Aug. 2nd, 2008

Yesterday I saw a perfect picnic basket in a charity shop. I didn't buy it because I didn't want to carry it home; also, knowing I could carry it empty is not the same as knowing I could carry it when full of food and it was rather large. But it was rather lovely.

I got to thinking about what is required for a picnic and which things it would be possible to keep on hand in a sort of picnic kit. I already have a miniature version of this in my backpack much of the time: spork, perhaps my travel mug (I am going to start using this when I get tea at Trinty instead of the paper mugs they provide), some sort of cloth to sit on, multi-tool for opening things and slicing cheese... but at home I could do a bit better than that, really. I have various picnic-friendly dishes scattered throughout my things and it wouldn't be too hard to pack them all in one place, and when the picnic blanket stops living in the laundry pile it really ought to go to the same place. Bottles of elderflower champagne really need to be kept refrigerated until ready to drink and I don't have the space for that, but I could keep some home-made squash and a couple of bottles of sparkling water, or a bottle of sloe gin and some tonic water, at room temperature quite happily for some time. Cheese and bread and veg would have to be bought or made on the day but there are plenty of non-perishable crackers I could pack, and some olives and perhaps things like salsa-in-a-jar or preserved artichoke hearts would be easy to tuck away; some nuts and seeds would work well too and maybe some dried fruit (though fresh is always nicer); when I next make jam or jelly I could make some rather small jars and keep one or two of those in an instant-picnic box. This is starting to sound like a rather posh picnic but what's the point of sitting in beautiful surroundings and then eating crap?

What goes in your picnic basket? What would you take on the perfect picnic?
Arrived safely in Somerset. It's quiet here.

Lily, the retriever I first met two summers ago as a puppy, has grown up and had a litter of her own. I expect to be overrun by cuteness sometime after breakfast tomorrow. Cats are still cuter, though.

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The Wild Ewt of the Plains of Canada

September 2013

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