The Baptism Picnic
A Day to Remember
I have to say, all was NOT smooth sailing before the big day came! We decided to invite everyone back to our home after the service – but this rather foolhardy plan relied heavily on the weather being clement. With nearly 30 people coming, we most certainly wouldn’t have room for everyone inside and so (after much browsing on Pinterest for inspiration), I came up with the plan to put on a picnic in the garden. Hampers were sought out and many a list was written. Finally, all the planning started to come together!
Imagine my despair on Monday when we awoke to dark skies and heavy rain, with the forecast promising more of the same for the rest of the week! Nick (Hubby) and I frantically tried to come up with a plan B and I tried not to get so disheartened that I just washed my hands of the whole affair!
Prayers were said and the preparation continued…
I had a distinct picture in my head of what I wanted. Our garden is relatively small but would just about fit the thirty odd people invited. I envisioned people coming into the garden to be greeted with a drink (from my much loved drinks dispensers!) of either Summer Punch or a non-alcoholic equivalent. After mingling on the patio with their welcome drink, they would be ushered to the lawn which would be filled with round tables with white table cloths and some pretty flowers at the centre of each. Wicker baskets filled with goodies to eat and drink would welcome the guests as they took their seats and on opening up and exploring the contents, they would find a bottle of Prosecco and glasses in amongst the picnic food for toasting our boy.
On arrival, people were offered a choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic punch. For the alcoholic version, I used a recipe for Summer Punch by Gino DaCampo from his book The Italian Diet. I’m afraid I can’t find a version online so you’ll just have to buy it!
The non-alcholic drink was Elderflower & Passion Fruit Cooler from Nigella’s book Summer and proved very popular with the designated drivers!
The Picnic Hamper
I wanted to keep things as simple as possible. I had no intention of staying up till the small hours cooking! So pretty much everything in the hampers was shop bought. Here’s what my family and friends found inside..
(Each hamper contained enough for 4-5 people)
A selection of cold meats (ham, beef, pastrami and chorizo)
A family sized pork pie
A selection of cheeses (Cheddar, Red Leicester, Stilton, Camembert and White Stilton with cranberries)
A pot of olives
Three mini pots of hummus of various flavours
A crusty baguette
A pot of harissa couscous with cherry tomatoes, mint and chickpeas
A bag of artisan crisps
Prosecco & glasses
With eight children coming (plus my own two), I wanted to make sure they had something nice too and so packed up some little cardboard lunchboxes with ham rolls, quavers, mini packs of chocolate animal biscuits and a smoothie.
The Sweet Stuff
After my Mum kindly offered to bring a lovely homemade fruit salad, I decided that pudding would be some DIY mini pavlovas – shop bought meringue nests, squirty cream on top and finished off with a spoon of fruit salad. Light, fresh, delicious and easy! We rounded the afternoon off with some cake (made by a lovely lady called Joy who agreed last minute to take it on and in doing do, wasn’t able to finish her own son’s 30th birthday cake!)
After my panic, the day dawned with blue skies. They didn’t stay blue all day but it didn’t rain and it was warm(ish) – Hurrah! Do you know what though? As I looked round at everyone gathered, I realised that it wouldn’t have mattered. I was surrounded by people I love who were just happy to be sharing our special day with us and who wouldn’t have cared whether it was spent sitting out in the sunshine or squished together inside…. still I’m glad it didn’t come to that…