Summer is here, and the season of picnics, or generally dining al fresco, has begun. Joëlle’s family kicked it off last weekend, with a huge picnic in Linod (near the French Alpes) at her aunt and uncle’s place. It was actually reminiscent of an Aussie Christmas, with wine instead of beer and pétanque instead of cricket. Hot weather, good cheer, too much lunch, an afternoon walk and an attempt at eating dinner. We even saw a snake!
Joëlle’s mum is the oldest of 6 – all the aunts and uncles were there, plus her cousins and most of their children, plus two large Berenese Mountain dogs – I think we were 40!
As is requisite for French meals, we started with an apéritif – a delicious cold white from Savoie, cassis and fruit juices. Snacks varied from Lyonnais grattons (bite-sized pork crackling, by far my favourite – and, of course, by far the unhealthiest!) to prawn crackers and salty peanuts.
Lunch consisted of typical picnic fare – cold quiche, potato salad, cold roast chicken, hard boiled eggs, chacuterie, saucisson, chips – and a deceptive punch, just like Chrissy makes! It was difficult to stay awake afterwards; indeed, lots of people were scattered around the garden with their towels or blankets, taking a cheeky 40 winks.
We took a walk along the country roads and bush tracks, picking wild strawberries and having one of the grandmas shooing us ahead so she could wee, to a gorgeous little waterfall. We stopped to dip our feet in the chilly river water and Sim’s great-uncle was the biggest kid of the lot, splashing everyone wildly!
It was tea time when we got back and, in spite of not being the slightest bit hungry, I managed more quiche, meat and wine, plus 4 pieces of different cake/slice for dessert!
Roll on summer!