Inspire Me - Romantic Picnic

Romantic Picnic

I do object to preparing food when I am not invited to eat it!

That is a Mother’s lot I suppose. Not that I am really preparing the food. Chris is doing that. I just object out of an intense sense of rejection at not being invited.

The occasion is a Picnic for the boys and their girlfriends. They all happen to be here today and we are going to the pictures (I think they call them the movies now) and they are desperate to impress. Chris doesn’t want to cook a meal then leave. What and miss the adoration or his cooking skills??  So we have compromised on a Romantic Picnic in the garden. If they had bothered to invite us I am sure we could have postponed the picture movies until another night. The last time we went, Chris happened to fall asleep and snore all the way through Churchill’s greatest speech. It didn’t matter, we had seen it twice already and the cinema was empty except for us. I did tell him that two old people walked out in disgust at his lack of patriotism and now I am officially sanctioned to nip him if he ever snores in public again. The fact that I have been doing it for years has quite escaped him.

Back to the picnic. I am not really a picnic person, so I have had to raid my cornucopia of oddities to find something that can serve as a picnic basket. My purchase of two old suitcases comes in very handy and the mini hamper that we were bought as a gift, doubles up as a sandwich box.

Both Chris and I have been involved in the preparation of the picnic as I thought the girls might appreciate something other than a totally meat-based feast. So I have volunteered to make sandwiches and do something sweet. As I am trying to impress the girls with my prowess I design detail, I have wrapped the sandwiches in greaseproof paper and tied them with twine. I have even added a sprig of dried Lavender to add that little designer touch.

I am very pleased with myself over the desserts. Although I can’t claim the making of the Macaroons, I can claim the construction of the Eton Mess jars. These little jars are amazing and we use them for breakfast too. I like making pots of Yogurt and Granola and then sealing them with these nifty little discs that seal the jar. You don’t even have to use a special tool to seal them. I just use the bottom of a hot iron. In this instance, they are perfect for the picnic, as the boys can leave them sealed until they need them. It’s the easiest dessert in the world to do and I have everything in the house already, but they just look so pretty and effective.

The same goes for the Parfait jar that I have used for the Crudité dip. The screw-top jar can be left closed until everything is set. We also use these jars for kitchen storage. They are amazingly versatile and look really authentic.

I haven’t told them that I decanted the Paté into a Kilner jar and haven’t made it myself. Well I did prepare the Orange peel!!!

I have been sure to add in my lovely new finds to set off the colour of the grapes, the Crudités and the Olives. I think the colours are really lovely and don’t look like I have tried too hard. As ever, I can rely on my favourite plates to add a little Scandinavia chic.

Chris has stolen most of the Manchego before he attempts to put the Cheese and Ham on the board. ‘The boys won’t notice’ he assures me, ‘they will be much more interested in the Wine’. He is now trying to decide what we should eat later. I swear is more concerned about that than the film. By the time we reach the car, he has narrowed the choice down to ONLY 5 different options. By the time we reach the Cinema, I just want to stab him with one of the very expensive Steak Knives he has just ‘treated me’ to.


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