As the last days of summer holidays approach and we head into autumn, what better way to spend a sunny day than having a picnic? Go local, may be to the park or a local woodland, so you have minimum travel costs and bake some simple food to take with you. The pleasure is all in the eating outdoors in the sunshine. All the food will taste twice as nice as it does indoors at home!
Picnicing can be enjoyed in any open space, even the garden, to make the most of fine autumn days. Take simple food that is easy to prepare
Origins of Picnics
The origin of the word picnic is unknown. The first mention of it written down is in French, ‘piquenique’ and was used to refer to an event where people contributed their own food to an occasion. The idea of it being an outdoor meal only came later and it seems that the popularity of picnics increased with the opening and development of the idea of public spaces. Interestingly it is Northernhay Gardens in Exeter that claims to be the first space to be designated as a public place, in 1612
What ever the origins, picnicing today is a fun activity, whether in the park, on a beach, on top of a mountain or in a field. You can even picnic in your garden! There is something wonderfully relaxing about eating outdoors. May be it is one of the few times we can eat slowly and socially with no time constraints, in these busy lives we lead.
Take Simple Food
So what do you take on a picnic? Any food that is cold, easy to eat with fingers and is of course delicious. Simple is often the best too! We can forget that plain delicious food is often the best and I was delighted with a suggestion from a young boy who said a lettuce and tomato sandwich, on white bread was his chosen picnic food!Or how about some cheese and Apple Chutney sandwiches.
I always love a hard boiled egg for a picnic lunch. Easy to prepare the night before – or even the morning you go – for a spur of the moment picnic. Boil for 6-8 minutes and then cool by placing in a bowl of cold water.
Wrap the eggs in a tea towel, or something else soft, once cold to protect the shells when you pack the picnic. And take a small bag or box to pop the shells in once the egg is peeled. For some reason hard boiled eggs taste even better than usual in the open air!
If you have a little more time to prepare – a home made quiche is makes a delicious treat – try goats cheese quiche. Serve with cherry tomatoes and raw sticks of carrot are tasty, seasonal and sweet. Makes an excellent choice for an outdoor buffet too!
A picnic wouldn’t be complete without some sweet, home baked treats. How about Banana Cake or Lemon Drizzle cake. Or what about some Scones With Sultanas?
Some fruit to finish keeps things healthy and refreshing. Local apples and pears are plentiful, delightful and tasty to munch on in the sunshine! All easy and enjoyable to make.
Keep it simple and delicious. Enjoy the open air and sunny days – and the walk or game or frisbee or football which will accompany your picnic, before or after. Or why not go on a Harvest Walk and find some blackberries to make a crumble for those cooler days to come…
Do share your favourite picnic food and ideas – the simple, the low cost and of course the delicious! Enjoy your picnic, whatever the season!
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