Saturday, 13 March 2010


Earlier this week we went on a picnic with some friends from our baby groups.

I made guacamole and salsa to eat with crisps (I tried making them too but it did not go well - think compost bin in a roasting pan) and then I got stuck. Not being a tupperware queen, I could think of loads of food to make but no way to make it picnic friendly. For an immediate solution I am investing in some foil trays like you get from a takeout - that I can fill with cold noodles and salads. Long-term these reusable sandwich bags, travelling tea-cups... oh and this awesome DIY picnic pack from Design Sponge.

(I also came across this twine headband - a must-have for any day in the park, don't you agree?)

Now on to the jellies - which I guess you would assume are not a travelling friendly option, right? Well yes, you're right. But I am stupid and I wanted an excuse to make them. I bought some plastic cups (which did no good for my green credentials) and stacked them in the only tupperware container I have. I couldn't fit the lid on it so I placed it on top, then wrapped it in a carrier bag and delicately placed it on the top of my picnic hamper (where I worried about it falling when I ran for the bus!)

1 bottle good fruity Chardonnay
300g raspberries (I used Summer Fruit berry mix-raspberries, redcurrants, blueberries and blackcurrants)
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
5 gelatine leaves
250g caster sugar

1. Place the wine and berries in a bowl and allow to steep for half an hour. Strain the wine into a saucepan and keep the raspberries to one side. Heat the wine with the vanilla pod until nearly boiling and leave to steep on one side for 15 minutes.

2. Soak the gelatine leaves – which you can find in the supermarket these days – in cold water for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, after removing the vanilla pod, reheat the wine and stir in the sugar until it dissolves; allow to boil if you want to lose the alcohol (as much as I love food that gets you drunk, knowing that several toddlers and breastfeeding mamas would be sampling my wares, I boiled the heck out of it!)

3. Add a third of the hot wine to the wrung-out gelatine leaves in a measuring jug and stir to dissolve, then add this mixture back into the rest of the wine and stir well. Strain into a large jug.

4. Place the raspberries, equally, into six flattish, clear glass serving bowls, and pour the strained wine over the top.

5. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours, though a day would be fine if you want to make this well ahead, and take out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Nigella

In conclusion - jelly is not a good choice for a picnic. But it is lovely for dessert and v. impressive served at dinner parties with double cream.

Since we have been promised a hot Summer I am planning a million and one days in the park with a blanket, so I need some outside friendly food - please people, help a mama out.


1 comment:

  1. Oh how I love thinking of picnics in the park! And your jelly sounds amazing and delicious!