Get Summer Started with a Picnic in your Garden with
Lots of Picnic Recipes
Summer is a time for lazing in the garden, taking trips to the seaside, fishing by languid rivers, barbecuing bangers, enjoying fish and chips on the quayside, late night drinks on the terrace and picnics. I don’t have a favourite season really, although I love autumn with its gold, bronze and yellow leafy charm; I embrace each season as is arrives and try to enjoy what it has to offer……so, that’s log fires in the winter with sparkling fairy lights on fragrant pine. It’s asparagus and posies of flowers with chocolate eggs in the spring and when summer finally arrives, as it appears to have done today, I revel in the prospect of lazing in the garden with a good book under the spreading cherry tree’s green canopy, with a glass of something by my side…….preferably with ice and a slice.
Today’s post is a celebration of summer, it’s a story of an al fresco picnic in my garden, with picnic recipes. It’s all about the things that I like, so please excuse any excesses of bread, soft fruit, candles, cheese, flowers and old crockery…….it’s about good food and company, with an element of laziness……well, it IS a picnic in my garden, and not by some babbling brook, sandy shores or golden corn fields; who wants to jump in the car with all the paraphernalia that picnics involve when you can walk a few metres down a garden. And before those of you with no gardens complain, let me tell you that as an avid “picnicker”, I’ve had picnics in courtyards, on tiny balconies, around the kitchen table, as well as local woodland and parks within walking distance.
But a picnic in a garden is all together different thing…….you can assemble all the tracklements of a home-style picnic with ease, and then just ask for willing hands to ferry it out to the designated garden spot. My original idea was to have a nocturnal picnic with candles, fairy lights, lanterns and cheery bunting, but the high winds we all experienced a few days ago put pay to that; so, not daunted, I decided to arrange a late afternoon picnic at my French metal work table, under the apple tree that is next to the garden shed and flower garden. I picked some wild meadow flowers, popped them in a water glass, and assembled a sundry array of eating implements that included paper plates, enamel mugs, antique plates, wicker baskets and studio bowls.
My “Get Summer Started” picnic was simple and comprised:
Fresh Strawberries (home-grown)
Radishes with salt and butter (French style)
Hovis Granary Bread (home-made)
Belvoir Elderflower and Rose Presse
My top tips for a picnic in the garden are:
1. Assemble all the plates, cups, glasses, cutlery etc beforehand and if necessary put them in an old wine box or a basket, to carry them out to the picnic spot – the box or basket can then be used on the picnic as a seat, table and/or container for bread etc.
2. Make it simple – you don’t have to make acres of sandwiches, people will prefer the tactile nature of cutting the bread themselves and making their own sarnies at the table (or on the picnic rug!) Pies, scones and sandwich spreads are perfect for picnics – just make sure you have knives and spoons for serving them.
3. Make up bottles of squash etc beforehand, and then you don’t have to keep running back to the house all the time for drinks. I even make up cocktails, such as Pimms, and decant them into bottles or large plastic jugs. Ice can be taken down the picnic area in a Thermos flask. Don’t forget the corkscrew for the wine too!
4. Don’t be too precious about matching plates, cutlery, china etc. part of the magic about a picnic is the fact that anything goes…..it doesn’t have to be formal; paper plates and enamel mugs are fine, as are enamel plates. I tend to leave glasses out of the equation and take non-breakable drinking vessels for ease of mind.
5. Napkins and kitchen roll is essential, as well as a bag for the rubbish.
6. Home-made is great, but don’t forget the convenience of hams, cold cuts, cheese, fruit and salads from your local supermarket, farm shop or deli.
I have shared many picnic recipes on Lavender and Lovage over the years, and before I share my latest recipes for Hovis Granary Bread, and some other recipes that I used on my picnic, I’ve added a list of my family favourites below. From scones, pasties and pies to sandwiches and salads in jars, I hope you will find ample inspiration from my suggestions below to get your summer started too! Karen
Disclaimer: Commissioned work with Sainsbury’s
Lavender and Lovage Picnic Recipe Ideas:
Recipes used on my Picnic in the Garden:
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Chive Flowers
Butter Griddled Asparagus with Lemon and Aioli
Serrano wrapped Asparagus with Baby Gem Lettuce, Bronze Fennel, Aioli, Chives and Goat’s Cheese