What to Take on a Autumn Picnic

I asked a friend once what he would take on a picnic. His answer was interesting, because for one thing, he is Spanish, for another, he doesn’t go out of his way to enjoy food like I do, or like most of my readers probably do. So I hope his unexpected responses shed some strange light on a common consideration.

fall picnic


“Take cherries” was the first thing he said to me. I wasn’t expecting to feel surprised, but here he was, suggesting that cherries were the cure-all to an undecided picnic planner. “You should take cherries on a picnic because they are always fresh and they always come in a lot.” It was a very funny statement, but can we deny its truthfulness?

Balsamic Vinaigrette

By now I was already flabbergasted by his first response, so his second was one that brought me a bit back down to earth. Vinaigrette I can stand by as a staple of the picnic, but I’ll let his words do the explaining: “It doesn’t matter if all you have is bread, if you have balsamic vinaigrette—it makes everything delicious.”


“For the balsamic vinaigrette, in case you forget the bread,” he said.


I asked my friend why I should include ‘water’ on a list of what to take on a picnic. “Isn’t it obvious?” I asked. He responded: “People don’t think about water. If you are having a picnic, you should think about water.” So now here is water, on my list.


I couldn’t disagree with this item, because everyone loves chocolate or is crazy. “What kind of chocolate?” I inquired of my friend, who was by not very concentrated on thinking about the next item. “What do you mean?” he asked. “I meant you should watch Chocolat before the picnic. To get ideas.”


I insisted that this is a food blog, and that on a list of what to take on a picnic we should be talking about food. He counter-insisted, however, and asked how I expected to enjoy a picnic without a bit of a workout beforehand.

Salt and Turmeric

“Have you ever been to India?” he asked me. “Because in India, they use turmeric like salt. If you have salt and turmeric, you have the best of both worlds, you see?” I asked him what I would put these condiments on and he dismissed me, saying that my question was irrelevant.

Swiss Army Knife

“You take it because it has a cork screw, but you might need the nail file.”


I asked him what kinds of food he would take, and he said that the best picnic food is the kind that is easy to take home if you don’t finish it. Then I asked if he’d tote along a blanket. “No,” he said. “Why on earth would I want a blanket?”

Photo via Metal Heads Heart