Picnics Packed with Culinary Creativity

By Kori Carter Gillespie


Warmer days are here and it’s time for those fun outdoor adventures we’ve all been craving. With plenty of sunshine and green grass, there’s nothing better for the soul than a good old-fashioned picnic with friends!

If planning an exceptional afternoon leaves you concerned about what to pack, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered — enhance your alfresco gathering with these ultimate menu suggestions, because those plain old ham sammies just won’t do!


Small Bites

Get creative! TCA favorites include:

  • Billionaire’s Bacon Cured with Brown Sugar and Red and Black Pepper
  • Chili-Lime Brussels Sprout Chips
  • House-Made Truffle Potato Chips

These unique snacks are sure to please. And of course, everyone loves a classic Cheese & Charcuterie board with hard and soft cheeses with country-style meats alongside a fresh baguette.


Mason Jars

A great way to have a pretty presentation that’s also easy to eat! We love the number of colorful layers that get packed into each jar. A few of our favorites include:

  • Spring Salad with Rhubarb with Peas, Fennel, Avocado, and Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Heirloom Tomato and Stone Fruit Salad with Baby Greens
  • Curried Chicken Salad with Currants, Almonds, Carrots, Greens, Cilantro

The options for these amazing little jars are endless! Cocktails and mocktails also work very well in them… pass the Blackberry Dandy, please!



It’s pie season! Pies presented in mini tins or jars are a delicious addition to your picnic. Consider serving blueberry-peach, lemon meringue, or chocolate cream pie, and don’t forget to pack some fresh whipped cream.

Now that your menu is complete, just add some creativity and DIY touches, from eco-chic plates and bright cloth napkins to a vintage basket and oversized picnic blanket.


Have fun putting your own spin on picnic season!


The Catered Affair has a wonderful picnic collection designed for all our venues including deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park

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