Packing the perfect picnic basket

Packing the perfect picnic basket

Sometimes, packing the perfect picnic basket is just as fun as the outing itself. First, there’s planning out the menu, and then there’s discovering all the clever ways to pack up the food and keep it presentable. And shopping for just the right picnic basket and all the portable accessories is a blast.

We at Mother Rucker’s Sweets take our mission to make life sweeter and more fun seriously, which is why we’re big fans of scheduling in some time for the good, old-fashioned pastime of picnicking, especially during the spring season. Whether you’re taking the family for a picnic at the park or planning a romantic getaway with your sweetheart, we have a few thoughts on how you can pack the perfect picnic basket.

What to Eat

When it comes to picnic fare, the operative word is simple. Your picnic will be so much more pleasant if the food is both simply prepared and easy to enjoy. So, stick with your old standbys: sandwiches, cheese and crackers, chips, pretzels. Avoid foods that will melt in the heat or fall apart in your basket.

That’s not to say you can’t get a little fancy with your picnic fare. In fact, a picnic is the perfect occasion to show off your culinary skills. In our search for awesome picnic ideas, we’ve found a few that can serve as make-ahead main courses:

  • Cucumber and Snap Salad: A fresh, summertime medley of veggies with a creamy, slightly minty flavor profile and a hint of dill.
  • Martha’s Favorite Tuna Salad Sandwich: A tuna sandwich with apple, basil and crunchy celery that’ll make you love tuna sandwiches again.
  • Tempeh BLT: A refreshing take on the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with a healthy and delicious upgrade.
  • Layered Picnic in a Jar: A delicious and spicy protein-packed arrangement of eggplant, chickpeas and rice layered in a tidy jar.

For dessert, sweets that hold up to the weather are better than anything that gets gooey in the heat. Crispy, sweet and available in a variety of wholesome flavors, Mother Rucker’s Sweets’ own Cookie Brittle, such as rich Cocoa Cookie Brittle and the sweet and tart Lemon Cookie Brittle, make excellent picnic desserts that will please everyone.

Pack It Up

Whether you choose a traditional basket or opt for a trendy picnic backpack, you’ll want to make convenience your guide.

Don’t forget to pack cutlery and plenty of napkins. The genius of toting along a small plastic bag to stash your trash will reveal itself when it’s time to clean up.

Salt, pepper, mustard and ketchup are perhaps the most overlooked items in a picnic basket, and their absence makes all the difference when you’re packing a food that demands one of them.

Oh, and one more important thing not to forget if you’ve packed wine for a romantic picnic: a corkscrew.


Choose a drink everyone will enjoy — such as lemonade or iced tea —  rather than trying to please everyone’s unique tastes. Make a large batch of your beverage and keep it on ice, and your group will have plenty to slake their thirst throughout the afternoon. Plastic drinkware completes your basket setup.

Happy picnicking!