You can take your summer lunch out – no special occasion needed. Just grab a throw or a big linen tablecloth, some napkins and some ceramic bowls for tea and your food. Go pick some berries, make a sandwich or a stew, pick some vegetables from your garden – bring whatever you can with you! I usually take some vegetables, some hummus, nuts and fruit, some bread. If I take my family in the car to go out of town for an afternoon, I like to bring our favourite bowls and plates, some table linens and cups. On a good day, we stop by to pick some berries in the forest for dessert. Kids love that! The most important thing in my opinion, is to make time to have your meals outside now and again and to experience nature in a slow, rewarding way…while chewing on a sandwich and sipping on your herbal tea. Eating in the nature – be it a park, field or forest – always brings me closer to my natural environment and is very therapeutic.
I’d like to share with you some of the most beautiful handmade ceramic bowls and cups I’ve discovered on Etsy recently. They’re all handmade in Lithuania by talented local artists and craftspeople, so not only you can enrich your picnic with these beautiful creations, but also with each purchase you support traditional crafts and inventive talents. Win win :)
My favourite thing about a picnic – in addition to eating outside and being in the nature – is that you can arrange your outside “table” (a space where you lay out your food) like a painting – each time it’s different and you can play with colours, shapes and light. Take different napkins, different bowls and plates. I love the colours of vegetables and berries in summer, they are so bright and refreshing. Here are some ideas to make your picnic look extra special.
You can put a bunch of fresh green cucumbers in a bright orange bowl. This beautiful handmade ceramic serving bowl by EtnoCraftsLt works perfectly with green vegetables to take outside. This bowl is great for placing your greens in it due to its lovely grey shade on the outside matched with bright orange lead free glaze inside. Cucumber, fresh dill or asparagus will look extra healthy against the bright orange glaze on the inside of the bowl.
Adorned with four pagan symbols of fertility, this bowl is a wonderful way to serve your vegetables. It carries the energy of generosity of fertile earth and is a symbolic well of wealth, which is a nice way to express your gratitude when eating out in the nature.
My summer favourite is to grab some milk in the portable cooler or a cooler sleeve and go pick blueberries. Grab your favourite ceramic bowl, put some fresh berries in and pour some (still cold!) milk. Heaven in your bowl :)
This beautiful handmade raku style bowl by KarmazinuKeramika works perfectly with blueberries and strawberries for dessert in the nature. Even though it’s intended for mixing tea in elaborate tea ceremonies (which is so much fun – and possibly another story!), it works great as a bowl you carefully want to carry with you everywhere you go. It’s very comfortable to hold in your hands and beautiful to look at!
This bowl is perfect for placing your berries in it. The rich blue of blueberries and lively red of strawberries and raspberries will look extra healthy against the yellow bowl. You can meditate on its natural bumps and cracks, examine its colour and shape and truly appreciate the beauty of a handmade item. What we make with our hands brings us closer to where we come from. Hand picking berries in the forest, washing them carefully and putting them in the handmade bowl helps us appreciate our food more and understand where everything comes from.
Bread being a central item on Lithuanian table and culture in general, I feel that it’s an essential item for any picnic. To place some slices of bread and nuts on your picnic “table” you can use a decorative floral bowl by RamunesCeramic.
This ceramic serving bowl stands on its three cute little legs and has a lace floral texture, and natural clay colour, which makes it look quite festive and makes your picnic a little bit more special. It’s great how the crumbs of bread, seeds and nuts will become part of the bowl – falling into tiny cracks and dents of the bowl. Very organic! And of course, bread being almost sacred in our tradition, it deserves to always be elevated, given a special place and its slices carefully arranged. It’s always nicer to do that on a handmade natural clay bowl.
EMceramic black stoneware cups are great for hot and cold drinks alike. On a cloudy day I love taking hot coffee in thermos, but when it’s hot outside, I prefer iced coffee or homemade lemonade. These charming cups work great for both hot and cold drinks and fit nicely in your hand, so it’s cosy to hold while sipping on your drink in a field of grass or a forest. You can also wander off from your picnic “table” and spend some time on your own walking with your hot or cold drink in your hand, with each sip contemplating your life and watching how a river flows or how butterflies play in a field. A very meditative and enriching experience to have!
Just grab as many things as you need, some pillows to make it more comfy to sit on the ground. I love sitting on the grass – I just use linen tablecloth and sometimes incorporate linen placemats or napkins, if I need a bigger space to spread out the food arrangement.
Picnic is such a simple thing – it costs next to nothing, especially if you pick berries in the forest and get some vegetables from the garden. All you need is to have a few hours, put the things you need in the back of your car or a basket of your bicycle and go to the nearest (or farther) bit of nature to enjoy your meal outside. Relax into being in beautiful natural environment, enjoy and appreciate the food that you eat, the bowls and cups that you use, how everything fits together and how beautifully nature embraces you when you allow that. Every picnic and every moment spent in the nature is a special occasion!