Posts Tagged ‘picnic food’

How to have a perfect picnic:

Step 1: choose a perfect location.  It doesn’t get much better than Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, where you can admire both the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the water’s edge.  I didn’t take the photo above, but that was the view we had on Sunday as we sat in the winter sunshine and ate lunch.

Step 2: plan to spend the day with people you love – in our case it was Dan and Patrick and their gorgeous kids, Little T and Bodhi, home for a visit from the US.  Dan’s twin brother Daz and his family were there as well, ensuring there were lots of little people to be “eaten” when Mr Wolf announced it was “dinner time!”.

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Step 3: make simple picnic food. I was up early on Sunday morning and made a couple of loaves of olive and cheese bread.  These were still slightly warm by lunch time and easy to slice and share.  I started at 8.30am and the loaves were out of the oven and ready to go by 11am.  That might sound like a long time, but remember that breadmaking is mostly about leaving the dough alone – the actual hands-on time involved can be measured in minutes.

I began by making the basic bread dough and, at the initial mixing stage, threw in whatever I could find in the fridge – in this case it was pitted Kalamata olives, chunks of pecorino cheese and chopped pancetta.  After the first rise, the dough was shaped and risen a second time in loaf tins, then baked until golden.

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A bag of homemade meringues was the perfect finish to a simply perfect lunch.

On the way back to the car we passed a colony of flying foxes roosting in the trees, a flock of Australian White Ibises flying overhead (they honk like geese) and an astonishing array of flora from all over the world. Just magic – yet another reminder that we live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

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