Picnics are Back! Here’s Why

September 17, 2020 12:06 pm

Several unrelated trends have coalesced to form the basis of a very tasty activity. While you may have been too distracted to notice, that moveable feast that was so popular a few decades ago has made a striking comeback. Don’t look now, but picnics are back!

Families who have chosen to leave the hustle and hassle of large cities and move to more idyllic surroundings such as the MorningStar master-planned community, just north of Austin, are leading the charge for this dining al fresco. There are several reasons for this trip back to the future.

  • Concern about COVID has families eating and entertaining at home, or somewhere close by, more than ever before.
  • Traditional fast food is not as healthy as that prepared in a family’s own kitchen.
  • The fall and early winter weather can be glorious in many areas, especially the Texas Hill Country.
  • Yogi Bear and his little buddy Boo Boo, the cartoon characters who were notorious for stealing picnic baskets in Jellystone Park, are retired and no longer pilfering potato salad!

The Ultimate Picnic Basket is Also in Great Demand

According to a recent report on CNN, for decades, a Longaberger picnic basket was regarded as a status symbol. The baskets, which sold anywhere from $20 to over $100, were handcrafted using strips of maple wood, and each was dated and signed by its maker. The company employed thousands of independent salespeople who took their inventory of baskets to home shows, or gatherings similar to Tupperware parties, where the host would invite friends and family to buy them.

Unfortunately, the Longaberger basket fell on hard times because it failed to adjust to the online marketplace. After its downward spiral resulted in bankruptcy, and the brand went through several companies, something horrible (COVID) happened at about the same time as the new owners figured out a better distribution strategy for the product.

The CNN report notes that there are early indicators that timing is working in favor of the Longaberger revival. “Two websites that sell previously-owned Longaberger baskets say demand for picnic baskets in general has surged in recent months, helped by increased interest in picnics in the pandemic.

“The timing couldn’t be better for Longaberger’s revival as consumers embrace a more outdoor lifestyle while staying close to home, said Marshal Cohen, a retail expert and chief industry analyst with NPD Group.”

The Picnic Essentials

Mild weather, with lots of sun, along with a spectacular terrain such as that found in the Texas Hill Country are the two most important factors for a memory-making picnic. The residents of MorningStar know all about these two essentials. In fact, these are part of the reason they choose to move to this quiet oasis.

But what about the food? 

The Texas sky’s the limit on what makes for a perfect picnic menu. Salads? Yes. Sandwiches? Yep. French bread and cheese? Mais oui! As with everything these days, someone, somewhere took a poll and came up with the “The Ten Most Popular Picnic Foods.” To add some drama to this highly anticipated list, here they are, in reverse order of popularity.

#10 Potato Salad

Here’s a great recipe for “Southwestern” potato salad

#9 Fried Chicken

Check out this delicious “Southern Buttermilk” fried chicken

#8 Watermelon

#7 Pasta Salad

How about whipping up some Rotini Salad?

#6 Pinwheel Sandwiches

Use flatbread or flour tortillas to create a roll-up and then cut crosswise for a cool pinwheel sammy.

#5 Bread, Cheese & Cold Cuts

#4 Deviled Delights

Try the mouth-watering recipe for spicy deviled eggs.

#3 Ready to Grill Foods

Burgers, chicken, vegetables…almost anything tastes great off the grill

#2 Lemonade

Voted the top drink of picnics everywhere. Try this variation:“Rockin’ Raspberry Refresher”.

Drum-roll please!

#1 Fruit Salad

Whether it is a side-dish or dessert, this is the MVP of picnics. Try this “Creamy Coconut-Lime” fruit salad.

Finding a Beautiful Spot is the Easiest Part

Residents of MorningStar have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to choosing an ideal spot for a family picnic. Off hiking trails, on greenbelts or even the backyard offers lovely settings for a fun meal outside. Contact us for more information on Easy Livin’ at MorningStar.