A little bit of this, a little bit of that…a Ploughman’s Lunch is an easily portable meal perfect for taking with you to the field…or the park in our case. After weeks of overcast skies and fog, as soon as the sun showed its face over Valladolid we were outside along with seemingly everyone else in the city.
The temperature has been in the low 40s for most of the month, but it was pleasant to sit in the sun and enjoy our impromptu picnic. A Ploughman’s Lunch traditionally includes a hunk of bread, a hunk of cheese, a hunk of meat (if one was fortunate to have meat, of course), a hard boiled egg, an apple and a bit of pickle or chutney.
If you go to a pub and order the Ploughman’s Lunch you’ll probably be served Branston Pickle, an odd looking concoction made from raisins, cauliflower and rutabaga with enough vinegar to clear your sinuses. It seems odd, but it’s a nice flavor with a sharp cheddar. It was a pleasant surprise to find Branston Pickle in the “foreign foods” section of the local Carrefours. [In case you’re wondering, the American foods were peanut butter, marshmallows and maple syrup…yes, I scratched my head, too].
Since it’s Meatless Monday we omitted the hunk of meat, but still included the hard boiled eggs. A chunk of gouda made a nice substitute for sharp cheddar. If I hadn’t found the Branston Pickle I would have packed some olives or other pickles. Bread and butter pickles would have been nice. A handful of nuts supplemented the rest of the meal. It was quite a surprise to find pecans in the grocery store. They had been imported from South Africa.
Everything was wrapped in the waxed fabric wraps I made last year. We use them in place of plastic wrap or bags whenever possible, especially for dry items. After our feast we took a leisurely stroll around the park.
When was the last time you were on a picnic? What are your favorite picnic foods?
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