Sunday 19 November 2017

Recipes: Be ready when the sun makes an appearance with a well-prepared feast, says Lilly Higgins

Rhubarb and Strawberry Hand pies
Smoked Salmon Baguettes with Dill Cream Cheese
Fennel, Pork and Apple Sausage Rolls

Lilly Higgins

Dining outdoors is such a novelty here in Ireland. Usually picnics are planned and rescheduled several times over before the picnic takes place.

It is normally in between showers that we hastily pull out the blankets and spread them on the still-glistening grass -- it wouldn't be the same if our shoes didn't get wet.

The key to a perfect picnic is in the preparation. Having some lovely baked goods in the freezer ensures that you'll no longer be caught off guard when the sun starts to shine and the urge to dine al fresco takes hold.

As children, we often brought picnics to the beach. My mother would fill large bread rolls, then wrap them tightly in cling film before dividing them up at lunch time.

I still do this, as I find it's the best way to transport sandwiches. We would also always bring a large bottle of lemonade, apples and a huge melon that my father would balance on the lid of the cool box carefully as he cut into it using the blunt bread knife.

Invariably, the melon would end up covered in gritty sand.

To this day, I think melon tastes better with a little sea salt sprinkled over it.

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