In many national parks, rangers are realising the power of the barbecue. Allowing for picnic tables to have a metal tray where a portable barbecue can be placed, making that walk in the park just a little more special.
There is no better time of year than in winter to enjoy the winter barbecue. Although summer may seem like the ideal season, wasps, flies and heat make it almost unbearable sometimes. Coupled with this, almost everyone has the same idea, and finding the right spot to barbecue can seem like a pointless affair.
As we’ve had such a good winter with mild conditions across the board a family walk is an ideal way to get out and about at the weekend. Rolling down hills and splashing in streams the children can burn off energy as you prepare a feast alfresco style.
This truly is picnic dining with a tantalising twist. Just a little preparation and you could all be enjoying full bellies of meat and salads before walking it off and then returning home to a cosy wood burning stove.
Tupperware becomes our best friend at a picnic. Marinade meat the night before and place in Tupperware boxes. As you walk through the moors on a morning the jiggling will help more than any flavour shaker will. This will produce the tastiest barbecue meat you’ve consumed in a long time.
Chicken with lemon thyme and garlic, pork with sage, onions and chives, or beef with mustard and soy sauce will all travel well in a backpack.
You may wish to avoid using burgers or meatballs, as the jiggling will have the opposite effect breaking them down into mush!
What else you should take to the barbecue
Any accompaniments can be taken along for the ride. A good block of cheese, some butter and bread will all add to the outdoor feel however try to resist the temptation to use the French loaf as a hiking stick, they break easily and could see you or a younger one riddled with injury.
Salads will last a good few hours, as long as the dressing is kept separately. Add ingredients to an old bottle and with a tight fit let your walking do the shaking.
Most of all don’t forget the dessert. You could have roasted pineapple, marshmallows, or wait until the return home for some stodge in front of the wood burning stove.
After all, it may be mild, but it’s still winter. We deserve it!