Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Looking out through the open shutters of my Bolognese top floor apartment, with the single-glazed windows very much shut, I try to escape the fact that April showers, even in Italy, are no match for a picnic in the sun. In fact, the thought of a downpour ruining a lovingly made hamper of homemade hummus, prosciutto cotto, and freshly baked bread seems far too sad to swallow. In spite of my well-known optimism when it comes to weather, especially when it involves food, today the rain has beaten me down to, 'perhaps let's have a picnic inside...' This, however, with a little bit of imagination and good company, can be just as fun as the real thing.

Many may go against this and say that a picnic isn't a picnic if it isn't al fresco, but if you have all the necessary ingredients, not just the food, then it can work brilliantly.

Step one, choose a room with lots of light.

Step two, lay out a large and colourful rug in the middle of the floor.

Step three, put on a Cd of rare birdsong of England - and you are there!

No. Really, there is a much more stylish and convenient side to all of this. The ease of being close to the kitchen sink, evading gusts of wind that may tip over the soup-filled thermos, or stray dogs polishing off your favourite pork and apple sausages makes fun of the old and lets on to a new love for the home front.

Now, the definition of PICNIC by tells us this:

pic·nic (piknik)
1. a pleasure outing at which a meal is eaten outdoors
2. a shoulder cut of pork, cured like ham
also picnic ham or picnic shoulder
or Slang
3. a pleasant experience
4. an easy task

I think this description is almost accurate...By all means I prefer the outdoor picnic - the fresh air, the rosy glow, the green trees and Frisbee - but when the heavens open, where is the fun in soggy bread and finding shelter under dripping leaves? Inside there are no weather restrictions and you could, if desired, have a breakfast, lunch and dinner picnic. If it's the outdoors you love, head out for a wet and windy walk to ease off the 'pleasant experience' of 'a meal eaten [indoors]'...


  1. asparagus risotto is another really good recipe and a good way of using the tough ends...however in general i fully concurr - I LOVE ASPARAGUS TOO!!

  2. Funny you say that Isla - I made that last night! Thank you for the comment! constructive cricitism is ALWAYS welcome!