Are you daydreaming of your first picnic of 2012? The heating is on in my flat and I’m wearing a big wooly cardigan – but in my head, I’m sat on a picnic rug on a sunny spring day, digging into a feast of delicious nibbles with my loved one. It won’t be long now…
My first picnic of the year will be for my dad’s 60th next month. We’ll be venturing to his favourite country pub, where the landlord lets his punters take their own food. So we’ll be taking along a special birthday picnic – yum! And if it rains, we can take shelter in the pub!
Variety is the key to a good picnic. In preparation for alfresco eating, check out these scrumptious recipes, which offer something for all tastes…
Sausage rolls are usually a crowd-pleaser for carnivores, and BBC Good Food’s recipe Summer Sausage Rolls has received some rave reviews.
These Mediterranean Vegetable and Ricotta Pasties from Delicious magazine look yummy and can be made in about half an hour. They’re definitely on my picnic hit list.
Rachel Allen’s recipe for Smoked Salmon Pate is super-tasty in mini finger rolls – why not add sliced gherkins or cucumber as well? While Rachel suggests adding fennel, I prefer to use dill. Each to their own!
For the kids
Make sandwiches look extra pretty by shaping them with cookie cutters – little ones will love them. For a healthy snack, pop fresh fruit on cocktail sticks to make mini fruit skewers. They’re also great for those who are watching their waistlines.
Cupcakes can be a pain to cart around, so instead give carrot cake a whirl. You can pre-slice it and even carry it in the tin you baked it in with a little greaseproof paper over the top. I’ve tried this BBC Good Food recipe for Carrot Cake and have received lots of compliments.
For the young at heart
Add some fizz to your picnic with lashings of homemade ginger beer. I’m eager to try out this Ginger Beer Recipe from www.redonline.co.uk – although it does warn that the results can be ‘mildly alcoholic’.
Pushed for time?
If you’re time poor and cash rich, then splash out on a made-to-order picnic hamper from Waitrose. Or you could just keep your eats simple – a selection of breads, cold meats and cheese makes for lovely picnic fare.
Oh, and a top tip for outdoor dining: remember to pack your Crabtree & Evelyn Anti Bacterial Hand Gel Wash! (Yes, I’m obsessed with it, if you hadn’t noticed already!)
So which picnic treats are your ultimate favourites? Go on – share them in the comments box below…