I am a list maker. Not every day for everyday things, I make lists for big projects, stories and dinners. My dad is an every day list maker. He even has a list for cookouts on the beach. He put his list together after making not one, not two but three trips back to the house for salt and pepper, for ketchup or whatever else he managed to forget.
Whether it’s a cookout or a picnic, no one ever forgets the lemonade or potato salad. However, we do forget the charcoal, mustard, butter for the corn or a bowl and tongs to toss the salad. Dad’s list is pretty exhaustive and covers any and all condiments, salt and pepper, serving utensils, bottle opener, cork screw and the all important trash bag to haul everything home again.
So … whether you have your picnics in the park or on the beach, think about making your own list of each and every must-have item to make your meal complete. And don’t forget to put it somewhere you can find it the next time you pack up for a dinner en plein air! (Just being a little fancy – that’s French for in the open air.)
Having given that sage advice, I now admit that I don’t have a list of my own. (I suppose I could always give Dad a call and have him read his over the phone while I check my cooler, bags and bin.) However, I do have a beach bin. It is not filled with kids’ toys but plastic plates, cups, a cheap set of colorful cutlery that I picked up at the grocery store, a cork screw, salt and pepper, napkins and serving utensils. It does not, as I unfortunately discovered this past Sunday night, have a small supply of trash bags. Or rather, it didn’t and does now!
In case you are wondering – why so many plates and cups? Whenever possible, I avoid disposable plates and cups and my extended family can easily swell to a dozen or more.
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