As I’m sure many of you will know I am a massive fan of picnics. It means you can get out in the fresh air, take in your surrounding and enjoy some time together with good food. Our favourite place to picnic is Priory Park in Reigate, Surrey. It is a beautiful park with lovely surroundings and lots to do.
Towards the end of last summer I had lost my mojo a bit and our picnics became very samey, and consisted of the usual sweaty sandwich, packet of crisps and a boring cereal bar.
I have made it my mission this year to create fun, interesting and memorable picnics that we will all enjoy and hopefully remember in years to come.
My first picnic of the year was made for a festival a few weeks ago which went down a treat with everyone.
To celebrate the start of national picnic week this week I put my thinking cap on and can up with some ideas hopefully you will be inspired to give a try.
The first couple of ideas were made up simply because I picked up the wrong tumblers whist shopping in Tesco. Once I had opened them I realised they were infact a normal plastic tumbler with a raised section inside to pour a shot!!
These infact came in really handy as I made some vegetable crudités and added some salsa to one and sour cream dip to the other.
Next up for the fab tumblers was a mozzarella, avocado and tomato salad. I sliced each of the ingredients up and placed around the edge of the tumbler and the added some balsamic vinegar and olive oil to the little well in the centre.
Simple sandwiches for my little allergy buddy were made with his wheat free bread and filled with ham and salad. I then I took a toast press that I had bought for Valentine’s Day to create an “I Love You” message on the top to make it a little more interesting.
I came across some mini bagels in Tesco that I filled with hummous and spring onion and cheddar and onion apple chutney.
My sister was coming with us and she is a massive fan of hallumi. I sliced it into bite size chunks and wrapped each piece in a slice of streaky bacon. I placed them on a greased baking tray and cooked them for about 10mins on 200C fan/180C or Gas Mark 6.
My boys adore olives and a few years ago I made an olive spider for Halloween. They are just a black plum that you attach eight cocktail sticks to to made the legs and them thread on black olives. For the eyes I just used a couple of sugar beads that you decorate cakes with and stuck them on with a little bit of icing.
The last of the savoury snacks was a mini corn in the cob. These were just cooked in boiling water for 10mins then once they were ready I placed a wooden skewer into the bottom of each of them and placed theminto individual sandwich bags with a knob of butter and secured the end. Just little you get in fried chicken shops!
Next up I got the tumblers out again to create a multicoloured jelly. I picked three different coloured jellies that I mixed according to the instructions and poured the first colour into the small well. I placed them in the fridge to set which took about 10mins. Then I filled the tumbler half way with the next colour and put them back into the fridge to set again for another 10mins. I then added the final colour and placed into the fridge until we were ready to use them. These are best done the night before.
We all love marshmallows in our house so I made some super easy skewers by alternating strawberries, marshmallows and grapes. These would have been lovely with a chocolate dip!
Our last little treat were melon lollipops. You can use any melon and cut it into any shape you like. I used a gala melon and cut it into slices which I then halved. I put a small hole into the bottom of a cake case and then inserted a lolly sick into the bottom of the melon then slip on the cake cases. These looked great but didn’t travel that well.
There was minimal cooking in all of these ideas and they were loved by everyone. Even if you added on or two of these ideas I’m sure it would really cheer up any picnic.
Try and dedicate a little time this week to get out with your family and celebrate national picnic week.