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blankets, chicken salad, Diary, Outdoor People, picnics, tiffin -

It's international picnic day, so what better day to think about what makes a great picnic... Now I remember as a child (sorry about this mum!) being told we were going on a picnic at the weekend. I was very excited. I mean very excited. I had a very vivid dream about exactly what it would involve. There would be blankets. There would be a straw hamper. There would be cold ginger beer, maybe chicken salad, and of course there would be a nice cake and a flask of tea. And after we'd play frisbee. I had to hide my disappointment (which I probably did very badly!) when it turned into a sandwich eaten ON A BENCH! And the fact is I knew we didn't own a hamper, in fact I'd never actually met anyone that did. There was lots that was great about that day, but it just wasn't quite what I thought a picnic should be. My parents took me on many, many outdoor adventures, for which I'm eternally grateful, but I was a grown up before I finally found the perfect picnic blanket (a Welsh woolen, thick, soft one), the perfect picnic hamper and the perfect tiffin boxes that keep that chicken salad cold and the cake nicely gooey. But still the best thing about picnics - and the ingredient that was there in spades behind that slightly soggy sandwich - is family and friends. [gallery columns="5" ids="393,373,336,337,394"] So this week why not get some folks together and head on outside to enjoy your lunch al fresco? To help here's a link to Jamie Oliver's perfect chicken salad and what is to my mind the best banana bread recipe. I swap the wheat flour for Dove's gluten-free breadmaking flour. Enjoy being Outdoor People! cropped-1614543_647473798622124_918931140_o.jpg  

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