Wondering how to have a real Southern picnic? Few things transform a summer afternoon like a picnic. But what should fill your basket? Learning how to make a Southern picnic will allow you to add a bit of flare to standard picnic fare.
- Main Dishes. For the main dish of a Southern picnic you simply MUST have fried chicken. Hot or cold, this picnic staple can be store-bought or homemade. Try a buttermilk basted variation for an extra bit of Southern picnic style. For a fuller table, add honey glazed ham or barbecued brisket.
- Side Dishes. Classic Southern picnic side dishes include coleslaw and potato salad. There are as many variations of these two dishes as there are Southern cooks, so be sure to experiment and find your favorites. Flaky home-style biscuits and buttery corn-on-the-cob are also delicious standards. Other possible additions are collard or turnip greens, okra, green beans, and sweet potatoes. And don’t forget the watermelon! (Though you may consider that less of a side dish than a desert.)
- Desserts. Speaking of dessert, a classic southern picnic isn’t complete without a cake or pie. Red velvet or chocolate cakes are sumptuously Southern. As for pie, nothing screams “Southern” like pecan!
- Drinks. And don’t let your picnic guests go thirsty! Essential Southern picnic drinks are lemonade and sweet tea. And for your grown-up guests Mimosas or Mint Juleps and are a nice way to end the day.
Ready to go! So, pack up the baskets and coolers, top off with dishes and napkins, a tablecloth, and a bag of ice, and head for your favorite picnic spot. Whether you’re with family or friends, or alone with a special someone, a Southern picnic is sure to please. Just make sure to pack enough, because, as every Southern grandmother knows, no one leaves a Southern table until they’re good and full!
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