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The Perfect Picnic for Pickle-nic Week



 This week in honor of the world's first Pickle-nic Week we decided to invite some good pickle-loving friends over  for a picnic lunch to help celebrate with us. A Pickle-nic shared is a Pickle-nic joy doubled!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!



Pickles are the perfect picnic food don't you think?  Sweet/sour/crunchy and perfectly portable!  Of course our weather these past few weeks hasn't been all that Picnic friendly, so for safety we planned a Pickle-nic worth indoor picnic and of course Mrs Elswood's pickles were the centre of our picnic table feast. They are the only pickle I have ever been able to find over here in the UK that compares in taste and crunch to the pickles I was used to from back home.  I miss the pickles from home and its so nice to finally have a tasty alternative here that I can munch on and enjoy just as much! 


Their sandwich slices were perfect in my ham and pickle buns.  Such a simple make also, with plenty of salty ham, sweet pickle crunch and some sharp grainy mustard.  Simply layer well buttered soft rolls that you have spread with grainy mustard (I used German) with some  Mrs Elswood's Sandwich slices and some finely sliced ham.  Perfectly delicious!  These went down a real treat! 

This was a picnic I decided to throw together basically at the last minute, having only decided to plan it on Monday evening.  I had been wanting to have our friends over for a while but had been waiting for good weather to do so in. I finally told myself "The heck with the weather!" we will just invite them anyways and weather come what may, we'll either do it indoors or outside.  I planned something which worked both ways. 

My Perfect Picnic List 
- Suitable seating, blankets and folding chairs for outdoors, or plenty of seating indoors 
- A cooler or basket to hold the food whilst transporting (outdoor picnics) or a suitable surface to spread everything out on (indoors)
- Freshly made sandwiches, suitably wrapped. Nothing overly messy. If your sandwiches are going to be in the car or basket for too long, make sure you also include little ice blocks to keep everything cold, or else avoid fillings which include mayonnaise. Indoors, make your sandwiches ahead of time, and keep them covered and chilled in the refrigerator, putting them out just before serving.
- Something crunchy to enjoy along with your sandwiches. Crisp pickles. Crisp raw vegetables (with dip!). Potato chips. 
- Something sweet to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth.  Sturdy cakes that travel well and are not overly fussy with tons of frosting and decorations. Fresh fruit/berries. Cookies and squares, again not too fussy or mussy. 
- Plenty of cold refreshing drinks. Carbonated don't travel well. I like to make ice cold lemonade and then pack it into large sealable containers with plenty of ice. Of course if you are indoors transportation isn't a problem, neither is keeping everything cool until you are ready to enjoy.
- paper napkins, plates, plastic/wooden knives/forks/spoons, cups
- scintillating conversation and company, plus some calming background music, nothing to gregarious or distracting. Gentle and soothing is the key. 

MAKE SURE YOU INVITE EVERYONE TO LEAVE THEIR MOBILES/LAPTOPS AND OTHER DISTRACTING MEDIA ASIDE FOR THESE FEW HOURS!  This will greatly add to the enjoyment of the time you are able to spend together!




Aside from the Ham & Pickle Buns I made a few other sandwiches.  I did Cheese & Tomato on whole grain bread (Just layer in grated strong cheddar cheese, and sliced ripe tomatoes, making sure you drain as much of the pips out beforehand), Cheese & Pickle (exactly what it says and very popular) and some Chicken Salad Croissants.  I made a delicious Curried Chicken Salad and then layered it in fresh buttered croissants along with some baby rocket. 



Curried Chicken Salad

Yield: Makes about 3 cups
Author: Marie Rayner
A delicious chicken salad that you can either enjoy on its own spooned over lettuce or in a tasty sandwich!

ingredients:

  • 110g good quality full fat mayonnaise (1/2 cup)
  • 120g full fat Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • 1 heaped TBS mango chutney
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 to 4 tsp curry powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 250g cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (2 cups)
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 4 TBS flaked toasted almonds
  • 12 grapes quartered
  • 1 stalk of fresh celery,  chopped
  • 3 TBS raisins

instructions:

How to cook Curried Chicken Salad

  1. In a bowl whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, chutney, curry powder and seasoning until smooth.  Fold in the remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. This will keep in the refrigerator for about 2- 3 days. I would not keep it any longer. (Of course this depends on when you cooked the chicken. I never keep cooked chicken any longer than 4 days in the refrigerator.)
Created using The Recipes Generator




The chicken croissants went down a real treat along with the ham and pickle sandwiches, although the chicken croissants were a tad bit messy, but in a very good way if you know what I mean!  


