Picnics! A Moveable Feast

Sprawling out on a patch of grass with a picnic spread before you is among the greatest pleasures!

June 16, 2015 | | Made in the Hills

Add these local delights to your next picnic! Sprawling out on a patch of grass with a picnic spread before you is among the greatest pleasures of summer. By its very nature a meal you’ve planned and packed, carted to a scenic locale, unpacked, and laid out before your dining companions is a slow food moment. And we don’t have enough of them in our busy lives.

Now, when it comes to filling your picnic basket, a number of local purveyors are ready to transform your meal from ordinary to gourmet. Sure, make your own sandwiches and squares if you like, but these local pies, produce and crisp beverages are worth a quick pit stop en route to your destination. Oh, and the ultimate picnic baskets – they’re crafted nearby too.

Whether you’re hitting your favourite conservation area, a groomed lawn near a Pan Am horse show, or the wilds of your own backyard, enjoy your own contemporary and local déjeuner sur l’herbe. Cheers!

To market, to market

This sturdy, handsome basket is made by Glen Williams resident Lynn Kennedy. She has been creating them for decades using traditional techniques and selling them at events such as the annual Holiday Treasures show at Dufferin County Museum & Archives. This basket is made of natural and hand-dyed reeds and sea grass, and comes with a reinforced oak handle. It’s perfect for market day or as a picnic tote. (Basket $85, Lynn Kennedy. Baguettes $2.80–$3.25, Spirit Tree Cidery. Tablecloth $17.95, The Sandra Shop.)

Laying the groundwork

Will you take your picnic on a gingham, floral, or cheeky blue and white maple leaf print? After all, a stylish picnic requires the right foundation. These retro-patterned cotton (read: washable) tablecloths are handmade with mitred corners by Sandra Wood of The Sandra Shop in Hillsburgh. (42″ x 42″ tablecloths $17.95. Set of four 16½” x 16½” napkins, not shown, $15.95.)

Berry wise

Maybe you’re picnicking near a strawberry farm. This sculptural berry basket by Lynn Kennedy is made of natural and dyed reeds with a solid oak notched handle. She makes others in wild dogwood she collects in late winter and early spring.

This one holds enough berries to make one pie or a batch of jam. Or, we’d add, one healthy picnic berry feast. (Basket $30, Lynn Kennedy. Pint of strawberries $6.95, Rock Garden Farms.)

Double vision

Tote two pies, quiches or other baked goods in this charming pie carrier. It’s an old-timey design Lynn Kennedy keeps going back to, with enough space under the handle to tuck pies in easily. In addition to being picnic-perfect, it’s also a great potluck tool if you’re always the one bringing the lasagne. Here, we’re recommending Rock Garden Farms’ apple caramel pie and Gabe’s spinach feta quiche. (Basket $65, Lynn Kennedy. Pie $11.50, Rock Garden Farms. Quiche $12.99, Gabe’s Country Bake Shoppe.)

Picnic to go

Don’t feel like cooking? Order ahead and swing by Pegram Farm in Mulmur to pick up one of five complete picnics for two. Shown here are a few mouthwatering elements of the “old-fashioned” picnic, with potato salad, corn salad and chicken skewers. Picnics include an appetizer, two side dishes, a main and a dessert. 
It’s all packed in an insulated bag and comes with two soft drinks of your choice, along with eco-friendly or biodegradable plates, cutlery, napkins, glassware and a freezer pack. Bonus: If you don’t have a picnic spot in mind, you can linger on the property and eat it there. (Picnic for two $66–$72, Pegram Picnics.)

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  • Bye-bye, bugs

    Mosquitoes and other bugs are the unwelcome guests you never invite. But if you’re looking for an alternative to DEET, Orangeville retailer Kendra Anderson’s all-natural bug repellent products fit the bill. She uses ingredients such as clove oil, lavender, peppermint, oregano, camphor and patchouli in her concoctions. The Nature’s Armor Protection is a roll-on to tuck into your picnic basket. Dab it behind ears, on wrists and anywhere else bugs like to bite. (It’s safe for kids.) Before you head out, scrub up with Anderson’s handmade bug-repellent soap too. It’s sold by weight at 70 cents a gram. (Roll-on $14.99, soap about $8, Just Be Customized.)

    Mi’kmaq daypack

    If you have a short hike before you reach your picnic spot, you’ll need to multitask. This open basket is designed to be worn with the strap across the chest and basket sitting on your hip. Made of reed, dogwood and sea grass, it’s inspired by a Nova Scotian Mi’kmaq design. ($85, Lynn Kennedy.)


    About the Author More by Tralee Pearce

    Tralee Pearce is the deputy editor of In The Hills Magazine.

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