Let’s hope the birds will sing

This lovely weather just makes you think of picnics… well it makes me think of them! My dad hated eating outside,although he submitted to family trips, outings and holidays; I think many men of his age did, memories of the war and eating outside in ghastly places with vermin, insects and what he described as ‘shite-birds’ which would snatch whatever they could from the unwary.

My dad, on the left, ‘enjoying a picnic with my mum, her sisters, brother, and brother-in-law… you might be able to spot me!

My favourite, dear Ruth Drew, was a great camper, picnicker, and enthusiast for the out-doors. I wrote yesterday about her delightful and now fashionable sixty odd years after she wrote it, idea for picnics in jam jars. As for what to pack into a jar for out-of-doors food… well, the range is as wide as your imagination, she says. Mind you, I don’t think these days would necessarily choose some of her favourites, cold scrambled egg for example…

Not content with a first course, Ruth suggests a second:  f’ruit purées are splendid on a picnic – apple purée for example – or lovely cool slippery gooseberry fool, with a few sponge fingers to eat with it’. I know i’m fussy, but the idea of slippery food doesn’t really attract me – but I get the idea! A jam jar of trifle, sounds ok, and Ruth does go on to suggest fruit salad, which would be very nice and refreshing. As for drinks, well a dedicated picknicker like Ruth would be out in all weathers, so a flask of soup – ‘many’s the slightly chilly feast which has been pulled together by a mugful of steaming broth’. Hot drinks – tea or coffee, cold drinks, iced tea – which again is very popular now; Ruth suggests China tea with mint and lemon. The for cold drinks, no coke or fizzy stuff, no cans, but squash  especially for the younger generation!

Last of all, cake – even the smallest most meagre picnic should have cake. Ruth in her wisdom adds that whatever you bring you  should plump for something unsquelchy – in the days before wet-wipes I can see the sense, but on the other hand… there are some tremendously yum squelchy things to be had!!

Maybe you could find an icecream…

And finally, as Ruth says:

Let’s hope that when you have your picnic the birds will sing and the sun will shine for you!

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