The worst things about outdoor eating...not enough hands.
Outdoor eating by nature is a mobile event. As you move about, circulating amongst the guests (or fellow campers), it can be difficult keeping track of where you left your burger and Kool-aid.
It sure would be nice to keep both the vittles & venom in a single hand.
Make a Volcano Picnic Plate that combines food and drink into a single convinent carrying module.
It truly is, a "Handy" way to carry all your refreshments; wet & dry, while leaving a hand free for eating. No need for a table. This set-up keeps all your food mobile, so you can actually eat on the go, as you wander about.
Use it with conventional glass bottles for a quick empty "cartridge" replacement. Or use a wide mouth refillable drink container; very practical for camping.
In addition to outdoor entertaining, there are various adapations that make this system a versatile outdoor camping essential.
A dedicated wide bottom container (like a sports drink bottle or a traditional campers water bottle) creates a pedestal to keep a plate full of food up-off the ground.
This is especially useful when camping with our Boy Scout troop in the back woods; where picnic tables tend to be rather scarce.
Step 1: Lend a hand
Anyone who's loaded up at a buffet line while trying to hold a plate and a cup knows there is no easy way to put mustard on a burger without finding room to set something down. Something's gotta go. If you're lucky, there are a few inches of clear table space to set your drink down; if not, you're out of luck.
Keep a hand free by using this Instructable to make Volcano Picnic Plates; with a variety of different plates and hole sizes to acccomodate your beverage container of choice.
Although various style containers can be used, there are two main application methods:
Method 1: Dedicated Container (preferred) - With this method, the volcano plate is sized for a reusable wide mouth sports drink bottle. (photo 1) Fill the bottle with your favorite beverage and ice, and slide the plate over the mouth of the bottle. A cap, with a straw hole, screws onto the bottle to hold the plate in place. With this method, the plate is held securly to the bottle. Just lift the straw to drink.
The advantage of this method is that the wider bottle can be used as a pedestal to elevate the plate when the bottle & plate unit is set on the ground. Also, because the two are securely attached together you can hold the plate without the bottle dropping out.
Method 2: Loose Bottle - This method allows for quick bottle removal for drinking, and empty change-out. (photo 2) Quick release of the bottle for drinking means that the bottle is always in hand. (You cannot hold the plate only; the bottle will slip out.)
Also, the plate and bottle should not be set down together. The narrow base of the bottle will not keep a plate with food from tipping over.
Method 2 is fine for back yard bar-b-que's where a new bottle can be grabbed from the cooler however, for camping, I prefer the screw cap water bottle from Method 1; with a secure plate that can be set down, up off the ground.