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Carefree Picnicking


Picnics are a time for relaxing, enjoying good food and having fun. With a little bit of imagination and know-how, your portable meal can be an effortless event. To help you, we've put together tips and ideas for making this happen.

Grab-to-Go Picnic Pack
As the temperature rises outside, so does the desire to hang out and let the good times roll. Be prepared for last-minute activities or a change of plans by having a basket, insulated bag, cooler or even an old suitcase packed with supplies that's ready to go. You may even want to store it in the trunk of your car for an impromptu roadside picnic. Also, don't forget to slip in a few pork recipes, such as for Honey-Hot Chops or Ham Tortilla Roll Ups. That way you'll have an away-from-home "shopping list" ready for a spur-of-the moment stop at the supermarket

What to Pack:
* Blanket or beach towel
* Paper plates and cups
* Plastic utensils
* Paper towels and/or moist towelettes
* Individual packets of seasonings and
condiments: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard
and mayonnaise
* Bottle opener and corkscrew
* Sharp knife
* Flexible cutting board
* Resealable plastic bags or containers for leftovers
* Plastic trash bag
* Matches
* Sun block
* Sun glasses/hats
* Inset repellant
* Basic first-aid kit
* Easy-to-pack toys: blow-up beach ball, Frisbee®,
bubble liquid, etc.
* Disposable camera (do not leave in hot car)
* Ice packs or frozen gel kept on hand in the freezer

Pack Right; Pack Safe
Somehow meals always taste better when they're accompanied by the warm rays of the sun or a cool early evening breeze. Keep outdoor dining safe and enjoyable by following a few simple safety tips when purchasing and preparing pork and other perishable foods.

* Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler. Place raw meats on the bottom of the cooler to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods.
* Use enough ice or frozen gel packs to keep perishable foods like pork and salads cold. Also, a full cooler will stay cold longer than one partially full.
* Carry the packed cooler inside an air-conditioned car. At your picnic site, place the cooler in the shade or sheltered from the sun. If possible, place beverages in another cooler to prevent constant opening of the cooler with perishables.
* Remember the 2 hour rule: Return all perishables to the cooler or refrigerator within 2 hours-1 hour if the temperature outside is 90┬░ F. or higher.
* When in doubt, throw it out. Should you have any concerns about the safety of the food.

A Fare to Remember:
A picnic can be as simple as enjoying a sandwich while sitting on a beach towel in the backyard, or as elaborate as getting together with friends for a casual cookout at the park. But whatever the occasion, make it fun, make it an adventure, make it fuss-free.

Pork is the perfect choice for your outdoor-or even indoor-outings. Whether it's a trip to the park, a day at the beach or an afternoon adventure to the aquarium, pork is both easy to fix and totable. Best yet, it's a lean, healthy option for satisfying hungry appetites. Find some creative themes with pork menu ideas to get you started.

Courtesy of the Minnesota Pork Board

Categories: Food & Recipes, MomShare,

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