There’s something to be said about exploring your own back yard. Perhaps the one and only positive thing about this pandemic; you don’t have to go far to enjoy new things, just work with what you already have.
I’ve always been grateful that our neighborhood is densely wooded and our house sits on a cul de sac. When the kids were growing up they had the freedom to roam about and explore new sights without straying too far. Right now we’re in peak foliage season and our woods are looking so beautiful. Instead of using our patio for eating al fresco, we decided to venture from the norm.
The kids had already formed a boulder pit for bonfires in an area adjacent to our yard safely tucked near the woods. We finished clearing it out making it big enough for all of us to gather for a simple autumn picnic. If you’re not into creating a natural stone fire pit, here’s a great one to have that you can use anywhere.
The chill is already here so we brought out chairs, blankets and throws, lit a giant fire and roasted marshmallows for s’mores. We set up our movie projector again for another spooky October movie night. I gotta tell ya, we’re not missing out on the movie theaters at all. Everyone loves the outdoors and watching movies outside is the best!
Putting together a picnic can be as difficult or as simple as you want it to be. I put together a simple charcuterie board that didn’t need too many things and the kids could enjoy. It’s a staple in our home and grabbing some cheeses, meats and fruits is all it takes, you don’t need to be fussy about it, anything goes. Sandwiches are also another great addition that is easy and everyone loves them. For more ideas on how to make your perfect picnic setting, check out this post.
I like to use popular cheeses and avoided pungent ones, the kinds with strong odors, and smoked flavors. I also use fruits that are in season and the kids can enjoy. And since it’s the sweetest month of the year, you can never go wrong with treats. Instead of crackers with jams or chips & dips, I used seasonal candies, chocolates, cookies and of course apple cider, warm or cold and apple cider doughnuts.
Autumn Charcuterie Board Pairings
MEATS: Like I mentioned, you don’t need to get fussy when creating a theme for your cheese board. You’ll just need to include some deli classics. I love salty prosciutto, salami, and peppered pepperoni. They’re easy to find and taste great with just about any cheese you can think of.
NUTS AND FRUITS: Nuts and fruits are great to snack on and double as decoration. For my board, I opted for a couple of seasonal favorites, apples, grapes and figs. You can’t go wrong with these even with picky eaters. I love almonds and hazelnuts. I opted for yogurt covered almonds instead of plain ones and pepitas, another little nut that is so good for you. Chex mix with nuts is also a fun choice.
CHEESES: A cheese board isn’t complete of course until you’ve added your favorite cheeses. I chose pepper jack and sharp cheddar. I stayed away from the fancier cheeses since we were having kids over. Had I brought out some wine I would definitely opt for chunks of Parmigiano, Romano or my all-time favorite Caciocavallo Cheese!!!
I hope this serves as an easy inspiration for you to create your own charcuterie board for a picnic and movie night adventure in your own back yard!🧡