Steeplechase: Pack a picnic and head the races

November 2, 2012 

It's time to grab your sweater, pack your picnic basket and finalize your plan for Saturday's Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. Gates open at 10 a.m. and you'll want to be settled in your spot by noon to take advantage of the day's activities.

Here are a few last-minute tips:

-- Dress in layers. The morning will likely feel chilly while the afternoon sun will be warm. Take both a sweater and sunscreen! If you have some cute autumn blankets, take them and place them on chairs in your area. People can cuddle up and stay warm while they watch the races.

-- Bring a small folding table that you can set up to hold your food and bar area. Top it with a tablecloth and a nice centerpiece for an elegant look.

-- Take two smaller coolers rather one large cooler. Keep your food in one cooler and fill one with white wines, soda and water. Keep the food cooler tucked away until you're ready to serve your food.

-- Bring hand sanitizer or baby wipes to clean your hands before and after eating.

-- Bring supplies so you can clean up your area before you leave and a stain removing pen to take care of any spills.

-- Consider wearing cute boots instead of high heels. It's a bit dusty and the ground is uneven in places, so choose your shoes accordingly.

-- Pack a bottle opener, a wine key and some extra goodies, glasses and beverages to share with your neighbors and friends who stop by.

Need a late-morning, early afternoon cocktail suggestion? Get the day started on a sweet note with a sparkling wine cocktail with honey and lemon juice.

Sparkling Honey Cocktail

1/2 ounce vodka

1/2 ounce honey

1/2 ounce lemon juice

2 ounces sparkling wine

Shake vodka, honey and lemon juice in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and pour into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a berry, if desired.

If you're still looking for a couple tasty last-minute recipes, here are a couple of good ones:

This Celery, Apple and Fennel Slaw will make a nice side dish for chicken salad sandwiches or you could add chicken or another protein to the salad and make it your main dish.

These caramel apple bars at look wonderfully decadent.

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