For the something crunchy I provided some potato chips.  You could use ruffled chips or tortilla chips and have a dip as well if you wanted. Of course plenty of crunchy pickles are nice and yes, the vegetables and dips!  Did you know you can stuff larger pickles with cheese?  Just do a search on google.  I found some that had been wrapped in bacon and fried.  OH MY GOODNESS.  Not exactly Pickle-nic worthy, but hey ho!


For my something sweet I served  fresh berries from the garden and cake.  I had baked two cakes for the occasion . . . 

Swedish Visiting Cake 

Swedish Visiting Cake on the left and French Yogurt Cake on the right.  



We enjoyed them with the berries and I'll be honest with you because we were at home I got some Clotted Cream Ice Cream out of the freezer and we each had a scoop of that on top as well! 



And of course we washed it all down with an assortment of refreshing drinks.  I had ice cold sparkling water which I served with a twist of lemon over ice and chilled sparkling lemonade.  Both were nice and went very well.


Everyone loves these Ham & Pickle Sandwiches.  Mrs Elswood's Sweet Cucumber Sandwich slices worked perfectly in these and we even enjoyed a few on their own, because who doesn't enjoy the extra crunch of a pickle, sliced or not! These taste very similar to the Bread & Butter Pickles from back home. Great on burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and even chopped up and popped into your salads. I wish they would do a sweet pickle relish like we have back home. So, so, so tasty! 


This was a wonderful feast to be enjoyed for Pickle-nic week.  Everyone was really happy with the food.  It wasn't stressful for me to prepare and made for a very relaxing meal.  Picnics indoors or out! You can't beat them for fun, fun, fun!  


A Picnic Memory -
I must have been 10 or 11 years old and my friend and I decided we wanted to go on a picnic.  My mom made me a peanut butter sandwich and I had that in a brown paper bag along with a few cookies.  I also had a cold bottle of Nesbitts Orange Soda Pop.  My friend had something similar.  We popped our lunches into our bicycle baskets and then took off for the great outdoors on a grand adventure.  We ended up in Torbrook, which was quite a tough bicycle ride partway up the nearby South mountain.  We parked our bicycles and ate our lunches on a hillside looking down on the old Baptist church, with the sounds of bees buzzing, all hot and sweaty from our exertion in getting there, but I can tell you, you have never tasted a better or more delicious peanut butter sandwich than that one!  We finished it off by eating some green apples we picked from a near-by tree and went to bed with belly-aches that night, but oh what a wonderful memory we had built!  

I do believe a Picnic is a wonderful excuse to crack open your inner-child and dust it off for a few hours!!!





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Marie Rayner
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14 comments:

  1. From Egypt;good morning to my flower

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  2. What a lovely picnic memory, Marie. When we went on outings to Niagra Falls we always had a picnic. When we drove down east we slept in motels but always had picnics, even for breakfast. My dad was the master of the Coleman stove. Nothing tastes better than bacon 🥓 cooked out doors. The first thing I did was to pick a bouquet of wild flowers for the table. Sweet memories. Hugs, Elaine

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Elaine. Can you believe the whole time I lived in Southern Ontario, I never got to go to Niagara Falls. It wasn't until I had moved away that we went back and visited. It was so awesome! I love picnics! My parents were not outdoor people. My mother moreso than my father. She hated insects or being outdoors or in the sunshine,getting her hair mussed, etc. Loved reading about your memories of your dad! How very wonderful! xoxo

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  3. Sounds like the perfect picnic! I made the Swedish visiting cake yesterday marie, it’s really hot here in Ontario but I put my toaster/ convection oven outside on the balcony and cooked it outside, it was amazing and I will be making it often, it’s just what we love for an afternoon something to have with tea, thanks marie!

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    Replies
    1. Oh Laurie, I am so pleased that you are pleased with the cake. Tha's a great idea to use the toaster/convection oven outside on the balcony to cook it! You're a genius! xoxo

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  4. I love picnics. We have picniced all our lives. Even when we lived in Alaska, where we have pictures of us all wearing jackets - in July! LOL When my son was growing up, there was a nice park in the next town over with a big pond and lots of playground equipment. We used to either take a picnic from home or stop at the small drive-in close by there and get hamburgers. So nice on a spring, summer or fall evening. (Plus it tired him out and he would sleep good) Indoor picnics are good too. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love picnics Raquel. We are having beautiful picnic weather this weekend! Food always tastes so much better outdoors don't you think? Happy Summer! xoxo

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  5. I love pickle-nics too ! Can I come along too ? :) x

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  6. I have always LOVED picnics..few and farther between as years go by:(Well done!!

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  7. This is definitely a good one. How I love picnics. AND pickles!

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    Replies
    1. Oh me too Jeanie! Thanks! It was fun! You should do something like this for your Wine Group! xoxo

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