Winter picnic foods?

So, I’ve got a date on Tuesday in the form of a picnic lunch, and I’m wondering what to bring. I’m much more used to picnicking in summer, so I’d usually opt for some sparkling cider, bread-salami-cheese, maybe deviled eggs or something. But, it being somewhat chilly in San Francisco this time of year, I’m thinking maybe warmer foods might be in order, in which case I could use some suggestions. I’ve got a thermos that I can bring tea or mulled cider in, and I was thinking I might bake some brioche or something, but I’m wondering if any dopers have any suggestions, or favored cold-weather outdoor foods. I am pretty close to the park, so I can get away with bringing hot foods, if that matters. Thanks!

What about a creamy, wild mushroom soup? Maybe even with grilled cheese made with your brioche (no Kraft singles, though :D)

Rice-a-roni, the San Francisco Treat!

I like winter picnics - if we get a nice cold, but clear day, I’ve been known to bundle up the Sunday roast and vegetables in a big pan, wrap it in foil and towels and zoom off to the woods (usually somewhere fairly local, so it doesn’t cool too much).

A flask of mulled wine is always nice. Baked potatoes will stay hot a long time if they’re bundled together and insulated.

For trips further afield, I’ve got a little gas stove and I pack a pan and some sausages and/or bacon and beans and bread.

If it’s not going to include hot food, I normally go for separate items that people can pick at - a whole camenbert, some olives, some salami or ham, some smoked salmon, along with bread, crackers and some relishes or pickles.

Mulled wine, definitely! A thermos of homemade soup with a nice crusty bread would be pretty easy, too.

If you’ve got a menu pre-planned, and a Thermos, why not make a nice Irish coffee for you and your date to enjoy after the meal?

Mmm, an after-lunch warm drink might be nice. I’d prefer not to do soup, just because that means bowls, and spoons, and mess. Also, while it gets somewhat chilly here, it’s kinda haphazard - today, for instance, was quite warm in the sun, but coat weather in the shade. Anyways, I think it’ll be cold enough to want a warm drink, but probably not so cold that everything needs to be warm. I guess I’m more looking for winter-themed foods, since I’m used to summer picnics.

How about some pork’n’beans, heated up and doctored up however you like them? Personally, I’d be tempted to get a pizza if it’s brisk, or go with sub/hero sandwiches in any weather.

You say that you don’t want soups, but how about a nice big bowl of (preferably homemade) chili? Take along some grated Cheddar or American cheese and corn or tortilla chips. Put the cheese on the chili, and use the chips to scoop out the chili. No double dipping, unless both of you are happy with it. Fritos Scoops are great for this, as are any number of tortilla chips. Put some sour cream on top as well, if you want to get fancy. You can continue this theme with Mexican beer.

I’m working at home today, so I was able to go fetch my copy of Sarah Leah Chase’s Cold-Weather Cooking. It’s mostlly geared to the open-house type of food, but some items that might be suitable:
Short ribs
Pot pie
Spring rolls

Plus: A great fruit and cheese assortment! With some great artisan bread, which should be easily obtained in San Francisco.

To a large extent it depends on whether you’re going for a cold picnic or whether you’re bringing the Esky full of hot food.

There are plenty of suggestions for the latter - if you’re going for the former, I’d suggest scotch eggs with a really hot mustard, some arancini and maybe some antipasto or a cold bruschetta to cleanse the palate between courses. I’d pair that up with a hot soup brought in a thermos - maybe a meaty stew (venison? Maybe an Irish stew?) poured straight into a wide-mouthed cup and a ball-tearingly robust red wine.

the sensible answer is, it’s too damn cold to go on a picnic outdoors right now.

Well, I’ve decided to make pasties, as a compromise between soup and laziness. Edible bowls!

Plus, cold weather is just an excuse to get a little closer. It IS a date, after all.

Pasties? Dating must have changed since I was a kid!