Expectations of picnics around in our house are high. A trip to the playground – about half a mile from home, usually involves at least one demand for food. Anything more significant definitely requires a flask as tea-loving Spidey and Yoda arrive at their destination and generally sit down and expect a feed. Added to this a husband that balks at the idea of a shop bought coffee (yawn) and you can why we’re self proclaimed picnic-aholics. So, to get a look into our picnic basket, and also to have a snoop inside a few others I’m joining the August blog linkup with the very lovely bloggess Laura over on the fantastic Dairy Free Kids blog to see: What’s in your picnic basket?
The last major organised picnic round these parts was for Spidey’s birthday in July. We went to Glenroe Farm in Wicklow for the day and – with a fixed budget and an aversion to chicken nuggets, packed a homemade picnic for 9 kiddies (aged 2 to 8 years) and 8 adults. We were there from mid morning and – as I’m a well-known overachiever and over-feeder (a delicious if dangerous combination), we packed a good mix of tasty food that was guaranteed to keep big and small people happy.
I hasten to add that this isn’t representative of our normal everyday picnics! I’m not pretending we go to these lengths for each and every picnic – we don’t. But I think make a good point that picnics are a great way to feed a large number of people; can be a really affordable option for a kiddie party; and that kids are happy to eat lots of good food with a side ordering of treats. That way every one goes home happy, fed and with fairly balanced sugar levels.
Anyway, here’s what we had:
- mandatory ham and cheese, plain ham, plain cheese sangwiches (breaking all the house rules and using white sliced bread…yumm)
- sausage rolls – a massive hit with the kids
- vegetarian chick pea rolls -an even more massive hit with the grownups,
- crisps – it has to be Tayto!
- Capri sun juices for the kids
- mega flask of hot water so there was tea and coffee for the grown ups
- nice Victoria Sponge decorated with garish but much loved Spiderman icing for the man himself
- lemon drizzle cake
- rice crispie buns (made using the left over Easter egg chocolate!!!)
- crisps, jellies and fun size treats.
My pictures aren’t fabulous as I spent much of the time balancing a ravenous Woodie and giving grub out to the troops but everyone was happy and there wasn’t much left to bring home!
The logistics of organising all the food the morning of the party when we had to leave the house by 10am with three kids and a bloody picnic in tow, wasn’t lost on me! To make it relatively painless I made up the sausage rolls and the chickpea rolls the night before and left them in the fridge on big plate. I made both using shop bought puff pastry and promise I’ll get around to posting a recipe shortly as the chickpea rolls in particular are just gorgeous. I had the juice, crispie buns, cake and treats all packed up the night before with the cups, plates etc. The morning of the party I took the rolls out of the fridge while the oven pre-heated and then put them on baking trays (if the trays had been in the fridge overnight they would have been too cold and the pastry would have been soggy instead of flaky) and cooked them for about 20 minutes while we had breakfast. All we had to do then was pack them, make the stack of sambos and we were off.
This was the first kids party we’ve had out of the house and bringin our own food made it affordable. Also our own food was much better than the standard ‘party fare’ so I think it worked out well. It was a great compromise between a pricey catered do, and a party at home where the house was trashed. And we came home to a tidy house, with exhausted kids who has great fun poking farm animals. I could get used to this kinda party!
So, there you have it. To have a snoop in other blogger’s baskets head over to Dairy Free Kids and have a read of the other lovely posts.