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Ideas for a winter picnic?

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I'm hoping to bring a friend and his Mother to an open house at a wonderful wholesale nursery next month. Their test gardens are extensive and they have greenhouses open for shopping too. I find I usually need a short lunch break when I've attended in the past!

My brain just keeps fixating on summer fare...would so appreciate your ideas!

This will be a fairly simple pop-the-trunk sort of affair. No fire, power or picnic tables. I do have a decent sized workman style Thermos so three smallish portions of soup or a hot beverage are doable. Easily eaten items are preferred.

My friend is a tad picky - so spicy and unusual won't go over well. His Mother is more adventurous. Both are gracious and easy going so as long as there is a variety they will happily find something they like and not worry about the rest.

Looking forward to your ideas to inspire me!

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  1. I'd say definitely soup. How about homemade bread or baked (stuffed?) potatoes. Either should stay warm a long time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jvanderh

      Creamy tomato soup and some sort of stuffed sandwich like a Stromboli or a hand held meat pie (pasty). Hunks of cheese. Snicker doodle cookies.

    2. 'The Countess' and i are going to spend the day at the beach at Port Renfrew today. Any CHer's are welcome to join! Gonna be 'chilly'. We're going to see what the winter storms have thrown up on the beach and collect some seaweed for drying and eating later and take lots of photos. I made a big thermos full of hot minestrone soup and some cheese sandwiches with the dressing shown in the photo. So hot soup in big mugs and some really easy to eat sandwiches. Not Detective Delany ones. LOL would be my recommendation. Oh yeah, and maybe something sweet after like a piece of nice chocolate for desert if your friends like it.

      1. I agree with puffin. Maybe a soup of some sort, sandwich and a simple dessert. I am just crazy over the top about muffaletta sandwiches. They are good cold or hot and can be adapted to different palettes.

        If it is cold where you are, something hot would be welcome. Soup, coffee, spiced tea, and so on.

        I've had this kind of lunch before as a guest and just thought how wonderful it was of my hosts to think of bringing along snacks and planning that all out. Unfortunately it rained that day and we just ate in the car. But the company mattered the most and her food tasted all the better for it. It was summer fare, though. So, no ideas there.

        1. I agree a nice soup would be wonderful. I would add a simple ham and cheese sandwich but a small one, maybe on a deli thin or soft roll. It may be too much to add a small salad made with grains or dried beans. Finish with homemade cookies. I would omit the salad if you choose a vegetable soup instead of tomato. Some mayo and mustard in squirt bottles should suffice for allowing each to put what they prefer on a sandwich.

          1. Car picnics after skiing were a regular occurrence when I growing up.

            Is this a stand up or sit down lunch/nibble?

            My idea - red wine, a few pre-cut cheeses, cured meats and nuts. Soup for the something warm.

            It sounds like a lovely day.