Do you know when there’s something you love doing…I mean really love. It doesn’t have to complicated or well thought out but every time you do it you just savour every minute?
I feel a bit like that about the forest. It’s not complicated for us…we live within walking distance of Stormont Estate, so within the city you get the forest feel. Within a few metres of a busy dual carriageway you are wandering in the woodland and foraging for blackberries and elderberries. It’s all good for the soul. We even managed a forest birthday party this year!
I love my solitary walks there as much as I love our family, noisy tramps through the trails. In autumn we tend to spend more time indoors as the days get shorter and colder, but the autumn picnic has been a must for us in this season! Good for the mental health to get some fresh air and good for our bodies as we tramp through the paths. Quite often the request is thrown out by the girls for hot chocolate, for the Kelly Kettle or for hot dogs so I thought I’d share with you our idea of the last minute, perfect autumn picnic!
It is, quite literally thrown together and put in the oven while we gather up our bits and bobs to carry with us. My middle daughter (aged 9) wanted to make these, they’re that easy!
//good quality pork or beef sausages
//brioche baps – honestly they make the difference between good sausage butties and amazing ones!
//Toppings: a green pepper (chopped), diced onions (I use frozen ones…life saver tip given to me by a friend and I’ve never looked back!), roast beef slices and cheddar cheese.
//Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
//Cook your sausages whatever way you like…I fried these as we were short on time. My absolute favourite is to brown them off and put them in the slow cooker; it makes for a perfectly cooked sausage in my opinion!
//In a separate pan melt a knob of butter and soften a handful diced onions and the green pepper. Add the chopped up slices of beef.
//Cut and butter your brioche bap. Place your sausage in and top with the pepper mix. Grate over some cheddar cheese and wrap in tinfoil.
//Place in the preheated oven for 15 mins. Just enough time to grab that blanket and flask!
When done, keep in the tinfoil. We put them in my basket, wrapped up under the blanket, and they stayed toasty warm.
You’ll never look back…a squeeze of mustard or a dollop of a spicy sauce and you’ve your perfect warmer snack. Nothing better than opening your tinfoil wrap with a steaming cup of coffee or soup, toasty warm and wrapped up, soaking in that beautiful autumn light.
Sometimes we don’t even pack food…we just pack a flask or the kettle and go for a late afternoon walk.
Don’t overthink it. Wrap up. Throw a blanket in a bag and pack something to eat or drink. Because it’s usually the chat over a steaming drink or watching your kids as they search for sticks and climb trees that are the things that make the picnics sacred. Do you agree?
What are your perfect autumnal picnic necessities…I’d love to hear?! In the meantime, enjoy these golden lit evenings and kicking about those crunchy leaves. Carve out some time to soak in the loveliness of our autumn before winter steals her from us!
Happy leaf kicking