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    You are in: Home / Cookbooks / Picnics: Moveable Feasts-Traveller's Fare
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    Picnics: Moveable Feasts-Traveller's Fare

    What can be more exciting then eating outside! My happiest memories are of family picnics, the anticipation of arriving at a special or secret place and unpacking the home-made food that my Mum had prepared! Sun dappled days and cool streams......never soggy sandwiches, as my parents always "did" their picnics with style! Even now, dejeuner sur l'herbe is my favourite way of relaxing with family and friends. Here is an amusing and rather apt description of a Provencal Picnic, by Ford Madox Ford (Provence, Allen and Unwin, 1938). "....a Provencal picnic of heroic proportions; the scene was one of the beautiful Calanques along the coast from Marseille, a beach only accessable by boats; the whole banquet was cooked on the spot, in huge cauldrons, beneath Parasol Pines (Umbrella Pines). Sixty-one bottles of wine were consumed by sixteen adults and a shoal of children; half a hundred weight of bouillabaisse, twelve cocks stewed in wine with innumerable savoury herbs, a salad in a dish the size of a cartwheel, sweet cream cheese with a sauce of marc and sweet herbs, a pile, large enough to bury a man in, of apples, peaches, figs, grapes....." Picture the scene......enjoy my collection of picnic fare!
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    By far the most successful of all of Enid Blyton's books, were the twenty-one adventure stories of The Famous Five, who were Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog. The Famous Five characters usually meet up when their respective schools break up for holidays, as the boys go to different boarding schools to the girls. Holidays for the Five consist of either going off on a cycling tour, maybe camping or even visiting strange houses ( castles lighthouses etc etc ). But one thing is for sure, when the Five are about, there is usually an adventure just around the corner! The children's favourite drink was Ginger Beer. It is often quoted that the children drank lashings and lashings of ginger beer. We all know this was never quoted in any of the books but it still seems fitting however, hence my recipe name! Alongside the lashings of ginger beer, The Famous Five consumed vast amounts of sandwiches whilst on their exciting travels! A wonderful old-fashioned ginger beer recipe, worthy of any exciting adventure, discovery or literary picnic!

    Recipe #290425

    These are great little "light as a feather" and meltingly crisp English style biscuits, or cookies. This recipe is the slightly adapted recipe from the Be-Ro Flour cookbook - they suggest lard, but I don't "do" lard! Melting Moments ALWAYS made an appearance on my grandmother and mum's afternoon tea table, and we also had them popped into our lunch boxes for school. The recipe is SO easy to rustle up and they stay crisp and fresh for up to 5 days in an airtight tin. You can roll them in coconut or oats, I prefer coconut - but I am sure they would be just as nice with oats, which is a suggested alternative. Children and "big children" love these, and they really are melting moments, great with a cuppa English tea!

    Recipe #290314

    Delectable litle pasties or pastry parcels filled with tender chunks of chicken breast and French Boursin cream Cheese, delicious! These are so easy to make, as they use cooked chicken breast, making them very handy for any leftovers you might have. France meets England in these pastry parcels, I have taken the idea of a traditional pasty, then added a little French touch with the Boursin cheese, thus dispensing with any need to make a white sauce to bind the chicken! Great for lunch boxes, picnics, lunch, supper or a light meals or snacks.NB: (I would not advise re-heating these, as the chicken has already been cooked twice before - they are just as delicious warm or cold.)

    Recipe #290323

    This is such an easy and simple recipe to make, and yet the result is full of flavour, tasty and a real British classic. You will find this pie on the menu in Britain for lunch, afternoon tea, supper, as a snack, for a picnic, in a lunch box and I am also suggesting this recipe would be great for Brunch as well! This is another slightly adapted classic recipe from my trusty Be-Ro Flour cookbook. This can be made ahead and freezes beautifully - defrost overnight, on a cooling rack so the pastry does not get soggy! Please note, this has no spices in it - although I have suggested optional dried herbs. It is a classic, simple British recipe, where good free range eggs and dry cure bacon are the leading lights, along with crisp, shortcrust pastry! Who is Mrs Miggins? She runs that famous Olde English Pie Shoppe in Black Adder - I love that programme! NB: I note that one reviewer had never seen an Egg and Bacon Pie in any cafe or restaurant since living in the UK! By menu, I was also including the family's "home" menu; where I come from in England, it is very poplular on ALL cafe and tea room menus...........I understand food is very regional, even in a small country like the UK, and although it may not feature much in Manchester, it is a common and exceedingly popular every-day meal in most parts of the rest of the country. Great for a mid-week meal for all the family, cheap and cheerful!

