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Picnic tips and shortcuts
When you're planning a picnic, don't forget to take advantage of the huge range of ready-made products available. Supermarkets have lots of ready-prepared foods to enjoy in a unexpected burst of sunshine to help you create a quick picnic.

Cooked meats
There are plenty of cooked meats to choose from as well as meat products such as pork pies, sausage rolls and Scotch eggs (and lots of vegetarian version too). You can buy a whole ready-to-eat roast chicken or handy-sized fillets or drumsticks. Small trays of marinated cooked chicken goujons will spice up a sandwich (try lime and coriander), or you can toss plain ones in a ready-made herby mayonnaise and serve with fresh salad leaves.

Bags of fresh salad are plentiful in supermarkets now. Choose from single varieties such as spinach, watercress, rocket or the mixed versions such as baby leaf salad or Continental or Italian style. Easy to transport, they're all washed and ready to use. There are lots of other handy salad items that will enhance a picnic: cherry tomatoes, baby sweetcorn cobs, pre-cut crudités, vegetables such as carrot batons and cabbage shreds. Also, make use of the salad bars in the bigger supermarkets - lots of different salads to choose from and you spoon them straight into handy resealable tubs.

Deli goodies
You could create an entire picnic just with the great selection of pies, pâtés, cooked meats, cheeses and antipasti from the deli counter. Deli counter pies are so good these days, they'll never know it's not homemade! Take a small jar of tomato chutney to serve with it. Enhance your picnic by choosing some exciting treats such as tubs of marinated, roasted peppers; stuffed cherry tomatoes; chicken satay skewers; rich pâtés or juicy olives dressed in oil and herbs.

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