In a land far, far away from Persephone HQ, where Unicorns run free, it was raining cats and dogs. This was the perfect day for an indoor picnic.
Indoor picnics are something I’ve been toying with for a few weeks now. I wanted there to be a consistent family activity we could all enjoy. Board games are great, but a little beyond Little Juniper’s current abilities. And there is such a lot that Mr. Juniper isn’t able to do, so it needed to be something he could do, too. That is when I stumbled upon the idea of indoor picnics. I’ve longed to be able to take Mr. Juniper out with the boys to the park or beach for a picnic but it’s simply too much for him. Plus, with autumn well and truly upon us, the weather isn’t exactly in our favour.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised how wonderful indoor picnics could be for us, and after discussion with Mr. Juniper, we agreed that this wasn’t just a good idea for now, but a something we wanted to establish as a family tradition. So here follows some tips for an indoor picnic:
The food doesn’t have to be fancy. It really doesn’t. Our picnic today did consist of “fusion muffins,” croissants, and “pain au blueberries” (Bing translate tells me this should, by all technicalities, be “pain au bleuets”) but that’s primarily because I’m experimenting with pastry at the moment. Why not have sandwiches? Or try baking rolls (I’ve discovered that rolls are actually quite easy!)? Since it’s an indoor picnic, there’s also no need to worry about lugging around everything, which also makes this the perfect opportunity to whip out dips. And drinks are a little safer, too! An indoor picnic can be a lovely time to enjoy bringing out beautiful glasses or, in our case, our best picnicware. Indoor picnics, if an excuse is needed, are also a perfect time to have something scrumptious. For our next picnic, I’m planning on a layer cake. But scrumptious could also be fruit, since with an indoor picnic, there’s no worry about bugs or beasties.
Okay, so moments ago, I may have mentioned there was no risk of beasties, but given that we have Juniper Puss, there is a minor risk of wildlife joining in. How to handle this kind of wildlife? Careful planning, yummies they can enjoy too (this would most likely be beef burgers in our case!) or shutting them out of the room. For the sake of hygiene, keeping animals away from food seems like the safest option. We do have a coffee table in our living room where we could put food, but it somewhat defeats the point of being sat on the floor enjoying food, and Juniper Puss has been known to lay claim to the coffee table (he is also the kind of cat who will lie down across a board game, for that matter).
We’re fortunate that we have wipe-clean flooring in our living room, so putting down a picnic blanket isn’t necessary, though for added loveliness, we do have some lovely fabric for that purpose, if we didn’t have the option of having our picnic in a room with wipe-clean flooring, I would use either a “proper” picnic blanket or a PVC tablecloth.
Bits and pieces
After realising that indoor picnics were something we wanted to establish as a family tradition, Mr. Juniper and I bought a beautiful big tin tray that I could load up with yummy foods for our picnics. This isn’t exactly necessary to having an indoor picnic, however. It was just something that helped us in creating a lovely family time. It’s our “centre-piece” almost. An indoor picnic can be created in whatever way you want. Heck, with the cold weather, bring duvets!
The really important part
An indoor picnic is, really, just enjoying food and drink somewhere that isn’t the regular eating spot. For us, this is the living room floor. I’ve tried to make the food a little different, and to present it differently, too. As much as anything? It’s just a time we can all enjoy as a family, and for us, that’s the most precious part.