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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spring Picnic


Spring may not be officially here, but Mother Nature seems to think otherwise. And so last Sunday a spring picnic was had, one that involved good food, tasty dessert and food-loving company of course.

Sunday brought perfect picnic weather. Clear blue skies, skin-tingling sunshine and just the right amount of breeze in the shade. We spread out a patchwork of picnic rugs on an area specifically chosen for its soft carpet of grass, a big tree for shade and close proximity to the playground for emergencies of the kid tantrum kind.

picnic pal

Following the picnic by-laws of communal feasting, a jumble of sandwiches were unleashed into the middle, a circle of hungry faces leaning in soon after. There were ones wrapped in gladwrap, others in greaseproof, ones in brown paper bags with stickers, and yet more with burgundy collars and a white floral print.

The options were plentiful. Chilli turkey with chilli jam, rocket and brie; Bavarese blue cheese on spelt with Deb's homemade red onion jam; goats cheese with flaked almonds and red onion jam; chicken with avocado, baby spinach leaves and wholegrain mustard; paper-thin slices of pastirma on Turkish bread with tomato; and tangy Kashkaval cheese from Bulgaria with vine-ripened tomatoes, basil and cracked pepper.

Five adults and two toddlers feasted with glee. The bub in the pram slept on in the shade.

turkey sandwich
Chilli turkey with chilli jam, rocket and brie

kashkaval cheese tomato and basil sandwich
Bulgarian Kashkaval cheese with vine-ripened tomatoes
and fresh basil leaves

blue cheese and red onion jam sandwich
Bavarese blue cheese with Deb's
homemade red onion jam on spelt

There were murmurs about the pastirma, its smoky rich flavours drawing a legion of new fans. The sweetness of Deb's red onion jam married perfectly with the creamy sharp blue. The container of cucumber slices received toddler approval.

raspberries and ricotta on chocolate bread

Dessert only continued the cheese theme with options of chocolate. Bowb had baked chocolate bread, and sandwiched slices with ricotta, a splodge tainted pink with the addition of raspberries.

chocolate bread with raspberries and ricotta
Bowb's homemade chocolate bread with
sweetened ricotta and raspberries

There were portions of namoura, a sticky Arab dessert made with semolina; Lindt single origin chocolate, a 75% version from Ecuador, a spoil from my Saturday chocolate safari; and bags of mountain pepper and classic 58% cocoa truffles from the Melbourne-famous Monsieur Truffe.

More cheese in the form of a whole ricotta cake, a Greek version, which was light and fluffy.

ricotta cake
Greek ricotta cake

And more homebaking from bowb with chewy almond macaroons sandwiched with a Lindt chocolate ganache. The cookies were perfectly uniform --"I drew circles on greaseproof", said bowb, as if to brush away our awe at their perfect uniformity and immaculate professionalism.

almond macaroon with chocolate cream
Macaroon cookie sandwich

The sandwiches were tasty, conversation flowed with weekend ease.

The weather can only get warmer, and that can only mean one thing.


cookie man
4 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 8/22/2006 09:29:00 pm


  • At 8/22/2006 9:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a great picnic! All that beautiful, tasty food!

    And BOWB should take more credit with the perfectly matching macaroon sandwiches - I've tried drawing circles on the parchment as well, but as it didn't work for me, I just gave up on it! Hers look absolutely perfect!

  • At 8/22/2006 10:43 pm, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    awww. grubby, chocolate-stained kids. they will surely get more practice with each coming picnic. i always thought this one was a practice run for the main picnic season anyway. ;)

    loved the basil in the cheese sandwich!

  • At 8/23/2006 10:20 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Everything looks so yummy and I can see shy boy.

  • At 8/23/2006 10:36 am, Blogger deborah said…

    great pics helen!

    yay for picnic season.

    i had one on monday again in the park... but it was only one sad salad roll and no dessert :(

    the kiddies are cute!


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