July 1, 2019 6:56 am Leave your thoughts
Golly, doesn’t food always taste better eaten outdoors?! The Famous Five certainly thought so. Along with the Secret Seven, the Five-Find-Outers, the Children of Adventure and any number of schoolgirls, Enid Blyton’s characters like nothing better than a simply smashing spread, under an eternal summer sky. It’s National Picnic Month in July – so we thought we’d join them! Here’s how to have your very own storybook picnic!
The best food
You’ll need all sorts of things: sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, home-made fruit cake, ginger buns, toffees – and generally a choice of: ice-cold water from a well containing a secret passage; cold milk from a cheery, plump farmer’s wife; or lashings and lashings of ginger beer. Get your rosy-cheeked cook to rustle them all up, or failing that, see these recipes here:
Pitta bread sandwiches: these are brilliant for picnics, because nothing falls out of the little pockets! They’re also great fun to make – see how here.
Walnut bread: a savoury option, with a rich moistness from the sour cream. Simply wizard slathered with plenty of butter. Here’s the recipe.
Walnut and celery quiche, with blue cheese: robust flavours, for our robust climate. See the recipe here.
Homemade sausage rolls: much nicer than shop-bought. We like these.
Homemade turkey and cranberry pasties: pasties were invented to make it easy to transport your food, of course. This one is a lovely sweet-savoury mix.
Homemade vegan ‘Cornish’ pasties: to share with the seagulls. Try this Vegan Society recipe.
Homemade fruit cake: there are many recipes for this (this one here is perhaps the simplest). Just make sure you use the finest organic raisins, sultanas and currants (perhaps from our dried fruit mix).
Homemade gingerbread: I don’t think you can do better than Nigella’s Guinness Gingerbread recipe here – it’s sticky and full of flavour
NGF Best Flapjack in the World: we’re famous for our chewy flapjack recipe – and it’s perfect for picnics.
Homemade lemonade: the old-fashioned way – see how to do it here!
You can eat picnics perched on rocks, sitting at picnic tables, or even (sadly) inside your car. But for a proper picnic, you’ll need a red-and-white-checked cloth and a hamper containing proper plates and glasses. This article here, from the BBC, covers all the bases!
Everyone will have their own favourite picnic spot. Here are five of mine!
- Kildale Crags, North York Moors: with the countryside spread out beneath you, like a tapestry.
- Scalpsie Bay, Isle of Bute: on a bright summer’s day, it’s one of the UK’s most beautiful beaches.
- Worberrow Tout, Dorset: walking down through the abandoned village of Tyneham, you’re in real Enid Blyton country.
- Worcestershire Beacon, Malvern Hills: with amazing views in all directions (and a well-earned rest).
- Mynydd, Wales: overlooking the mysterious Bardsey Island, just itching to be explored.
Best of British!
It doesn’t often rain in Enid Blyton, but in real life, of course, it sometimes does. The best plan is simply to take the picnic indoors! Food features large inside in Blyton books too: farmhouse tables groan under huge cakes, cooked hams, tongue and scones with jam; boarding-school common rooms are awash with toffees, potted shrimp, sardines and sausages cooked surreptitiously at midnight. In the UK, we’re great at adaptability – we don’t expect sun every day, and like the heroes of the Blyton books, we can cope with whatever the weather throws at us!
Tags: chewy flapjack, enid blyton picnic, homemade fruit cake, homemade lemonade, homemade sausage rolls, homemade turkey cranberry pasties, homemade vegan Cornish pasties, National Picnic Month, Nigella Guinness gingerbread, organic currants, organic dried fruit, organic raisins, organic sultanas, pitta bread recipe, savoury walnut loaf, walnut and celery quiche
This post was written by Yzanne