Tuesday, August 28, 2012

picnicking


















Picnics used to fill me with secret dread. Not the picnic itself. But the preparation, the thought of making food the night before, when you really didn't feel like spending Saturday night cooking up a storm. Our picnics, when we lived in Wollongong, used to be big (Italian) family affairs, so a full hamper of cooked food was pretty much standard. Schnitzels, zuppli and savoury tarts were typical picnic food.

Our picnics these days tend to be much simpler affairs. I like to cook extra the night before so we usually take leftovers with us. If not, much can be done with some homemade bread, fresh salad from the garden, cheese and preserves. On this picnic I'd made a big batch of last minute pizza (no yeast, just plain flour, olive oil, salt and water, rolled ultra thin) the night before. Topped with a tomato base, then sparsely topped with chorizo sausage, mushrooms, onion and then cheese. Cooked at the hottest temperature possible.

So on this Sunday we headed out, where we'd gone before. It was the first Sunday in a long time that we'd actually felt like going out into the mountains. Proof of a subtle shift in our long, cold Winter.  After passing the 4WD only sign (which always fills me with a nervous, point of no return feeling) it was a long, steep, narrow winding drive, and I tried my best not to look over the edge at the huge drop offs.  The road was far worse than we remembered, a result of the rains a few months back. But Daniel quite enjoyed the challenge.

From way up on the mountain we saw that the valley was framed with golden trees. And when we drove in we saw flowering Wattle everywhere. I'd never fully appreciated just how beautiful these trees can be in their natural habitat. Being a different season, we'd missed this display last year.

So we ate our pizza, we ate scones and we drank some coffee from the thermos. The older kids ran off, and almost made contact with a black snake, obviously fresh out of hibernation, but just as keen as them to get away. We skimmed rocks on the river. But mostly we ran after Violet, who was having an absolute ball.

It was one bumpy start of casting on for my Tea Leaves cardigan. I'd call it extreme knitting, and would not recommend it if you were prone to car sickness. Luckily I'm not.



We're hoping it was the first of many picnics this Spring.






14 comments:

Naturally Carol said...

Hi Tania..your picnic positively sounds like a king's breakfast compared to what I used to take to the park for a picnic when the kids were little. I used to buy a banana and a fresh bread roll each and take some margarine and a drink..sometimes a packet of biscuits and an orange or apple extra just in case we stayed for afternoon tea. The kids were fine with that 'cos they didn't want to stop for lunch much, just wanted to play to their heart's content.

Catherine said...

It's so nice to get outside and experience that change of season. I love the smell of the wattle wafting in the air at the moment, just getting back to nature always makes me happy but the drive you went on would make me a little nervous too. I love going to Oreily's down the coast, it's beautiful but the drive I don't like a bit so we don't go often. It looks like your drive was worth it, sounds like a fun picnic to go on and yummy food to enjoy too:) x

Deanne said...

I think there maybe a picnic on Sunday for the father of the house!
Your pizza looks and sounds delicious!

littlegreenvillage said...

"Extreme Knitting"!
LOL

alison@thisbloominglife said...

Those gorgeous clear and crisp images made me feel like I was there. And I know that feeling of not looking over the edge, sometimes I hop out of the car (ute) and literally have to uncurl my body from the stress!

The Teaching Of Thom said...

Snow one weekend and wattle the next....what's going on???

I wonder what sort of summer we will be in for but at least we can revel in spring....bulbs coming up everywhere around here and my orchids are flowering....early...but I don't mind :)

Steph said...

Love a "slap together picnic" as we call it here where we raid the fridge for anything that can be "slapped" on a sandwich. Sounds heavenly! So nice to get off the beaten track and really explore this gorgeous land of ours. Wishing you a happy Tuesday...and perhaps some time for knitting :) x

Shelley said...

What a great picnic spot. Our picnics generally involve a through what's in the fridge in a basket. Or Vegemite sandwiches and fruit! It's the simple things...

Lea said...

Looks positively beautiful. I am a big fan of the humble wattle tree. You've captured the day perfectly Tania.

BLD in MT said...

How absolutely wonderful. Picnicking is so fun and as you well know doesn't need to be all fancy....especially with such beautiful scenery to supplement the meal! Extreme knitting! I had to laugh. Have a wonderful day!

Serena said...

I love picnics. Plants always look best in their natural habitat don't they? Do you have a picnic basket with plates and utensils ready to go? I think I'll have to put one together so I can grab it quickly.

Tania said...

Hi Serena, yes I picked up a complete picnic basket set from the op shop some time ago, so it's ready to go each time. Makes things much easier. You can see it in the link above of the last picnic.

rebekah @ justfordaisy said...

What a gorgeous spot for a wonderful relaxing picnic. We sold our 4WD when we moved 6 months ago... :( But have just bought a new one and can't wait to get back out in the bush with our girls.
PS. We used to live in Wollongong!!

kathyros said...

Hi Tania, I like the look of your new cardigan. I have just finished a very similar one for my daughter in a lovely caramel colour.
Pattern here:

http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter08/PATTamelia.php

I didnt knit mine all in one piece though, couldnt quite manage that :) Still happy with how it turned out
Gosh the girls the are really starting to look alike now arent they? Both very lovely