In my experience, it’s the fresh air, and the togetherness, and the scenery even more than it’s the food.
It may be a regional difference, or just different family traditions, but when I was a kid, picnics were almost always sandwiches or fruit and cheese or other finger-foody things.
Steaks and utensils and hot dishes, while served at a picnic table, were reserved under the heading of “Barbeque”.
For picnics, we almost always spread the spread on a blanket. No table.
And we played until we were hungry, and that made even the most ordinary chips and tuna salad sandwich and pickle and Capri Sun taste like the finest delicacy.
I say give yourself a break and go for a little quick and dirty.
You may never go back.
Thank you for evoking such happy memories.