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.