Yesterday I was thinking about how reading ‘The Godfather’ by Mario Puzo led me to a favourite breakfast of fried peppers – to which I add a fried egg. One of the many, many joys of ‘Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Graham is the descriptions of enjoyable things to eat, starting with the picnic which Ratty provides for Mole when they first meet.
‘Hold hard a minute, then!’ said the Rat. He looped the painter through a ring in his landing-stage, climbed up into his hole above, and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat, wicker luncheon-basket.
‘Shove that under your feet,’ he observed to the Mole, as he passed it down into the boat. Then he untied the painter and took the sculls again.
‘What’s inside it?’ asked the Mole, wriggling with curiosity.
‘There’s cold chicken inside it,’ replied the Rat briefly;
‘O stop, stop,’ cried the Mole in ecstasies: ‘This is too much!’
I love picnics, even picnics which go wrong, but we rarely have a real picnic with picnic food – it’s usually just sandwiches, maybe a sausage roll, a piece of fruit, biscuits and a flask of something hot or cold. But how i would love to replicate Rat’s picnic – except not may people these days like tongue, and I’m the only person I know who likes pickled gherkins (we have a jar in the fridge right now) and cress – not watercress, but salad cress, and can you buy French rolls any more?
This is a picnic which went wrong, but it was still enjoyable even so:
We walked along the old railway track, then back and then stopped to have our picnic where we discovered what can only be described as a Marmite explosion. I’d prepared wraps for everyone, cheese and ham for husband, almond butter for daughter, and Marmite for me. Each was wrapped in its own foil, but for some reason the Marmite had slid off the wrap, inveigled its way through the tin foil, and spread itself over everything else… It is remarkably sticky, Marmite…
The Marmite explosion happened on a walk along the Glastonbury Canal, or was it the Huntspill Drain, but it was somewhere that every so often there was a soft plop of a water rat slipping into the water which took my mind to the wonderful picnic Rat had prepared and which Mole enjoyed!
I know I’ve shared it before, but my featured image is of my family with mums brother and sisters, brother-in-law, and my cousins and my sister. No trouble guessing which child is me!