So the sun finally came out yesterday, and we decided this would be a perfect occasion for a picnic (good job too, because it’s gone in again today).

But what to eat? That question was answered by The Vintage Party Year, whose writer, Angel Adoree, you may remember from an episode of Dragons’ Den a few years ago, and whose recipes are easily adapted for the purposes of the casual picnicker.

We therefore made the following. Cheats’ directions are underneath!

Shallot tartes tatin:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABasically, fry off some shallots with thyme, then leave them to simmer in some balsamic vinegar, red wine and sugar for 10-15 minutes until caramelized. Season, and dump the mixture on some circles of puff pastry (just draw round a mug, it’s fine). Bake for 10-15 minutes at 180°C.

Lamb kofte:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMix about 200g of minced lamb with chopped shallots, garlic, mixed spice, parsley, mint, and dried rose petals if you can get them. Fry in oil until cooked. Simples 🙂

Rarebit scones:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStill working on this one, as I adapted it to make it more suitable for travelling. Make a basic savoury scone mix (substituting some milk – but not too much – for an ale of your choice) and flavour it with Worcester sauce, Dijon mustard, and grated Cheddar cheese. Cook for about 15 minutes at 180°C. We served it with this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe know it’s just posh Branstons. But whatever.

We also intended to bring cheese and pickle sandwiches, but forgot. Oops.

For desserts, we managed to give a good home to the following:

Lemon ‘butterfly’ cakes:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMake a basic sponge cake mix, adding lemon zest. Bake until done. When cool, mix together equal amounts of icing sugar and butter until you have the amount you want. Add lemon zest to this and then spread it on the cakes. Note that these were initially supposed to be butterfly cakes, and orange and lemon flavoured, not just lemon. In response to a) I couldn’t be bothered and b) we didn’t have orange, only lemon. So shoot me.

Mini rhubarb cobbler:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStew rhubarb with honey and orange juice until mushy, but still with some shape. Make the cobbler by combining flour and butter (rubbed into breadcrumbs), polenta, and some other stuff that I forgot. Spoon the cobbler onto the top of the rhubarb and bake until golden.

We also ate strawberries:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou all know what strawberries look like of course. But these ones are pretty.

And drank freshly squeezed orange juice from the carts selling it near where we picnicked:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADitto. We had intended to bring Pimms iced tea, but I forgot the vital ingredient…ice. Doh.

So now we’re full of memories and inspiration for next time. What are your favourite picnic dishes? Inquiring minds want to know!

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