Did you know it’s National Picnic Week? Now let’s not be all British and moan about the weather. I personally don’t give two hoots about how sunny it is when it comes to eating al fresco; I have been known to pack up warm soupy picnics for snowy sledging trips after all.
If the kids are crying that it really is too rainy then a carpet picnic is a perfect British alternative. Here are my ‘rules’ for a successful indoor picnic:
1. You must still use a picnic blanket. Instead of shielding you from bugs and dewy grass, it shields you from excessive vacuuming of crumbs later. Simply gather it up, take outside, shake and let the birds enjoy the crumbs.
2. Drinks must be in spill proof containers, preferably away from small flailing limbs. Failing that, just supply water.
3. Everyone must still sit in a circle fashion with their food in the middle. Eying up others’ fodder is one of the best parts of a picnic. Try not to get picnic-envy though; instead encourage sharing of any particularly exciting items.
4. Wet wipes are still very important when the picnic is inside. For all ages.
5. Any babies will need to be either restrained with parental hands or popped into a low level high chair seat. I should know. My second eldest ruined one beach picnic as a baby after spying some particularly delicious looking onion rings and making a break for them. Cue sand in the fish and chips. A picnic low point.
6. The food should be fun. See rule number 3. And here, in steps the new Warburtons Shapes.
So Warburtons have only gone and launched soft and pre sliced cat and van shaped bread called Warburtons Shapes. I actually can’t think of anything more exciting to a
35 year old, sorry, child, than cat and van shaped sandwiches. I also can’t think of anything more exciting to a parent than being able to provide such a sandwich without the aid of cutters or indeed, wasting any surrounding bread not included in the shape cutting.
In all this excitement I have come up with a few sandwich ideas to adorn these Shapes. Forgive me their names. I do love a novelty sandwich filling name. (Just imagine if I owned a café?)
Lots of great recipes like this in my book, Recipes from a Normal Mum, out now… on Amazon, The Works, at Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets.
This time last year: Cherry & banana no churn ice-cream, Orange meringue pie and Roasted cauliflower, cumin and bulgar wheat salad.
Two years ago: Beery walnut bread, Gluten-free oat-topped chorizo, sweetcorn and tomato muffins and Orange butter biscuits.
Three years ago: Chocolate, hazelnut and orange wrinkly biscuits, Sticky Bounty rolls and Lemon & almond breakfast rolls,
Four years ago: Father’s Day man cake and Bakewell tart with a vanilla crust.
The Bugs Bunny
Fills 6 Warburtons Cat Shapes
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
- 3 tbsps tahini
- Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
- 10g fresh coriander leaves
- 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsps water
- 200g grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
- 40g sultanas
- 6 Warburtons Cat Shapes
Blitz the chickpeas, tahini (which you can leave out if you can’t find it), lemon juice, zest and coriander until smooth in a food processor. With the processor running add the oil until combined, then add the garlic, salt and the water to loosen the hummus. Stir through the grated carrot and sultanas and use to fill Warburtons Cat Shapes.
Sweet Piggy Shape Salsa
Fills 3 Warburtons Cat Shapes and 3 Warburtons Van Shapes with plenty of salsa leftover as a side salad
- 275g tomatoes, diced
- 260g tin sweetcorn (drained weight)
- ¼ red onion, finely chopped
- ½ pepper, deseeded and diced
- 2 avocados, skin and stone removed and diced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 130g ham (4 slices)
- 3 Warburtons Cat Shapes
- 3 Warburtons Van Shapes
Make the salsa by combining the tomatoes, sweetcorn, onion, pepper, avocado, oil and lemon juice. Stir well and use as a relish in Warburtons Cat and Van Shapes to accompany slices of ham.
The Good Ship Marie Rose
Fills 6 Warburtons Van Shapes
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 150g cooked prawns
- 2 leaves of gem lettuce, chopped into 1cm pieces
- 70g cucumber, deseeded and chopped into 1cm pieces
- 6 Warburtons Van Shapes
Stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, paprika and pepper to make the Marie Rose sauce. Stir through the prawns, lettuce and cucumber and use to fill Warburtons Van Shapes.
What would you put in your Shapes? You can share your ideas on Twitter and Instagram using #ShareYourShapes as well as posting on the Warburtons Facebook page.
Warburtons Shapes are available in Asda, Waitrose and Ocado nationwide from today, and will follow in other retailers. They come in packs of 6 for £1.28.
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