Picnic baskets make me swoon. Those little wicker wonders transport me to a time where quilts were placed in a perfect spot under the weeping willow so that lovers could soak in the sun, enjoy a sweet breeze and read poetry to one another.
Or maybe I've just seen Pretty Woman too many times.
The reality of picnic baskets is something else. Properly packed with silver, linen, china, not to mention food and drink, these containers are heavy, and not at all sexy to schlep.
For me, the perfect picnic is one that's carefree from start to finish, one that can be prepared with little fore- or afterthought, a simple pleasure.
If you want to pack plates and glasses, the most practical way to do it is with a backpack designed for this purpose. Leave that darling picnic basket in the garage, and order a picnic backpack from AmazonAMZN or TargetTGT. Remember, you're still going to have to do those dishes.
Alternatively, opt for a picnic that offers food but no plates, wine but no glasses, Purell and no linens. One that (dare I say) uses disposable containers. To satisfy your inner green, consider this as an opportunity to reuse your takeout containers one last time.Our Civil War-era ancestors, who were so fond of their picnicking, used to take out summer quilts and pop-a-squat. That's lovely, but cumbersome.
In these modern times, hike down to REI and pick up one of their double-sided picnic blankets, water-resistant on one side, and fuzzy-cozy on the other. Visually, it's more Sasquatch than Scarlett, but what do you expect for a $30 synthetic blend that folds to less than a square foot? Or, try a Seagrass mat from Pier 1.
Finally: food. This is why God invented gourmet-to-go. Visit your nearest Whole FoodsWFMI or upscale grocery, buy whatever delicious items you find, lock them in a clamshell container and you're ready for that blanket. Grab a cup or two while you're at it; even I have to draw the line at swigging wine directly from the bottle.