Offbeat tips to plan a joyous picnic | Namichef

  • July 27, 2022
  • Posted by Namichef
Tips for Spectacular Picnic

How to have a Spectacular Picnic

My wife and I have always been avid picnickers. The COVID pandemic has only solidified that, especially during the lockdown. However, even when things opened up and weather permitting, every few weeks we pack up our IKEA bags and move dinner outside.

Location, Location, Location

Let’s start with the basics, where should we eat? Some of us will look for seclusion, some will search for natural beauty and some will search for both. In my opinion, I want to be in an area where I can look at people. I really took the following article from the New York Times to heart:

Essentially, the article’s author, Pete Wells, proposes that we go out to eat not just for the food (one of my goals for NamiChef is to show people that you can eat better at home than in most restaurants) but also to look at other people.

That’s why we consistently choose to picnic in Washington Square Park. We live close by and if you want to do some people watching there is no better place on Earth. From the skateboarders, musicians, performance artists, and other Greenwich Village “characters”, Washington Square Park has you covered. We just try to find a nice patch of grass and we set up our picnic.

Washington Square Park

Pro tip:  go before sunset and watch the transition as day turns to night.

My wife is very well organized and a great planner and she has invested in inexpensive picnic equipment including blowup mats, folding chairs, cheap pillows that we don’t care if they touch the ground, and thermoses to keep our beverages cold.

Now let’s talk about consumption:

Beverages: I know we shouldn’t do this but we’re wine drinkers so we fill the thermoses up with ice-cold rosé. Drinking in the Park is still illegal but the police don’t seem to care as much as they used to so just be responsible.

Food: ANYTHING that is delicious at room temperature our personal favorites are:

  • Pizza – I’ll do a blog on NamiChef pizza, it’s a crowd favorite
  • Fried chicken – I make this with my Ninja Foodi Air Fry Oven using the following recipe from “My Forking Life” by Tanya Harris:

  •  Caprese salad:
    • Ripe tomatoes – August to mid-September is prime time in New York
    • Fresh basil
    • Fresh mozzarella cheese:  Sergimmo Salumeria makes a fresh batch 3 times/day
    • Good extra virgin olive oil – any suggestions?

I have also made a pasta salad with seafood and seafood paella (please see my blog called “How Paella Changed my Life” for the recipe). We’ll also bring cheese, smoked meats, vegetable sticks, and hummus (a great reason to buy a Nutribullet is not just healthy smoothies and boat drinks – try the hummus!)

From there you can spend a few hours of quality time with that special someone, a group of friends or just your favorite book.

As always, please send your ideas about picnicking and feel free to share photos and suggestions, and always remember:  With the right ingredients and access to extra help when you need it, you are already one of the best chefs that you know.

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