Monday, July 26, 2010

A Perfectly Posh Picnic

As the subject was broached with the cake decorating tutorial, I thought I’d share with you the mass bakeoff (and no doubt cause for my bodily and mental exhaustion this week) that preempted Tilly’s Naming Day a few weeks ago.


First, the requirements

According to me: 40 guests to be fed and watered in a (hopefully) hot and sunny grassy park from 11am onwards for a satisfying and ‘homespun’ lunch and tea about 400 metres from our house (ie just too far to lug, just too close to drive)…

According to the Boy: Sausage Rolls and Champagne


We compromised and served a variety of sausage and champagne products…Tilly made a beeline for the porkpies and took about ten minutes to finish off a delicacy about the size of her fist… That’s my girl!

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After much researching, reading, preparing and list-writing, I came up with a menu of the following, chosen for the ability to serve all cold, to be cooked the day before (if not further), to withstand potential heat and sunshine and to appeal to a range of ages, palettes and styles…

  • Quiches – oh so very many (well four large ones, in fact) – Brocolli, Salmon & Parsley, Bacon & Mushroom and Spinach & Goats cheese, cooked and cooled in production line over Friday and Saturday
  • Chicken drumsticks (outsourced to a chum and cooked Saturday evening before)
  • Sausage Rolls (outsourced to a chum and cooked Saturday evening before)
  • Pastry straws (cheese ones and pesto ones) cooked and cooled the Thursday before and kept in tins
  • Vegetable Crudites and dips chopped the Saturday before and kept in tupperwares of cold water in the fridge to be drained and served
  • Potato Salad in a vinegarette dressing (outsourced to a chum and cooked Saturday evening before)
  • Couscous salad (outsourced to a chum and cooked Saturday evening before)
  • Roasted vegetable and feta salad A complete hit – will share recipe shortly – I say ‘recipe’ – more compiling of ingredients…
  • A cheeseboard (outsourced to a Mum!)
  • Bread, bread and more bread

And then for dessert…

  • Fruit Cake Iced a week before…
  • Chocolate chip cookies (cooked on the Friday)
  • Brownies (cooked on the Friday)
  • Flapjacks (outsourced to a chum and cooked on the Friday)


The spread was something of a faff to assemble on the day, not least of all as the intended transportation was discovered to have a flat battery just moments before its intended departure… However, once various forms of manpower were enlisted, it was quite a sight to behold, and quite a fabulously scrumptious day…


Enlisting wonderfully willing assistance from a few carefully chosen chums meant that the workload was shared out amongst the trustworthy and able… Excellent champagne purchased on offer in the supermarket flowed all afternoon and including all that alcohol, plus the food for the day, we think we spent about £6 a head on the catering. Which puts this as a very possible small wedding/celebration option.

Just don’t forget to have a backup plan in case the weather for your day ends up being rather more… English than ours lucked out to be…

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