• PK

Dating and the secret of the indoor picnic

Drinks. Dinner. Drinks AND Dinner. Dinner and dessert. Dessert only. Drinks and dessert. There are only so many combinations of eating and drinking one can do on a date. And, let’s face it, eating and drinking are the foundation of the dating game. They are easy activities to arrange and also easy to sneak out of if necessary. Not sure about that guy you met on Match.com? Meet him for ONE drink at your favorite bar so if it doesn’t work out, you can call your girlfriends for a FEW drinks to analyze what happened until the whole situation is six feet under and then some. See?

Couple on a picnic
The spice-it-up secret...but take it indoors.

If you do happen to find someone you’re really into, it’s important to shake it up a little and do something different every now and again. Hello? If you’ve been married for 25 years, it’s important to shake it up a little and do something different every now and again.

Our favorite single gal from Huntersville, NC, Sophia, 39, has a trick up her sleeve that has never failed to keep things interesting…the indoor picnic.

“Scoff all you want…it works every time,” Sophia says confidently. “Picnics outside are not always the best. There are bugs, it’s hot…maybe you can’t find a good spot or maybe you don’t even live near a good spot. Everyone has a living room floor though.

“I’ve done these a couple of times with guys I was really into and they LOVED it! Some of the best dates I can remember have been on my living room floor with some wine and great snacks. Also, for some reason, an indoor picnic has lead to some great conversation with a lot of laughing. I’ve really gotten to know guys this way. I think it’s something about sitting on the floor and just hanging out…it’s not so formal. It lets their guard down…mine too because you can read a lot about how a guy adapts to something a little off the grid.”

So what should you have for an on-the-floor indoor picnic? The basic staples are, of course, a nice-sized quilt (nothing to fluffy or furry) and lots of pillows. Also, don’t forget to make a fun playlist for a little background music. It’s a good idea to some tiered serving pieces (this makes things a little easier to display and provides a sturdy platform if necessary) as well as an ice bucket for beer, wine or champagne.

And what should you serve? Sophia has a couple of themes that have worked well for her in the past:

--Italian or Mediterranean Coast:

“This is an easy go-to one. My local Harris Teeter in Huntersville has a great deli section where you can get different kinds of olives and pre-packaged Italian meats with cheeses. If you decide to swing towards Mediterranean, buy a few types of hummus with veggies and different flavors of pita chips. For dessert, there are all sorts of sorbets and gelatos you can buy nowadays right out of the freezer section...great flavors like, Blood Orange, Blackberry Cabernet and Mango. Just grab a couple of spoons and sample them right out of the container.”

--French Countryside:

“To start, serve brie with toasted walnuts, green apples and baguette slices (toasted or freshly sliced). You can also bring out some “bistro bar” food, like kettle chips, toasted herbed cashews and cheese straws. If you want something a little heartier, create a simple version of the delicious French sandwich, Croque Monsieur: Make a spread out of softened butter, Dijon mustard and poppy seeds and spread on both halves of a croissant or sandwich roll. On one half, stack thinly sliced ham and Swiss cheese and place under the broiler until golden brown and bubbly. Toast the other half as well and place on top. Give it a good smash too…that makes it even better! For dessert, just do something simple, like strawberries, pre-made macaroons (so many great flavors) and champagne…a must-have!”

--My Way, Your Way

Sophia lights up when she brings up this last suggestion. Clearly, it’s a favorite…and it’s worked when trying to charm that very special someone.

“One of the best picnics I had was just a hodge-podge of things we felt like eating at the time. That’s the thing I like about having an indoor picnic and why they are so successful! You don’t have to prepare so much…you can just get your stuff and throw it on the floor and start eating. We had take-out pizza and white chocolate fondue, with fruit, marshmallows, cookies, pretzels, chips…everything! He had beer and I drank champagne. We listened to all kinds of music on my iPod and just laughed and talked. It was really heaven on earth!”

Sophia also recommends with a wink that if you happen to be in the stage where you know your mate “biblically”, a picnic in your skivvies can definitely up the fun factor.

“What’s there to say? It shakes things up a bit. It’s a good time indoors!”

Indeed…seems worth a try, don’t you think?!?!

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