Now the daffodils are out – and the sun occasionally – it gets me in the mood for dusting off the blanket and finding a nice spot for a picnic with the family. Rather than buying the same old thing from the supermarket, I started wondering what food and drink I’d take for the perfect family outing.
An impressive sandwich
It’s not a picnic without sandwiches, but cheese or ham on sliced white doesn’t cut it for the perfect sarnie. The kids will love making a pressed picnic sandwich with you and, as the loaf is kept whole until you get there, it’s easier to transport and is served freshly cut. This recipe gives you an idea of how to assemble one and what you can put in it, but just swap in any other ingredients you fancy.
Mexican wedges and dips
The hubby loves crispy potato wedges so they have to go in the hamper. McCain Mexican Wedges are tasty as they have a lightly spiced coating for extra flavour. You can keep them warm and crisp by wrapping in some greaseproof paper once they’ve cooled slightly from the oven, while accompanying dips are also a must. I’m packing a fresh tomato salsa and sour cream and chive dip to complement these Mexican numbers.
Be gone tomato and cucumber, as the only salad I have eyes for in this top notch picnic is a Caesar. If you make it in advance the lettuce and croutons will go soggy, so take jam jars with the dressing and croutons separately sealed. They’ll be safe in the hamper and you can shake up the dressing before drizzling.
Warm, flaky sausage rolls
There’s nothing quite like freshly cooked sausage rolls, with buttery, flaky pastry and lashings of rich sausage meat. What’s more, they’re super easy to make. Prep them the night before and store them in the fridge, before cooking a little while before you’re due to leave. Allow five minutes for them to cool slightly, then do the same trick as with the wedges and wrap them in greaseproof paper so they’ll still be warm when you get there.
Kebabs for the kids
I don’t know what it is about eating from a stick, but kids love it, whether it’s a lolly, a fruit skewer or a kebab. This recipe from Jamie Oliver for vegetable halloumi kebabs is really fresh and delicious and halloumi is Little Miss J's favourite food!
Taking whole pieces of fruit on a picnic reminds me of school packed lunches. Instead, an exotic fruit salad is far more sumptuous. I like to use mango, strawberries, melon, passionfruit and orange as none of them brown when cut. What’s more, the juices from the orange and passionfruit make a lovely coating.
Go hot and cold with the drinks
To sip while you nibble, it has to be zingy homemade lemonade. As well as being really refreshing, you and the crew will get your vitamin C intake for the day. Then, once you’ve eaten, crack open a flask of tea or coffee to perk you up after all that delicious food.
What treats would you take on your ultimate picnic? Any of the same things as me? Let me know below.
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