Food

Gather and Graze Outdoors

Thursday, August 08, 2019

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Maybe it was the current of nationalism over the Emancipendence holidays, but it appeared that more people were planning picnics on this beautiful island of ours.

Yes, there are several moving parts that go into executing a picnic, but the collective effort is worth it. Some of us can fondly remember church picnics: hiking to the Blue Mountains followed by a sunrise meal, or spending a day at the beach with what seemed like never-ending food. Picnics are an excellent way of spending time with family and friends outdoors. And, whether you choose the beach, a grassy knoll up a mountain, or within a view of a waterfall, here are some tips to help you pack the best picnic lunch, ever.

Charcuterie and Cheese

Cured meats like prosciutto, salami, bresaola, and jerky are perfect for picnics as you don't have to obsess about them going bad if they aren't packed on ice. In our climate, smoked meats like salmon and ham need to be kept cold, but you'll be taking an ice chest anyway, and these, along with a variety of cheeses and cut vegetables, can easily be nestled atop items that need to be kept very cold. Butcher Block carries both a selection of cured and smoked meats from Simon Levy's Roast Meats, as well as fine cheeses. Imagine the delight across the faces of your friends and family when, in between dips in the sea, you quickly assemble a stunning charcuterie and cheese platter.

Salads

What would a picnic be without potato salad? We all have our favourite recipes, most of which likely include mayonnaise. Of course, the best way of handling mayo al fresco is adding it right before serving. For a leafy green salad, keep all the ingredients cool and crisp by packing them in freezer bags and laying them flat in the cooler. When you're ready to eat, add to a salad bowl, toss and add your favourite dressing. Or a good drizzle of aged balsamic, which Butcher Block carries.

Raw Meat

If your picnic venue has an outdoor grill or fire pit, consider carrying large cuts of meat like cowboy steaks, whole roasts, sides of salmon and spatchcocked whole chickens. Transport seasoned or marinated tightly wrapped with plastic covered with ice. Note, the cooler you're using to transport raw meat should not be used for anything else. Remember Butcher Block can pre-season your favourite cuts of meat.

Cooked Meat

Cooked meats like roast beef, barbecued pork chops, grilled chicken, and fried fish are great picnic foods. Store in sealed food containers and keep cool in ice water or packed on top crushed ice.

Alcoholic Drinks

And, don't forget that Butcher Block carries an impressive selection of wines, beers and sprirts.


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