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Picnics - the new eating out

Gathering outside is what we do now. It is a bit of a shame that the glorious weather in lock down ended, as guaranteeing an evening here in the UK where you can happily sit outside without getting cold or rained on is impossible. Still, us Brits love to persist with our outdoor plans and we are well accustomed to wrapping up warm for days on the beach where the idea of sporting a bikini is laughable. I teamed up with Nadine Abensur who is an amazing cookery writer (author of the Crank's bible) who was in Paris during lock down. When finally people emerged from a rather more strict lock down than ours everybody was filling every square metre of park and verge with rugs and food and this prompted her to begin creating some extraordinary picnic recipes which we have put together in this ebook.

So the recipes were all created in Pairs and photographed in Shropshire dodging the showers and waiting for glimmers of sunshine through the threatening clouds. It would have been so much more fun if we could have done it together but that was not to be. Still we have found a way of working together across the sea.

The word picnic derives from the french word pique-nique from the 17th Century, and it's meaning remains pretty much the same - an outdoor social gathering where each attendee brings a share of the food. Nadine has come up with four styles of picnic, the grazing picnic which is all finger food, food you can pick at, the picnic in a jar where you take a basket full of jars, the pot luck picnic which is perhaps the most authentic to the original meaning where everyone brings something along to contribute and the afternoon tea picnic which needs little explanation. Let's call it the naughty one with all the cakes.

No soggy sandwiches or scotch eggs here, no tupperware or stanley flask either though clearly these are two great English picnic essentials. These recipes all have a slight twist, they are all fabulous and I know as I have made and tried everyone of them for this shoot, and many of them again.

For your downloadable copy click the link here:

Above we have the Crepes Florentines, which is a marvelous pile of pancakes filled with layers of tomatoes, spinach, fennel and peas and mushrooms to make a savoury cake you can slice into, the elder flower and peach upside down cake is divine. Pictured below are some elements of the grazing picnic and left feta and semi dried tomato scones with an olive tapanade and creme fraiche.

I hope you will download and enjoy and I also really hope the sun comes out for you in the UK, and perhaps hide a bit if you are in the US.

With huge thanks to the Shropshire Flower Company for sharing with us their amazing locally grown flowers.

For your downloadable copy click the link here:

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