Sponsored post by Sonia Verma
Spring is here, and for my family, that means picnics. And because it’s my family, they are certain to be impromptu picnics.
That’s because my spouse and I are terrible planners. We are the rotten friends who forget to RSVP; the chumps who used to waste ingredients through forgetfulness or lack of meal planning or poor food storage; the improvizers who shop for their long-scheduled dinner party at lunchtime and who buy wrapping paper en route to birthday dos.
You’d think any picnic with us would be an agonizing assignment in Kitchen Improv 101. But to everyone’s lasting surprise, we pic a mean nic. Our secret: We have a ton of reusable GLAD containers with hard-to-lose lids—they click together, and any lid will tell you there’s safety in numbers.
We store all our fruit and veggies in them—some in the fridge, some in the freezer (GLAD makes freezer boxes, too. You can even microwave them right out of there). Any time we gotta go, we grab a handful of boxes and we’re off to the races with berries, fruit and veg.
(We eat a lot of produce-heavy "snack lunch." Even with a complete lack of foresight—wait, didn’t we just feed you like, this morning?—we can still slam together a snack lunch with a plateful of veggies, hummus and a sandwich; or eggs, toast and a slew of produce.)
For me, the best things GLAD has to offer in terms of food storage and protection are the tiny “dressing cups” that click on to all their lids; and the Press’n Seal wrap.
The dressing cup is a lifesaver for fruit, veggies or chips that require dip, because one kid doesn’t like it when her food touches condiments. (We can’t be alone in this?)
So we can’t just glop some hummus into a container and let it hang out with carrots and cukes. It has to live in a whole other postal code, or there will be Shrieking.
BUT taking a whole container of hummus on a picnic always means waste, because I'll forget it. It can be days before I remember to unpack the half-eaten tub of what used to be hummus that’s been languishing in the hallway/sunshine/backseat.
So having that little cuppie means I just load it up with dip and click it in along with the veggies. Once we’re settled on our picnic blanket, people who want to dip can, and those who don’t can rest assured their precious dippables were never sullied by the evil condiments.
And the Press’n Seal, well, I’m a convert. The Internet is full of 23 non-food uses for it (including “mould it around your doorknobs when you paint” and the baffling “use it to protect your laptop keyboard when you’re poolside”).
And that’s all very well, but if anyone comes near my roll of it, babbling about doorknobs and keyboards, they’d just better watch out for that sharp cutting edge, is all I’m saying.
I use it to keep the cut surface of half a watermelon from getting that skin on it—ordinary plastic wrap just slides off because it’s so watery. This stuff holds firm. (Can you see it in the picture?)
I use it to seal off thin-sliced salami into a flat little envelope before I toss it into the cooler. To protect funny-shaped knobs of cheese from getting hard edges. To make a spill-proof lid for a cup (then I poke a straw through the centre and hand it to the baby. She then takes out the straw and sprays us all with liquid, but that’s hardly Press’n Seal’s fault).
I’m also a fan of the tiny snack bags, which serve as portion control for addictive snacks that ruin one’s appetite.
If washing and boxing up our produce sounds suspiciously organized to you, you’re right. Thinking ahead is thoroughly out of character. But we’re trying to be better about taking care of our food. Last week, tired of tossing out sodden, blackened lumps of cilantro huddling in the produce drawer, I actually washed it out, wrapped it in paper towels and stuck it in a big Glad Zipper bag, the way Pinterest told me to. So far, so green.
Now if I could just get GLAD to plan my meals and write them on the whiteboard. And while they’re working on miracles, could they please do something about the too-long winter? Because honestly, trudging through ten feet of snow, uphill both ways, while fretting about whether some sunny day the carrots might get a molecule of hummus on them—well, it’s no picnic.
Sonia Verma subsists entirely on sugar and fried food when her kids aren't around. It's going to be a long summer.