There’s just something about eating outdoors that makes food taste delightfully delicious, and after this past winter, I am sooo ready to start enjoying the great outdoors again!
Close your eyes (for just a moment) and picture the Perfect Picnic. The sun feels warm on your face, you smile as your senses are filled with the enticing aroma of savory smoke mingling with tangy barbecue sauce. It brings you back to an earlier simpler time. The grass feels fresh and soft beneath your feet. A thin veil of steam rises from the freshly shucked corn. Birds chirp softly. A gentle breeze laps at the tablecloths, borrowing a moment to deliver sweet scents of crisp melon, chocolatey brownies and freshly baked pies… and you wonder if you will be able to forgo these mouth-watering treats until the end. Immerse yourself in the setting, taking it all in…
You’re In A Panic!
Now open your eyes. You’re in charge of this year’s company picnic and your boss invited a VIP from Corporate. OMG – my schedule is crazy! How I am going to find time to organize a picnic with all the planning, running around, days of coordinating – and who will cook, serve and cleanup? Your mind flashes back to company picnics of the past. The woman in payroll who always brings that odd greenish Jell-O-thing which quietly gets slipped into the trash one serving at a time… that guy from IT (who reminds you of Dwight from “The Office”) will insist on taking over the grill because he was a short-order cook one summer during high school (and because he likes his burgers char-burnt, he insists on cooking them that way for everyone)… Emily’s a vegetarian, and James – well, what in the heck is gluten-free anyway? Salad. They’re both getting salad – that’s vegetarian and gluten-free… right???
This Can’t Be Happening…
The day has arrived and you’ve been scurrying around for hours. You finally sit yourself down to eat – but everyone’s done. You ponder over the 15 desserts and one burnt entrée worrying that this will reflect poorly. You never did get the chance to have a meaningful conversation with the VIP from Corporate because you were too busy putting out the fire that erupted on the grill while simultaneously rescuing the potato salad from melting into soup – and you see that phony from accounting chatting up the HR manager about that new position which you’d be perfect for – but you’re stuck with clean-up duty. The picnic is over and everyone makes a quick exit to their cars. You think, maybe I’ll take a vacation day on Monday to recover.
Sweet! You Are The Hero!
Relax, it’s just a picnic and you have the perfect connection that will make you look great and allow you to interact with your guests while you all enjoy some really great food! Activities? You need activities or a tent in case of rain? Just say so and it’s done.
Close your eyes again… the baby back ribs are luscious and tender; the Homestyle Potato Salad is creamy and delicious – no you couldn’t wait until the main course was through before sneaking in a nibble of that rich moist brownie – but who cares? Your boss comments that the succulent grilled shrimp were a really nice touch, that VIP from Corporate asks for another dollop of “Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese”, Emily wants the recipe for the Grilled Seitan, and you didn’t have to worry about gluten-free anything because it was all taken care of for you. Clean-up is done too.
You sit back and smile knowing that you just pulled off the Perfect Picnic.
Now you will have plenty of time to chat with your boss about that promotion on Monday!