Let’s picnic!


Fabienne Viner-Luzzato shares some exciting picnic ideas for the summer holidays

Summertime has finally arrived! It’s time to turn off the heating and the tablet and head down to the park, beach or garden to organise one of the most exciting kids’ outings: a picnic!

UK weather can be very unpredictable, so check the forecast in advance. Ideally, you will pick a destination that offers some cover or you may end up eating your picnic in the car, which isn’t very inspiring!

Preparing the food
To get your children interested in the food you are bringing, try preparing it together. This will make them feel included and excited about what’s in your picnic basket. You might think sandwiches are a picnic essentially, but that isn’t necessarily true. It can be fun to pick a theme and pick foods that fit.

French picnic
Sweet and savoury pancakes can easily be filled with tasty and healthy options (for example smoked salmon, cheese and fruit) to provide a great alternative to sandwiches. French cheese platters with fresh bread, crackers and grapes are always a winner.

Japanese picnic
Children love teriyaki salmon with noodles and vegetables. Sushi (see recipe below) is becoming more and more popular, so why not add this kids’ favourite to the menu? For dessert, try fruit kebabs and sweet sushi with coconut, fruit and white chocolate.


American picnic
Burgers and chips or salt beef sandwiches with pickled cucumbers are excellent for picnics, while marshmallow kebabs dipped in chocolate spread finish it off nicely.

Try incorporating mini pizzas and pasta dishes as a tasty main with strawberry or tiramisu ice cream cupcakes for dessert.

Pack a selection of sandwiches, scones, strawberries and cream, and jelly. Add some Pimms for the adults to create the perfect British picnic!


Sushi recipe

Sticky sushi rice

1kg sushi rice
1.7 litres water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
500g raw or smoked fish in strips and in sashimi
1 avocado finely chopped
Cucumber and/or carrot cut julienne-style

1. Wash the rice, drain, add cold water and as soon as it starts to boil cover and steam with the lid on for 25 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. Let the rice cool completely.
2. Mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Place the pan on a low heat until the sugar dissolves and leave to cool.
3. Spread the steamed rice into bowl. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over it and fold quickly with a spatula. Be careful not to smash the rice.

Making the maki

1. Cover a bamboo mat with cling film.
2. Lie the seaweed wrap flat on the cling film.
3. Add the sushi rice with wet hands to avoid sticking.
4. Add the fillings, for example vegetables or smoked fish, in a horizontal strip in the centre.
5. Roll the bamboo mat up.
6. Shape the sushi roll with your hands.
7. Cut it into individual rolls.

Apart from the food, all you really need to make your picnic a success is a blanket or two, a Thermos flask, a cool box, hand gel, a picnic basket, cutlery and serviettes. Pack a ball and some games if your children get bored quickly and some money for an ice cream if you’re planning to stay a while.

Need a recipe or advice? Want to book a cooking lesson or a cooking party? Contact Fabienne at info@homecookingbyfabienne.co.uk

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