Five reasons to plan a fall picnic

Now that the weather has cooled off doesn’t mean you have to head indoors for good. With a bagged lunch, a thermos, and a quilt from the backseat of the car, you can still have that picnic you were too busy to plan in August.

It just so happens that our recent decision for a lifestyle change has introduced a lot of new topics to discuss as parents. Do we buy a home or build new? Lakefront or ocean? Do we travel before the move or after? Start a business or stick with what we’ve been doing?

Uninterrupted conversation is rare between Danny and I when we are at home with the kids. It’s hard to unpack a topic and take the time to look at it from all angles. So we’ve taken to meeting up for a picnic lunch once a week, weather permitting, and then going for a walk afterward.

This mini excursion gets us both away from our desks and into the fresh air. It provides the opportunity for adult conversation without having to worry about little ears picking up details on our financials or grand dreams. It’s a fall picnic with a practical side, and I am all about multitasking!

Five reasons to plan a fall picnic

If I’m embracing the fall picnic, I thought you might too. Besides the logical desire to carpe diem on the balmy temperatures before the snow flies, here are five reasons to plan a fall picnic:

1. An occasion to slow down 

A fall picnic provides the opportunity to slow down, during this busy, busy season. Sit a while or stroll a trail. Find a beach if you can, or just get comfortable on a bench in your favourite city park.

2. The splendour of fall foliage

Find a place where you are surrounded by the beauty of nature and give yourself permission to do nothing but take in the view. Right now the colours in Eastern Canada are in their full glory. They take my breath away daily, displayed against the azure skies. Take time to look up and appreciate the beauty.

3. The elements are suitable.

The bugs are gone, gone! and the cooler temperatures means we have to worry less about food spoiling. The air is invigorating, energizing after the wilting heat of August (and our bizarre sweltering September).

4. Welcome the season of hygge.

Plaid blankets, bulky sweaters, a carpet of leaves – fall is when we really begin to hygge. Hygge is a sensory experience, where we elevate the every day by enjoying the simple pleasures of life. A fall picnic, especially with comfort food and a thermos of hot cider, is particularly hyggelig.

5. Change the scenery.

In her beautiful book A Year of Picnics, author Ashley writes about a ‘Coffee Break Picnic’, suggesting that engaging our senses mid-day can stimulate both body and mind for a more productive work day. There’s nothing like a walk in the forest in autumn to engage all the senses.

The Fall Picnic: What to pack

Picnic food should not be complicated. A hearty salad, a favourite sandwich, or just a basket of warm muffins can be enough. I often like to go with finger food – there’s no need to pack utensils, or even plates, if you don’t want to. We recently enjoyed turkey, Swiss cheese and pear sandwiches on crusty baguette. With a smear of Dijon and a homemade pickle, there’s nothing better!

Try thick slices of pumpkin loaf and a few jar of my make-ahead salads for winter (or fall). If it is a chilly day, pack a container of lentil, pumpkin and kale soup – nourishing, seasonal and delicious.

A fall outing should almost always include a thermos with a hot soup or beverage to warm you from the inside out. My favourites are a hot spiced apple cider or hot spiced mulled wine.

Maybe you are planning to meet a friend for lunch in a park this week or you’re organizing an apple picking outing this weekend. Whatever your schedule, plan to pack a picnic. You’ll be glad you did.

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About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Just in time, I needed ideas for an upcoming picnic in a couple weeks. Thanks!!

  2. hey girl- love the post!

  3. Love this! Thanks for the inspiration!

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