Stumbling across a local hidden gem and enjoying the company of others is what picnicking is all about. Picnic's are a great way to get out of the house for some Vitamin D and laughs.
I remember when my friends and I were so exhausted from a forest walk in our local Botanical Garden, that we had set up our picnic on a stranger's lawn. With a view a camera couldn't do justice, how could we not?
It's all about adventure.
Packing for the Occasion
The trick to a really great food layout to your picnic, is to keep it simple, but filling and delicious. Full of appetizers, main meal, and dessert.
Zucchini slice with bacon pieces for the appetizer, colourful tangy pasta salad for your main and to finish off, chocolate mouse topped with fresh strawberries and cream.
Be mindful when packing certain foods to your picnic, as they can spoil and harbor bacteria when not stored at the right temperature.
For this particular recipe, you will be needing five eggs, one cup of sifted self-raising flour, 375g of grated zucchini, one finely chopped onion, 200g of diced bacon (optional), one cup of cheddar cheese and 60ml of vegetable oil.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl until combined. Add the flour and beat until smooth, then add zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese and oil and stir to combine. Meanwhile preheating the oven to 170 degrees.
Grease and line your pan, add the mixture and bake in your oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
The great thing about zucchini slice, is that it isn’t necessary to reheat when eating. Just pop your zucchini slices in a large tub for your picnic hop, and enjoy!
Okay, so this is your time to shine. You can either keep it simple by going with the classic creamy Coles-like pasta salad, that we all know and love, or use your imagination and get creative.
All you will need is a great combination of meats, such as salami or chopped chicken breast, your favourite cheeses and some vegetables.
Perhaps tomatoes or greens of some sort, even if it’s just some fresh parsley in the mix it will amp up the taste, and create a colourful, delicious looking salad.
Olives and red onions wouldn’t hurt, with a simple home made tangy dressing, and you’re ready to rumble!
Oh! How could we not mention pasta choices? When choosing pasta, you need solid texture and shaping. Fusilli, penne, or rotini are the perfect selection for absorbing the full flavours of the salad.
For a tangy dressing for your colourful pasta salad, shake a half a cup of olive oil, two table spoons of red wine vinegar, one squirt of mustard, half tea spoon of oregano and marjoram, salt and pepper; one tea spoon of minced garlic, and one tea spoon of lemon juice, together and drizzle over your pasta salad once served.
Okay so according to many experts (being fellow picnickers…) Donna Hay’s famous chocolate mouse recipe is the perfect picnic treat! This recipe requires 200g of chopped dark chocolate, 20g of butter, three separated eggs, one table spoon of caster sugar; one cup of cream and 120g of strawberries, or any berry of your choosing.
Pop your chocolate and butter in a saucepan, over low heat and stir until smooth and melted. Now it’s time for the eggs yolks, stir and into the butter and chocolate, and set aside.
Wisk egg whites until soft peaks appear, and gradually add your sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Wisk your cream until soft peaks form, and fold the whisked egg whites through your chocolate mixture, then the whisked cream.
Now it’s time for setting your mouse. Spoon your mouse into glasses, and refrigerate until set. When picnicking, grab your chosen fruit and sprinkle over the top.
Finding the perfect place
Okay so now that you have the perfect picnic feast, now it is time to find the perfect destination. Think about where you are right now. Are you around a city, a botanical garden, or a beach? We have three options for the locals.
For an Urban city vibe, we have New Farm Park, right in the heart of Brisbane's city suburb New Farm. If you're looking for beautiful natural scenery, then Queens Park in Ipswich is the place for you.
Along with Main Beach Gold Coast, the surfer's dreamland with it's golden sand and crystal blue water.
NEW FARM PARK, BRISBANE
Right in the heart of New Farm, is the New Farm Park, surrounded by Queenslander styled homes, old school ice-creameries and a ten minute drive from the busy city. The urban picnic area that everyone wished they had as their backyard. New Farm Park is the perfect place to lay your picnic blanket and basket under the shade of a fig tree.
QUEENS PARK, IPSWICH
If you’re looking for a scenery to accompany your picnicking, Queens Park is the perfect destination for your needs. Be spoilt by flower-filled gardens to park your picnic down beside, or sit by the beautiful lookout.
MAIN BEACH, GOLD COAST
If you’re looking for a golden sand, boogie boards and surfers scene for your feast, then the Gold Coast’s Main Beach picnic areas are the place for you. Surrounded by happy families with their puppies and sun-baking beauties. Bring your sun scream and swimmers, because you are up for a day of picnicking, surfing, swimming and sand.
If you're worried about biting into your beautifully created sandwhich, and crunching on chunks of sand, then fear no more. A helpful tip to keep the crunchies away, is to bring a fitted sheet as your picnic blanket. Fit the sheet up around your eskies and picnic basket, or other heavy items, and spread it out. This creates a barricade between your delicious food and the sand.
After the feast
Okay so now that you have eaten your hearts out and ready to hibernate for seven-and-a-half months, you're probably way too full and tired for a bush walk, or to play a friendly game of football, right? Yeah, we figured that. So we've come up with a few fun games and things to do at your picnic that are user friendly for a bloated beach ball.
Ice Block Shirt Race
Now that Summer is approaching, those hot days will sure to be a killer for your picnic vibes in the bush lands or dryer areas in Australia. So, the night before your picnic, soak some t-shirts in cold water and place them in plastic bags.
Pop them in the freezer overnight and voila! The next day you and your fellow picnickers can hold a contest of who can put on a frozen t shirt the fastest.
Giant Beer Pong
Now I know what you're thinking, and no. This doesn't mean there's giant cups full of beer. Beer is replaced by water, for those steaming hot summer days, and cups replaced by giant buckets, and volleyballs.
Here's a fun one for when your full-ness has settled. Grab a partner, get a blanket and pull your partner across the grass as fast as you can to beat your opponents. Oh, and make sure your partner holds onto the sides of the blanket as you're pulling them!
Okay so everyone at least once in their life have played Jenga. You have played Jenga before.
Whether it was during game night at your unusual aunt's house, or if you cannot recall, you were most likely a little bit (or a lot) tipsy in someone's living room.
For this particular game of Jenga, use large wooden pieces to create your super-sized version. Make sure you stand out of the way when the tower starts to fall!
...What are you waiting for? Get picnicking!