A week or so ago – goodness, how time flies and only now am I sitting down to write about it! – we went for a picnic. I have a soft spot for picnics: there is something about eating from gingham checked baskets that appeals to the romantic in me, makes me feel as though I’m living life in a black and white movie. Picnics always have something of the party about them: my twenty-first birthday party was a picnic – I remember we played croquet, drank champagne from plastic cups, and lazed on the grass, barefoot and happy, until well passed sunset.
But last week was the first picnic of this season, the first of many this summer. It was a beautiful, sunny day so we packed up flasks with lemonade, tin plates and a big cotton blanket. Baskets with peaches and cherries and apricots. I baked focaccia. Armfuls of figs and a pot of honey – figs with honey is one of the loveliest things in the world, especially when smeared on focaccia. We had sandwiches and cake – because to my mind it is not a picnic without either sandwiches or cake. And baby tortine salate – savoury tarts with asparagus and pecorino – the kind of food that you just have to eat with your fingers. [Read more…]