Eating in summer means that eventually you will be eating near a large body of water, be it the ocean, a lake, or the municipal pool down the street. In general, this is a good thing, and if you haven't been yet, stop reading this right now and get thee to some water.
Once you're there, however, you may stumble onto a few challenges when it comes to filling your belly: The beach will surely find a way to insert sand into your salad, the chlorinated water from the pool will drip heavily off of your hair and onto your sandwich.
Further, you will likely have to eat sitting on the ground, without the aid of a tabletop to improve your floundering table skills. You will probably have to cart everything in and will have inadvertently left a dish at home in the fridge or an important utensil on the kitchen counter or the napkins.
You will lose your appetite as your tuna fish sandwich warms in the sort-of-cool cooler and then you'll begin to worry about ptomaine even though you have no idea what ptomaine is. You will drop food in the sand, or find yourself engulfed by those weird beach gnats or discover that a very large fish has died not too far from your resting place.
All of this is true and all of this does not matter. It cannot be summer unless, some way, somehow, you can enjoy a meal by the water. The marine air will only whet your appetite for what's to come, especially if you packed well and followed some of our hints listed below.
But even if you didn't, the perils of outdoor dining will fade as you watch a sunset over the bay or spy a graceful heron diving for dinner in a lake. All is forgiven as water-cooled breezes graze your cheeks and the lapping water lulls you into a gentle, satiated, much-needed post-prandial nap.
The Beach Essentials
Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to have a positive beach experience.