We tea drinkers love our picnics as much as anyone else. We just stock up our picnic baskets a little differently. It’s not a big difference, but just a bit of “skewing.” An odd item here, a bit of unusual taste there. You can do it, too.
Take potato chips, corn chips, and tortilla chips — three staples for picnics and barbecues. Skew the flavor with some of Walker’s Crisps. From the usual flavors like Straight Salted, Cheese and Onion, and Smokey Bacon, to the slightly unusual like Salt & Vinegar and Steak & Onion, to the downright odd Monster Munch Pickled Onion and Prawn Cocktail, they add a certain flair to your picnic teatime.
Don’t stop there. You can skew your burger toppings, too. For example, sliced onions are often a scrumptious choice but are easy to substitute. Tuck a jar of pickled or sweet onions into your picnic basket and serve them on the plate beside that burger instead. Branston pickles, Hayward’s Baby Beetroot, Sharwoods Lime Pickle, and various chutneys are great options, too. Top your burger or hot dog with some Piccalilli Relish or add some hot and spicy highlights with Patak’s Hot Mango Relish.
Some picnickers prefer to go a little more highbrow with their munchies. Caviar and some crackers to spread it on. For me, Walkers Oatcakes are a great option here and a bit skewed from the normal choice. They’re mild-tasting and not salty, a great balance for the salty, strong taste of the caviar. Of course, you can also have some strong cheese like Stilton with these crunchy rounds of fiber-filled goodness. A box of the oatcakes fit neatly in your picnic basket. Considering that oats are one of the heart-healthy foods, you’ll be eating something good for you, too.
Scones are a traditional teatime treat, but they are also great for picnic teas. Some fresh-baked scones, cold fried chicken, fresh fruit, and a bottle or two of tea you steeped and chilled yourself (not store-bought) on your blanket spread out under the chestnut tree or the sequoia cactus make quite a feast. Bring along a CD or MP3 player (with an extra set of fresh batteries) for a bit of “mood music.”
Add a little red and white to the teatime picnic color palette with pastries like Mr. Kipling Cherry Bakewells. They look like teeny pies. They have a raspberry jam filling with white icing and a red cherry in the middle (picnicking, at least for tea drinkers, is very much about the “cute”). Don’t forget the blue (as in “red, white, and blue”) with some Bingo Blueberry Herbal infusion.
Other sweet treat choices for your picnic that are skewed from the normal include Aunty’s Chocolate Fudge Steamed Pudding and Golden Syrup Pudding, or a Bolands Elite Tea Cake. Some chilled Darjeeling with lemon or a Cranberry Orange Flavored Black Tea would be a great skewing from lemonade or fruit punch and a big 180-degree departure from sodas.
Now that you’ve skewed your picnic treats to the tea side, it’s time to get that basket out, pack it up, and head out to your favorite picnic spot. Mine’s all ready, and I’m outta here. ’Til next time!
Before heading out on your next picnic, stop by A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!