    Recipe #290338

    If you like ginger & especially ginger cakes, this is the one for you! This is the most moist and delectable ginger cake I have ever tasted! An old friend of my Mum's gave the recipe to her and she passed it on to me - it is a bit like Chinese Whispers, much changed and adapted since my Mum's friend scibbled it on the back of a napkin over 20 years ago, but still a firm favourite! It is the definitive style of a typical English High Tea Cake........get out your prettiest cake stand and your best Tea Set. At Easter time, I often cyrstalise some violets from the garden and decorate the cake with them, it looks wonderful & very spring like! NB: The size of the tin is VERY important in order to achieve a deep, moist cake.

    Recipe #210358

    Delicious little "hand pies" which are ideal for picnics as well as for brunch, lunch & light snacks. These are very easy to make & can be made ahead & frozen for up to 3 months. I made these using individual 5" disposable aluminium pie tins; however, the ingredients listed would also make a large double-crusted plate pie. Serve them warm or cold with pickles, relishes, chutneys & assorted salads. Also wonderful with hot gravy! The individual 5" pies that have been made here are quite generous, so if you wish, make them smaller than that - maybe in a muffin tin!

    Recipe #211527

    This is such a wonderful and easy recipe, especially if you are Stilton cheese and potato fans, as we are! Just slice up pre-cooked potatoes, add a slice of Stilton, season and bake in a pastry case, and there you have it......a great snack, lunch or picnic food extraordinaire! Serve them with assorted chutneys, pickles, salads or even MORE potatoes for a very tasty meal. I have stipulated ready-made shortcrust pastry, but puff pastry would also work well. Ingredients are listed for 4 people - however, this recipe is easy to multiply or reduce, according to your potato and Stilton supplies!!

    Recipe #228752

    A deep coloured, fruity and intensely flavoured chutney. I concocted this recipe last year, when we had lots of windfall pears......and, I slipped a bit of saffron in for good measure! This chutney is delicious with ALL cheeses, but especially strong hard cheeses such as Farmhouse Cheddar, Gruyere, Comte and Cantal. It also goes exceedingly well with cold meats and charcuterie - especially cold roast Ham. Dollop it in sandwiches, add it to curry & cooking sauces.....the list is endless for this fruity chutney! It is always best eaten after at least 1-2 months; the flavours are mature and mellow. (This recipe has been posted as a special dedication for two close friends, one on RecipeZaar and one who sadly passed away recently - may all your pears be saffron pears & all your days be golden.)

    Recipe #228772

    The recipe for Gentleman's Relish has remained a secret since it was first invented by John Osborn in 1828 and no doubt some, whose taste buds recoil at this intensely salty blend of anchovies, butter, herbs and spices are happy for it to remain secret. However, it is wonderful spread on hot toast and added to scrambled eggs.....as well as adding a "kick" to savoury sauces and sandwiches! It is the essential ingredient for Scotch Woodcock - a Victorian snack served at the end of a meal! (For those who are interested, I have posted the recipe on Zaar!) This is my interpretation of this famous English relish.

    Recipe #228778

    These tasty tapas snacks are ready in just 5 minutes, the perfect accompaniment for a drinks, tapas or summer cocktail party. Jamón serrano is a Spanish ham & similar to prosciutto - which you could use instead. Try to use sun ripened (not cold frame) tomatoes - they really make a huge difference to this recipe! This recipe serves 10 to 12 people, with other accompaniments on offer.

    Recipe #229525

    These wonderful little tartelettes are made from a combination of ripe, sweet pears with tangy, sharp Roquefort blue cheese and aromatic rosemary.They make an excellent and very elegant starter; they are also wonderful if served as a light luncheon dish, with salads and chutney or pickles. The galettes can be assembled several hours in advance - or even the night before - then chilled until you are ready to bake and serve them. I have stipulated shortcrust pastry - but puff pastry can also be used.

    Recipe #228626

    A light, fresh and very tasty potato salad, which is more of a meal than a side dish! I made this up when I had a few spears of fresh asparagus left, some boiled potatoes and some honey roast ham in the fridge! This recipe/idea is for two people - but it can be increased with ease, hence my listing of the ingredients in numbers, rather than in ounces or grammes! The dressing can be made ahead......and, hopefully it will be warm enough to sit outside and soak up the spring or early summer sun......c'est Parfait!

