Welsh Witterings: life’s a picnic
My week has been dominated by picnics. Sadly, I’ve not got to enjoy a picnic myself, but I have been researching and writing about them.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of writing a lovely article for a charming magazine called, ‘Pretty Nostalgic’. The magazine has sadly ceased to remain in print, but I still remember how lovely the article looked with all the vintage photographs and images. I thoroughly enjoyed writing that particular feature and whilst re-organising my writing den I came across a copy of it. They say that you should be careful what you wish for, and it seems the saying is true. For as I read over my old feature I declared to my husband, ‘ooh I’d love to write something like this again’. Well, the very next day two requests relating to picnics flooded in. The first for an interview with Huffington Post and another from a magazine.
Well, needless to say that my picnic hamper has been dusted off and whilst the reality of a picnic is still a dream, that dream is becoming more vivid and elaborate as I reflect over beautiful, elegant picnics from our culinary past.
Whenever, I think about picnics I always reach for my rose-tinted glasses. Indeed, to me a picnic is a very special occasion and the mere mention of one is enough to make me come over all nostalgic. . One of my all-time favourite references to the picnic is in ‘The Wind in the Willows’ where Ratty’s picnic is held in a “fat, wicker luncheon basket”, a description that I find simply divine. I would really love to relax on the riverbank with the contents of Ratty’s picnic basket. To me a picnic should be a delectable, elegant affair that is filled with delicious food and good British Countryside. I’m afraid a supermarket sweep of packet sandwiches and cake will not cut it for me. I think that a true picnic requires good food and preparation and whilst I’ve read many recent suggestions for picnics that include recipes for tapas, cold noodles, Thai style prawn salads and even cold pizza, to me Ratty’s hamper was perfect including cold ham, beef, tongue, French rolls, cress sandwiches, potted meat and ginger beer. If presented with such simple delights I may have been tempted to echo the words of Mole, ‘O, stop, stop,’ cried Mole in ecstasies: ‘This is too much!’
Although, I’ve been dealing with the subject of picnics I’ve also had to sort out a little studio for me to record the interviews in and I must say that I can’t take much credit for the rather wonderful set that my husband has created. It is a lovely space. A picnic hamper and an old Roberts radio give it a nostalgic feel and its been great to record in.
Well, back to the issue of whether sandwiches have a place in a picnic!