Autumn is a beautiful time of year for picnicking outdoors.It really cries for an elegant spin on the meal, with whole cold roasts as opposed to the usual quickly made sandwiches and slaws The menu should be both classy and classic.Top it off with a soft or hard cider for some variety and kick.
Instead of the usual picnic fare think whole roasts. You can roast a chicken, Cornish hens or even a turkey breast the night before and let chill(you can also use leftovers too).Quail or partridge also works here and you can either buy it on line or from a good poultry farm in your area. A cold London broil is another good choice.. Nix any gravy , it would be to messy to bring along . Besides the roasts have their own juices anyway that can be sopped up with bread.As for bread aim for baguettes.or brioches. These can accompany the meat or are perfect for pates and cheeses. Sides can be simple: tomatoes with a sprinkle of sea salt, boiled artichokes with lemon wedges or lettuce wraps filled with steamed veggies. Another route is fish and seafood. You could have cold poached salmon with a light sauce or even a shrimp cocktail with a spicy dip. Make sure the shrimp have been peeled before you pack them. Nothing ruins an elegant outing more than having piles of shells scattered about. For something much simpler think easy pates or a variety of cheeses, form sharp English cheddar to creamy French brie dabbed on sliced baguette rounds.
Desserts can be simple yet decadent. Shortbread is always a good choice. It's rich and classy along with being the perfect end to an outdoor meal.Tuiles, those delicate French butter cookies would be right in place too. They can be baked into cones and filled with raspberries(in season right now) and crème fraiche for a decadent dessert. They are also good just baked in the traditional style , a square resembling a roofing tile,hence the name. Pears are just coming into season and creating a pear tart with a buttery crust would be a perfect end to a feast of cold roasted Cornish hens or salmon. Apples, too are also out right now. Pair slices with sharp cheddar for a different take or bake into a galette. This last is a rustic Gallic spin on the traditional pie and is just as easy to make. Have thermoses of good espresso or tea to drink with it.if you can , bring a flask of brandy along to add for fun and to keep the chill out along with containers of whole cream for the coffee and tea. A packet of chocolate mints is a nice touch so remember to pack those.
The crisp air and even crisper fall ware call for an elegant outdoor meal. Pack up one and take to your favorite place and enjoy. Nothing is better or more decadent than eating classy food outdoors on a beautiful chilly day.