Pack the Perfect Picnic for Mother’s Day


Photo by Donovan Roberts Witmer, The Premise Studio

This week’s rain is moving out by Saturday, just in time for Mother’s Day this Sunday, and we can’t wait to get outside to enjoy the outdoors again after a week of being cooped up.

Mother’s Day picnics are one of my favorite ways to spend this special day. I keep my trusty basket loaded with supplies year-round and ready for whenever the day is just right, so all we have to do is add a few food items, drinks and go!

It can be as simple as store-bought chicken salad, crackers, cheese, a bunch of grapes and a dessert picked up on the way, plus plastic cups, a serving spoon, napkins and plastic or disposable plates (don’t forget the champs and sparkling sodas!).


If your hubby is handy in the kitchen, your kids are chefs in training, or you’re just feeling fancy, here are a few of my go-to tea sandwich recipes which I’ve used many times over the years for girlfriend gatherings, Mother’s Day picnics and brunches.

These sandwiches range from the classic cuke to two new twists on tradition.



If you’re hosting your picnic at home, set up a “tea bar” to allow guests to choose their favorite flavors from a selection of several.

As traditional teas go, you can also serve homemade or store bought scones if you like, along with jam, clotted cream or crème fraiche and lemon curd. Macarons available in Downtown Lancaster from Petite Patisserie or Rice & Noodles, are the perfect sweet ending.



Photo by Donovan Roberts Witmer

Herbed Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Makes about 24 sandwiches

2 8 oz packages cream cheese
2 Tbs each fresh dill and parsley
1 English cucumber, sliced thinly on a mandolin
1 loaf white sandwich bread

Whip cream cheese and herbs in a food processor until smooth and blended.
Cut out bread with miniature biscuit cutter, other small cookie cutter or into any desired shape. Spread cream cheese mixture on each bread round and top with about 5 cucumber slices each.


Curried Chicken Salad Pinwheels

Makes about 16 pinwheels

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled and shredded
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 Tbs raisins
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ Tbs curry powder
Mango chutney
Lettuce (about 8 leaves)
4 tortillas (try jalapeno lime flavored or whole wheat)

Stir together yogurt, curry, celery and raisins, then add chicken. Spread about 1 Tbs mango chutney on each tortilla and top with 2 leaves of lettuce each. Spoon chicken salad mixture evenly onto tortillas, roll and cut on the bias into 4 pinwheels.

Pumpernickel Toasts with Radishes, Peas and Chevre

Makes about 20 toasts

2 cups frozen peas, thawed or fresh
(find them locally in sesason now)
1 8 oz package chevre (goat cheese)
1 bunch (about 6) radishes, thinly sliced on mandolin (find them fresh and local in season now)
Pumpernickel bread or other bite size variety

Toast bread in oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until slightly crispy (if desired). In a food processor, combine goat cheese and peas, puree. Spread goat cheese and pea puree on toasts and top with about 3 radish slices each.


These recipes originally appeared in Susquehanna Style as part of a lovely feature with local mothers and daughters, so sweet to look back and see how the kids have grown since four years ago!



Here’s another idea to make your gathering extra pretty. Yellow cupcake liners wrapped around straws become spring daffodils!

Plus, 7 perfect picnic picks around the region!

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