July 31, 2013
Rachel Khoo Packs the Perfect Parisian Picnic
Because no other peeps do picnics quite like Parisians
Picnic week continues, here at SS! Today, culinary cutie, author, and leading lady of Little Paris Kitchen, Rachel Khoo, gives us her tips on how to upgrade your picnic game! Merci, Rachel!
Picnics are quite the social gatherings in Paris, as most people, like me, live in small apartments. I love the chance to catch up with friends on a sunny day, and enjoy Paris in the summertime. Planning a picnic feast is a fun way to entertain. You don’t need to worry about elaborate table furnishings or decorations–the beautiful outdoor setting of a park will take care of that! My favourite picnic spot? My local park, Buttes Chaumont, especially when the sun is shining! I love to look for picnic spots with plenty of grass (even better if the grass is uncut and a little wild) and trees for a little shelter to escape the sweltering sun.
Here are some of my picnic tips:
1. It’s better to do a couple of delicious dishes, than several mediocre ones. You can top up the “homemade” dishes with charcuterie and cheese with bread, just like the Parisians.
2. Stuff a couple of sprigs of mint into a large bottle of water for a refreshing twist. You can also freeze a large plastic bottle of water and it will double as an ice pack for your cooler bag.
3. Bring a small chopping board and good knife. They always come in handy and the board can double up as a serving platter.
4. Go early and have a brunch picnic. Think flaky croissants with jams and marmalades, bacon and tomato frittata, little layered yoghurts, fruit and granola pots. Plus you’ll get the best spot in the park.
5. Don’t forget the midnight picnic, good for filling a flask with a hot drink: tea, hot chocolate or Irish coffee (buy a can of whipping cream to finish the coffee).
6. Colorful egg cartons make great containers for radishes or berries.
7. If it’s really hot, don’t worry if your chocolate melts. Make an impromptu fondue. Dip strawberries, chunks of bananas (use cocktail sticks to make it less messy) or bread into the melted chocolate.
8. Bring a couple of large bin liners. They keep the blanket dry if the grass is damp, shelter you from rain–and you can put your rubbish in them.