What I Should Have Learned...: Picnic Safety


There is nothing more American than the picnic!

Picnics can take on many forms, such as the community picnic, friends and neighbors, tailgate parties, or ball games. There is also one sure thing at every picnic-lots of good food.

The important point is to have safe and healthy food, not…

Picnics are fun, but they can be annoying. I remember, even as a kid, our family would eat at the beach and I hated when the the sandwiches got sprinkled with sand so that when I bit into one I felt the grit and got that wince-worthy sound between my teeth that reminded me of the dentist.

I didn’t like the ants either. Or getting sunburned (I am old enough to remember a time before sunscreen existed.) 

But okay, if you love a picnic, and like to linger with lunch and not sit in the usual chairs at the usual table, you deal with the pitfalls.

But one hazard you don’t want to hazard is spoiled food. So, read this list of good rules to follow before you venture out. 

Also, I have found over the years, that it is a good idea to take food that doesn’t spoil easily. Like this tomato salad:

Spicy Tomato Salad

3-4 large ripe tomatoes

6 Sichuan peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeno or serrano pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Toast the Sichuan peppercorns or cook them in an unoiled pan for a few minutes over medium heat until they are fragrant. Crush the Sichuan peppercorns and add them to the tomatoes. Add the back pepper, chili pepper, olive oil, wine vinegar, cilantro and thyme. Mix and let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings