery store, surrounded by lots of delicious ready-made foods. Before making my selections, I browsed every department—produce, seafood, wine and cheese, and the bakery, taking a look at the fresh breads and pastries. I settled on a pound of cooked herb and garlic-marinated jumbo shrimp, an orzo-tomato salad with spinach and pine nuts, some cold bruschetta with small slices of toasted bread for dipping, and for dessert, half of a wild berry pie. The only thing left for me to do once I got home, was uncork the bottle of chilled rosé I’d selected from the wine department and enjoy the weekend. I felt so Ina Garten in that moment. How easy is that? Though my husband, Kurt, and I didn’t go on a picnic that evening, all of the items I picked up at the grocery store would’ve been perfect on-the-go.
This month on the Fourth of July, my family and I spent the holiday lounging by the pool on St. Simons Island. On the morning of Independence Day before the summer sun got too hot, Kurt and I biked over to a popular barbecue joint, Southern Soul Barbecue, where they smoke the meat low and slow for hours and serve it with a sweet sauce. We picked up two pounds of pulled pork, and I rode away with the meat securely fastened in the hot pink milk crate of my beach cruiser, filled with excitement for lunchtime later that day. We enjoyed a lazy afternoon, eating our barbecue sandwiches with chips and hummus, and festive rice crispy treats with red, white and blue sprinkles.
When considering what to take on a picnic, I plan for easy, flavorful foods that are in season. The Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market is a great place to pick up seasonal, picnic-ready foods. This time of year, fresh peaches and watermelon are aplenty, along with some of my favorite ready-to-eat foods, like Sugar Magnolia’s tomato focaccia or Cork’s kettle corn.
As the summer season lingers on, I hope you’ll grab a blanket, pack a picnic, stake out a favorite location and dial up a friend. Keep it simple and Some Kinda Good!
Share your favorite picnic ideas with me at SKGFoodBlog@gmail.com. For recipes and more on my summer cooking adventures, visit my food blog at Some KindaGood.com.
Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a food enthusiast, writer and the cooking show host of SKG-TV on YouTube. The personality behind the blog, SomeKindaGood.com, she is a public relations graduate of Georgia Southern University and attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. Search Facebook for Some Kinda Good or tweet her @SKGFoodBlog.