It must be the slighter sunnier weather, or perhaps the impending Easter holidays, that has got me thinking about days out, picnics and flasks full of tea. In fact, I went on my first picnic of the year yesterday lunchtime and, after all these dark winter months of eating lunch indoors, it was so lovely to get outside and enjoy a meal in the sunshine. Okay, there was a bit of a brisk wind, but with the sun on my back I really didn’t feel the chill. I was enjoying stuffing my face with sarnies too much to care! Last summer my husband and went on lots of picnics. We didn’t have a holiday away so we took day trips around the local area – never venturing much further than an hour’s drive away – and packed up a cool-bag full of treats for each adventure. I love a sandwich wrapped in foil. I enjoy piercing the top of my carton of drink with a pointy straw. And an apple always seems to taste better when munched outdoors. Coupled with exploring new places (and seeing what fantastic conversation work is going on in British parks, country homes, military museums and along the coast) a picnic is one of my favourite ways to spend a day.
So today’s Pieday Friday blog post is a simple one: I’m sharing my all-time favourite sandwich recipe. It’s based on the sandwiches we used to buy at the start of every journey we took from university to home. There’s a service station where we join the M6 to travel to Suffolk, and we stopped there every time to fill up with fuel and stock up on sandwiches. Ever had a service station ‘cheese crunch’ sandwich? They are THE BEST. Perhaps I love them so much because I associate them with a journey home to see my family. Or perhaps it’s the sheer cheesiness. I can’t decide.
Anyway, that’s what I packed up for my picnic yesterday and I wanted to share my own version of a ‘cheese crunch’ sandwich with you. I’ve no idea what’s in the original service station version but I’ve recreated it to my own taste using spring onions, grated cheddar, finely diced red pepper and Primula soft cheese in ‘chive’ flavour. I don’t think that I can really all it a ‘recipe’ because you simply put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it together before spreading onto buttered bread. I would however, like to recommend very soft, very fresh white bread for this recipe, even though the original service station sandwich was a wholegrain sandwich. I’ve definitely improved the ‘recipe’ by using fresh sliced white bread – or at least, I think so! I also made a couple of original Primula and cucumber sandwiches in white bread, for that extra-special ‘afternoon tea’ feeling.
Pack up your sandwiches along with some fresh fruit, a Tupperware tub of cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumber, a flask of tea and some cartons of apple juice. For an impromptu picnic on just-have-to-go-out sunny days, have a look in the cupboards and see what you can wrap up. A couple of digestive biscuits to dunk in your steaming tea become much more exciting when unexpectedly produced from the bottom of your sandwich bag. Jaffa cakes wrapped in foil? Even better! Even some boring cream crackers come alive when spread with soft cheese and crunched in the middle of a field. Pots of yoghurt, hard boiled eggs and fig rolls. These are all great additions to a last-minute picnic lunch.Do you love picnics as much as I do? What’s your favourite sandwich filling for taking out on the road? Will you be encouraging your family to head out into the countryside with you this Easter? Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @Cassiefairy.