    Recipe #226549

    An absolute must for ANY children's party or even dare I say, adult parties too......weddings, girls night's in, showers, pajama parties & sleep overs, retro buffets, etc. My Mum showed me how to make these--the recipe is an original Be-Ro standard Victoria Sponge mix--very easy to multiply or reduce. I have given a modest amount here for 12-18 butterfly or fairy cakes, depending on what size paper case you use. Expect these to FLY off the plate--sorry, I could not resist the pun!

    Recipe #183505

    A simple and easy to whip up apple sponge cake; baked in a tray for easy serving - cut into bars or squares for picnics, school or office lunch boxes & for tea time treats! It is DIVINE served hot with cream,custard or ice cream for a great Autumn/Fall pudding. This type of cake is often called Dorset or Somerset Apple cake, but it is really quite popular in nearly all of the English counties, especially during apple harvest season. I have stipulated Bramley apples, which are English cooking apples - in the absence of these, any tart or sharp "Appley" flavoured or regional "cooking" apples will do.

    Recipe #189493

    A really easy & delectable loaf of bread from your Bread Making Machine! I use a mix of Farmhouse or Country White flour with Multi-Grain flour. The cheese is Parmesan cheese for a slightly "Cheesy" kick! This recipe is dependant on your Bread Machine - mine is a Russell Hobbs Breadman Ultimate and I use the White - Rapid - 2lb - Medium Crust setting for this bread; that is just a guide, as your bread machine might be bit a different - but that setting has worked for my family & friends! An easy-to-whip-up family loaf which is healthy & very tasty. It is particlarly good toasted the day after. If you don't want to use as much olive oil as I do - it IS good for you however - reduce it by 1 tablespoon; the texture is not as good, but it still works!PLEASE NOTE - I ALWAYS test my recipes at least twice before I post them - and photograph them wherever possible - as you can see from the photo, this bread DID cook right the way through, and, your measuremnts MUST be spot on when making bread in a bread machine!

    Recipe #192012

    A wonderful bread made in the bread machine for any time of the year - but it is especially delicious on Christmas Morning, and throughout the festive period. I always make my famous "The Day after Christmas Sarnies" - Sandwiches - with this bread! (That recipe is also posted on RecipeZaar) I find it difficult to get hold of fresh cranberries where I live, so this recipe uses dried cranberries, but I am sure it would work equally as well with fresh ones too.

    Recipe #201449

    "We need more cheese Gromit!" Very serious cheesy scones which use way more cheese than normal for a scone mix; they will not rise quite as high as plain scones - but as you can see from the photo, they get there! Try and use a good quality mature Cheddar or any local type of strong cheese that is available. They can be made in about 20 minutes, if you have all the ingredients to hand and the oven has been pre-heated. Great for afternoon tea, picnics, buffets & packed lunches. You can also add chopped chives & herbs for a change.

    Recipe #207557

    I could not believe how high this bread was - and it was an experiment too! Wonderful flavours of bacon & onion with just a smidge of mixed herbs. Just crisp up your bacon & fry your onion, and then it all goes in the breadmaker for a delectable bread! Just think - you can have an English Breakfast just by adding some scrambled eggs on top of a slice of this bread!

    Recipe #209076

    A delicious and seriously lemon flavoured sticky drizzle cake which echoes the children's rhyme...."Easy peasy lemon squeezie"........EASY TO MAKE! An all-in-one recipe to rustle up at the last minute and impress your friends! When it's raspberry season, I sprinkle fresh raspberries over the top; it can also be served warm with creme fraiche, cream or ice cream as a Pudding Cake.

    Recipe #176514

    I named this dish after my home town, Scarborough, in the North of England - and yes, they really do have a "Scarborough Fayre" every year! And, this recipe does contain "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme"! This is a very old recipe for savoury bread pudding - often served before the meal, just as Yorkshire Pudding used to be, to take the edge of your appetite & stop you eating too much meat! I added the bacon, but normally it is just made with pounded stale bread mixed with herbs, chives or onions, eggs and any dripping that was available. A delicious savoury dish - serve it with lashings of onion gravy as a light supper, brunch or lunch dish, or as an appetiser, also with gravy. This makes a wonderful accompaniment to roast pork and roast chicken. I have also been known to eat slices of this cold & it's ideal for picnics. Don't throw your crusts away, but process them in a food mixer and freeze them in zip-lock bags.....voila, ready made bread crumbs!

    Recipe #217042

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