On Sunday, we finally christened our new picnic area, a feat which we’ve been trying to accomplish since Memorial Day weekend. That’s when we placed the tables and benches under the shelter. Since then, every picnic we’ve planned had been rained out. This summer has been a wet one in western North Carolina. I am not complaining, because last summer and fall we experienced extreme drought and, as a result, massive forest fires occurred throughout western North Carolina. But, this summer’s frequent rain has put a real damper on our outdoor dining and parties.
On Sunday, Mother Nature finally cooperated and we were able to enjoy a lovely picnic. Brown-eyed Girl and her Handsome Hubby and their new little guy (who is almost 4 months old now) visited us over the weekend. It was their first family road trip since Little Buddy was born. Friends of theirs from Florida are vacationing in Asheville and joined us for a picnic lunch on Sunday. I planned an easy lunch menu of grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken cutlets.
Fresh lemonade and side dishes of baked beans, cole slaw, and watermelon wedges could all be prepared ahead of time. I purchased bakery sugar cookies and baked a batch of Aunt Bea’s Chocolate Chip cookies from frozen cookie dough that I made a few weeks ago.
Three starry blue napkins (from Pottery Barn a few years ago) were placed down the center of the table as a foundation for the centerpiece of red Gerbera Daisies in a clear glass cylinder in a metal starry candle holder. The flowers were embellished with three small flags and glittery red, white, and blue stars.
A galvanized caddy held paper plates, napkin/flatware bundles, and condiments.
Hand sanitizer and a natural insect repellent (made from essential oils) were available just in case they were needed. I also burned an Aromaflage Botanical Insect Repelling candle as a precaution. After all, our picnic shelter is in the woods.
I often like to include some kind of takeaway for our party guests, especially for the youngest guests. In anticipation of the Fourth of July, I purchased a variety of patriotic party favors mostly from the Target Dollar Spot area. These items included jewelry that lights up, glow stick masks, glasses, necklaces, etc., baseball hats, kids’ sunglasses, and fans. The red, white, and blue favor bags in the basket contained a cookie. Another option for filling them might have been popcorn.
All in all, our patriotic Star-Spangled Picnic was relaxing and enjoyable, a time for Brown-eyed Girl and her little family to reconnect with their friends and for all of us to enjoy spending a pleasant afternoon in the great outdoors.
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