Bank Holiday Picnics

1) Bank Holidays are brilliant, aren’t they? There’s something magical about reaching the end of Sunday and then thinking ‘hahaaa, I don’t have work tomorrow’. I especially love May because we’re book-ended by Bank Holidays. This last weekend, we’ve been so lucky. In amongst all that cold and grey, we had two whole days of sweltering heat and blissful sunshine! Well one and a half but that half was pretty important.

2) I got to go to a barbeque in the suburbs, documented here and we got to eat this amazing cake. I think you should make it. Even when there isn’t a Bank Holiday. Just for fun. People will think you’re pretty spiffy. I would come for a cup of tea and a slice if you make it.

3) I got to go to a picnic in the park with two small boys and two lovely couples. That, my friends, is what Bank Holiday Mondays are made for. I do love picnics, I don’t love bad picnics. I love filling a basket with delicious things and sitting in a park and drinking wine and cider and Pimms and watching children fall off bikes and climb trees and throw water at one another. It was one of those kind of picnics. It was also the kind of picnic, and I love these children very much, which made me realise that I’m quite happy unmarried and childless for a bit longer. There are so many faces to wipe and so many upsets to mediate. We sat in Sefton Park, behind the Palm House and down by the Fairy Glen, or perhaps it was called the Dingly Dell, anyway it was lovely and the sun shone and my skin went a bit pink and we took ‘selfies’ with our sunglasses on. We went for a walk to find an ice cream and then watched little boys smear the ice cream up their noses. We chatted and laughed and watched Dennis go for his first successful ride without stablilisers, it was a pretty eventful day.

4) Picnic food is a big deal for me. If I had planned it, I would have arrived with hampers laden with food but as it was, I had about an hour to prepare so I scoured the fridge and cupboards and settled on:

  • a hot stuffed ciabatta, stuffed with handfuls of basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and olive oil while still hot and squashed, in a similar style to a muffaletta (great word)
  • hot sausages, packed into a tub and served with mustard mayo in a jar
  • a jar of tomato salad, doused in salt and pepper, olive oil and sherry vinegar and some basil leaves
  • a vegetable frittata, as below
  • a paper bag of baby tomatoes
  • a bag of broken, smashed but delicious oatmeal cookies

5) We wound our way home for baths for children and lying exhausted on available horizontal surfaces for adults. I realised I was turning into my father, when after a hot and exhausting day, I had the most refreshing and perfect cup of tea.

frittata.jpg

Picnic Frittata

This is the best frittata I’ve ever made. Usually they turn out ok but nothing special, this was a different league. I’ve only ever eaten them warm but I think I prefer leaving them to cool and slicing them like a cake since I tried this. I used what vegetables were lurking in my fridge and I can’t recommend those roquito peppers enough, sharp but sweet and just a little bit fiery. You can obviously put anything in a frittata, had I had some new potatoes I’d have thrown them in. I often use feta or goat’s cheese and I like to mix in some chorizo or something when I’m not cooking for vegetarians.

This is quite a basic recipe but it really was a lovely addition to our picnic. I ate a lot of it.

Made about enough for 6

  • 6 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 roquito peppers, roughly chopped
  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of frozen peas
  • a bunch of asparagus, chopped into two halves
  • a handful of roughly chopped mint leaves
  • the zest of a lemon and the juice
  • olive oil
  1. In a large oven-faring frying pan, heat the oil and add the peppers and the courgettes. Fry these until softened and a little bronzed around the edges. Throw in the asparagus spears and fry these for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Pour in the beaten egg, the frozen peas, the mint leaves and the lemon. Leave to stand on the hob for another 3-4 minutes. Put under a hot grill until the top has set completely and browned in places.
  3. Leave to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, tip out on a board and slice. At this point, I threw over some more chopped mint and some more lemon juice and more salt and pepper.
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2 thoughts on “Bank Holiday Picnics

  1. Kelly x says:

    And what a beautiful muffelletta it was…and what a perfect afternoon we had 🙂 Thankyou for documenting it…a special spring day x

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