I’m so excited for my friend, Camille Styles who is launching a brand new book on entertaining today. It’s a gorgeous book with so many good ideas. Today, she’s sharing her tips & tricks for a fall picnic party here on Oh Happy Day. Make sure you click through below to read them all. And don’t forget to get her new book here!
Click through for Camille’s picnic tips…
Tips for a Fall Party Picnic by Camille Styles
To welcome the cooler weather, I invited a few kids and their moms to join us at a local farm to celebrate our friend Parker’s fourth birthday and enjoy an autumn lunch under the big oak tree. We packed picnic baskets with baguette sandwiches, tabbouleh salad and pickled veggies in mason jars, as well as cozy blankets that would let us spread out and give the kids room to play. The chicken coop and vegetable patches provided built-in entertainment, and an old farm table became a festive spot for birthday cake and rowdy games of pin-the-tail-on-the-piglet. If only turning another year older could always be such fun!
- When scouting your location, choose a picnic spot with care: dry, flat ground under the shade of a tree is perfect. Pack a few blankets to scatter on the grass, and consider packing food in wooden crates or sturdy boxes that can be flipped over and used as tabletops and seating.
- A picnic is a great opportunity to keep it simple and work with what you’ve got, so start by looking at what’s already at your location. At a farm, hay bales make perfect seating, and produce plucked from the field is an ideal centerpiece. When you open up your eyes to what’s all around, you just might discover that there’s an instant party practically waiting to happen!
- When planning the menu, the two main things to keep in mind are the temperature and the durability of the food. Room temperature items are great since it means not having to pack everything on ice or heat it up on site. You also want items that will hold up well and won’t become soggy. Crusty breads like baguettes are great sandwich choices since they don’t absorb a lot of moisture, and when it comes to salads, crunchy vegetables like radishes, carrots and cucumbers won’t go limp.
- Bring a big cutting board or two that can be used as a flat, steady surface for placing food and drinks on to keep them from tipping over on the grass.
- If some of your food items need to be served cold, pack them in a cooler with ice and separate them from room temperature items. Decant beverages into glass bottles with lids, and bring mason jars or disposable cups for sipping.
- Forgo the plastic stuff and bring disposable bamboo flatware for an easy and effortless touch. Instead of plates, I packed salad in individual jars with lids that would prevent spills, and wrapped sandwiches in parchment paper that could be tossed when the meal was over.
- Don’t forget the trash bags, paper towels and a few moist towelettes for cleaning everything (and everyone) up when your picnic is done!
Photos by Buff Strickland