Load up a basket full of jars filled with tasty treats and set off to the countryside for a delicious picnic. Packing individual servings of food into jars makes it easily portable, and also means that you don’t need to take plates and serving bowls. When packed into jars, delicate foods avoid being squashed in the bottom of a bag. For extra comfort pack a picnic blanket too – if placed on top of the jars, this will serve the dual purpose of preventing the jars from rattling around in the basket. You can keep everything cool by putting some plastic bottles of frozen water in your basket.
Here are some of the foods I like to pack for a picnic:
* Fragile snacks like potato chips/crisps and pretzels are great to keep in jars as this prevents them being smashed into crumbs in t ransit. You also don’t need a serving bowl —just pass the jar around.
* Layered salads look great in jars. Make a graphic looking salad by layering up brightly colored vegetables. Start with a layer of watercress, top with chopped tomatoes, then add a layer of sweetcorn, and finish with some sliced radishes.
* Soft fruits, such as strawberries or raspberries.
* Instead of baking cinnamon buns on a baking sheet, drop the mixture into
a glass jar, then bake as specified in your recipe.
* Cake in a jar (there’s a recipe in the book).
* Thick American-style pancakes are great for stacking in jars. Use the rim of the jar to cut circles out of your pancakes. Smear jam on top of the circles and alternate them in the jar with whipped cream and raspberries.
* Add some bottles of fruit juice for the perfect feast.
Extract from Crafting with Mason Jars by Hester van Overbeek
Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books
Published by CICO Books