08 July 2014


I've had dinner O U T D O O R S more often in the last two months than I have in the past few years combined (I think it's been an equal and opposite reaction to that Very Long Winter). From picnics in backyards + parks to tables set on porchesfarms, and along the C&O Canal, each occurrence has been vastly different, but all wildly SUMMER PERFECT. From a production standpoint, here are two tenets to keep in mind when planning your own Summer dinner adventures:

KEEP IT SIMPLE. Easy is the move, even if you're just walking out your back door. Last week my sister and I spent an evening in her yard with a (cauliflower crust!) pizza, a bottle of wine, and a bowl of Rainier Cherries; we didn't have to get up once. If you're headed a little further out, try packing a salad or a Summer pesto + pasta in a 20oz Ball Jar, or sandwich-it-up ahead of time and bundle in butcher paper + twine. Summer stone fruit works as both a side and a dessert, but a chocolate bar is ALSO one of nature's pre-wrapped gifts, so you know, don't deny yourself anything.

KEEP IT SUSTAINABLE: When we headed to Dinner on the Farm I thought the request to bring your own plates + silverware was cute and quirky; I didn't realize until afterwards that it alleviated a lot of WASTE. I'm so down with the ease of paper plate clean up, but the real stuff packs up just as nicely, and LET'S BE REAL – it's way more instagrammable. Use your picnic blanket, cloth napkins or tea towels, and a length of burlap or linen to cushion breakables in your tote bag if you're headed further than a backyard or front porch; besides plates, flatware, and glasses (try using jars – they're sturdier), I'm obsessed with these IKEA flip-top bottles for wine + water.

Eating Al Fresco (a NYTimes Pinterest board)
Picnic Wines, Or How to Drink Well, Outside (a Food 52 guide)
10 DIY Projects to Make for Your Next Picnic (at Design*Sponge)


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