Picnic smart and light for the Fourth

Video: Southern chef and cookbook author Virginia Willis reviews what you need for successful outdoor eating on the go. You can find her picnic recipes (Lightened Up Pimento Cheese, Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick, Roasted Green Bean and Potato Salad and Individual Fruit Cobblers) online in The Post’s Recipe Finder.

We’re firmly in favor of summer picnics — especially for the Fourth of July, when an invite to watch the fireworks from a hillside or the back of a boat on the Potomac means BYO.

But who wants to haul around a feast that’s barely moveable? At best, you should make foods that don’t need a load of ice to keep them chilly. Optimum flavor should peak at “room temperature.” (Read: They can sit for an hour or two alfresco.) A touch of Southern might be nice, with some calories magically eliminated.

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We knew right where to turn: Virginia Willis, a chef and cookbook author who knows how to celebrate her Georgia roots on a plate. Her holiday menu for Post readers is the kind of easy, enlightened Southern cooking she offers through her blog. And because she knows how to deliver on camera as well, Willis has distilled five basics into a picnic primer video. As she would say, Happy Fourth, y’all.

RECIPES:

Lightened-Up Pimento Cheese

Roasted Green Bean and Potato Salad

Individual Fruit Cobblers

Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick

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