Are you Prepared to Picnic?

If you haven’t noticed the national newspaper headlines I am here to inform you that apparently there is a heatwave hitting our shores this weekend. Although you may need convincing, summer is not yet over. The question is, are you prepared to picnic?!

A picnic takes minimal effort. This post shares all you need for the perfect picnic party with recipes that can be made in advance and that hold well in the sweltering heat that is about to be cast upon us.

Quinoa Salad – Simply boil some quinoa in water with a chicken/veg stock-cube for flavour. Once ready (it should have a crunchy texture) I like to add whatever is going;  for example a diced cucumber, toasted chopped hazelnuts, a handful of raisins, chopped mint and a peppering of pomegranate.  Dress with a lemon & olive oil and season to taste. Tip: I also like to use red and plain quinoa for colour. Be adventurous here – you could toss in some chorizo, red onion, red or yellow pepper, dates, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds….

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Quinoa before tossing

Avocado, Chilli and Mango Salsa – a recipe from Deliciously Ella – a wonderful accompaniment to salmon, chicken, pork or all by itself.

You will need a mango, two avocados, a lime, a chilli or two, coriander and salt. Finely chop the chillies. Dice 2 avocados and a mango. Add juice of a lime, a sprinkling of salt and a handful of chopped coriander. Gently combine. This would feed up to 6 people and lasts a couple of days in the fridge.

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Mango, Avocado & Chilli Salad

Cucumber relish – I always keep a jar of this in the fridge. This one doesn’t need an introduction but if you have somehow been denied this exquisite pickle in your life to date, it is not too late. The recipe can be found here.

Roast a chicken or ham hock the night before and bring the leftovers in a lunchbox.

And what picnic would be complete without a bottle of bubbly!? And maybe some cheese. And some fresh crusty bread.

Other Necessities to bring with you;

  • Cutlery – knives, forks, spoons
  • Plates
  • Napkins
  • Salt & Pepper
  • A little jar of dressing (optional)
  • Glasses
  • Cork-screw/Bottle opener
  • Carving Knife
  • Chopping Board
  • Serving Spoons
  • A bag to gather your rubbish in
  • Blankets
  • Warm jumpers
  • Suncream
  • Sun-glasses
  • Picnic basket – handy to carry everything in of course!

Other Optional Extras 

  • A good book
  • Deck of cards
  • Headphones/radio
  • The kids
  • The dog

Just to note, estimated time of sunset in August is 21 zero hours – so get out early.

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Location is important too. This spot is just about right.

Below is a recent snap of my last picnic in July with some good friends who live locally – this was a last minute decision to get outdoors and was completely fuss-free. Somehow food just tastes better when eaten al fresco! Don’t you agree?

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Picnic in the Park

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