Country Life (the butter, not the magazine with girls in pearls) have launched a new website to encourage picnics. The Country Life Great British Picnic has a picnic-spot locator (and an iphone app, if you do that sort of thing), a section on planning the perfect picnic, and a section of recipes.
Obviously, it's the recipes that were most interesting to me at the moment.
It really is cruddy timing for them. We've had SO much rain that all our picnics have taken place in the kitchen. But no one ever said picnic food has to be eaten outdoors.
This homemade lemonade was really delicious, although I found that the quantity of syrup only made 4 servings, if, like us, you like your servings large and lemony. I think if I make it again I will put the zest of a couple of the lemons into the syrup, to give a bit more kick. This time I added the tiniest hint of orange flower water, which gave a lovely floral fragrance.
The fluffy sausage rolls were such a revelation! So simple, so delicious. So much better than the sausage rolls you buy at the supermarket. These are going to be on very high rotation at our house!
After I glazed them with the egg, I sprinkled them with a little cracked pepper, for extra flavour and a bit of prettiness. They definitely looked appetising.
As a little sweet treat, I made the chocolate fridge cake. I'd been wanting another go at one since the not-very-successful one I made after the Royal Wedding.
I had a bit of trouble with this recipe. "Half a small pack" of biscuits doesn't mean a lot to someone who doesn't buy a lot of biscuits! I would have preferred a more prescriptive recipe. I think I got it about right though - there was enough chocolate and butter to glue the bits together, and enough bits per bite. So I am counting it a success. Strangely though, this is an example of when not to use really good chocolate. I used a bar of 70% cocoa and 1/2 a bar of 70% with raspberries, and it was honestly too chocolatey. A more basic plain chocolate, which has around 54% cocoa would have been a better fit, I think. It was just killingly rich as it was. I actually witnessed one of my colleagues having half a piece because it was too much for him.