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As each season arrives there is a huge pleasure that comes with the firsts of everything, whether it be daffodils, asparagus, lambs or in this case picnics.

Last weekend had its bumps, our 4 very active and strong minded children were treading on top of each other and there were way too many rumbles for anyone to put up with.
Sunday afternoon came and tired of trying to resolve tensions I decided instead to put my energy into a family picnic dinner.
The kids were almost unanimous their food choice of sausages in bread – “but mum do we really have to have pork and fennel or can we have those really good sausages on white bread like we have at school on sausage sizzle day…?”
How can a battle worn mother argue with that? Especially too when Ed looked at me with beseeching eyes wanting to know if he can have the same. 

Off I went on a quick trip to the supermarket for the most processed sausages I could find, sliced white bread as well as the strongest bottle of white wine…. Yes I am making the last bit up but I was really in need of something strong.
The sausages were cooked in record time, the bread buttered and the picnic rug set up.

We all sat down to eat – me to my asparagus with boiled free range eggs, nice cheese, wine and ciabatta and the rest to their sausages with tomato sauce in bread.
Suddenly as if my magic the grumblings and rumblings stopped and it had little to do with the sausages.
We were all sitting together at the end of a sunny afternoon, cosy on the picnic rug enjoying something we hadn’t done for many months.
After eating, we all played hurdles, high jump over the broom and ball catching and there were no fights!

While we are only a few days past – 3 year old Freddie says at least twice a day “remember when we had that lovely dinner outside…”

There really is a lot to be said for quality family time and sitting down together to enjoy food – regardless of what the food is!

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9 thoughts on “Picnics

  1. Hi Helen

    I often listen to you on a Sat morning. I can relate to you and your son. I used to spend many hours making sauces and pickles and preserving, however, I nearly lost the plot 20 years ago when I had been making, amongst other things, great quantities of tomato, plum and apricot sauce only to have the request ” Can we have a treat and have tomato sauce like Aunty …… guess Watties!!” Education and refining the palate is a great thing


  2. That is such a lovely story.
    Thats what family memories are made of.
    Some years ago I remember at work (Hospice), our Day Program Co-ordinator and I had scheduled a picnic. The Patients were so looking forward to it. Unfortunately the weather (pardon the pun) turned to custard. But…. they had the picnic indoors and thoroughly enjoyed all the finger food I had prepared. Too unwell to sit on the rug, they had their chairs in a circle with their feet on the rug. I think some of them had their sun hats on as well!!!
    So, as you have proved Helen, a picnic doesnt have to be a big deal.

  3. The kids were almost unanimous their food choice of sausages in bread – “but mum do we really have to have pork and fennel or can we have those really good sausages on white bread like we have at school on sausage sizzle day…?”

    ROFLMAO – that is sooo funny, and so typical.

    What a wonderful day, and lovley to read about, it brought back lovely memories forme too, thanks Helen :-)

  4. Family picnics were few & far between when was a child and always involved getting a bus to the station then the train out to the country. We always went to the same place,somewhwere called Pill, near Bristol. We had to cross a paddock that invariably had cows grazing and Mum was absolutely terrified of them! The picnic took place beside a river and we were allowed to paddle in the shallows. What an epic journey for 4 year old back in the 1940s!

  5. I like going to a bit of trouble for picnics, but the basic food is still what most people enjoy – little and big people. AS a child of a large family with a very ill dad, we never went away but regular summer pinics to the local river were reasonably common and the food was basic. With all of us (8 kids + 2 cousins) plus grown ups packed into 2 or 3 cars (our big Plymouth held all 10 of us!! – no seat belts of course), there was at least two tins of home baking, a biscuit tin full of cold cooked sausages, another tin of hard boiled eggs and plenty of bread. Nothing fancy. THere was a “flagon” or 2 of sugary orange cordial. We would swim , eat, swim, eat and then at night sit around a bonfire, or even on one occassion, we were determined to make the most of a day out and we sheltered behind large some umbrellas into the cooling evenings. Of course what ever we ate outside tasted special.
    We had little “home picnics” with our children too – even in the winter on a rug on the Floor on a friday night made tea special. Fantastic times

  6. what a lovely photo! It doesnt take much to please little ones! Eating outside is so much nicer than in. Now we live just 100m from the beach, in the summer we often take down our lunch in the weekends and sit by the sea, or walk over to Browns bay, buy something to eat and sit by the water! I love these warmer, longer days!

  7. We have days like that too…you are so not alone….but doing something to it to break it all up, mix it all up a bit, really works! Food helps sure – but the most important thing is time. Family time…..
    Your kids are gorgeous!
    Love your work Helen!

  8. Picnic’s are something that I have very fond memories of from my childhood, mum had a thing for salmon mashed with vinegar so that always came, along with the obligatory bacon and egg pie. With both my parents gone one of my most favourite possesions is the cane red picnic basket my mother made. Hopefully your cbildren will be able to look back on their great picnic memories in the years to come…….Jan