So Friday afternoon we had planned to have a work picnic in St James’s Park, everyone was to bring food and games along. Friday morning dawned, and like most days in our English summer this year, it was, surprise, surprise, raining. This meant that we had to resort to our contingency picnic plan, an indoor picnic style street party in the penthouse of our office, which ended up being quite fun.
Most people brought in home made sweet and savoury dishes and the spread was pretty impressive. It was almost too much for us to deal with and Monday morning will see the fridge still well stocked with leftovers.
Never one to buy food to bring along, I slaved away in the kitchen on Thursday evening making a potato salad, my grandmother’s divine German recipe, and shortbread biscuits. I have to admit, it was my first time making both recipes, so I was very much hoping they would work out.
Luckily for me and my colleagues, both turned out exceptionally well if I may say so myself. I was worried about the potato salad dressing as the ratio of ingredients can be tricky to get right, but it turned out to be quite straightforward. When my grandmother used to visit us in Ireland my sister and I repeatedly requested that she make her potato salad, she always obliged and also always complained that the Irish potato’s were too floury. Critiquing the Irish on their potato’s is usually a pretty dangerous move but as far as we were concerned it tasted just as good as when she made it in Germany and we weren’t really offended at all.
It is very simple to make, boil the potato’s. While they are simmering away, prepare the dressing to which you add vegetable oil, white wine or cider vinegar, diced shallots, vegetable stock, seasoning and I added chives and gherkins. Once the potato’s are boiled – not too soft though – remove the skin, cut into cubes and while they are still warm, pour the dressing over, mix well and leave to soak and cool in the fridge. The end result was delicious! Trust me if you’re a potato salad fan and usually eat the British mayonnaise potato salad – I do indulge in it myself on occasion – you’ll be a big fan of this version.
Next up was the shortbread biscuits, which were ridiculously easy to make. Ever since the trip to Edinburgh, my liking for shortbread has been re kindled, I’d totally forgotten how deliciously indulgent shortbread was and what a fan I was. Basically all you need is soft butter, sugar and flour. Cream the butter and sugar together, then slowly add in the flour until you have a dough. Roll it out on a flat surface and cut the dough into circles or fingers, whichever you prefer. Leave them in the fridge for 20 minutes and then cook the biscuits in the oven for the same period of time, or until slightly golden, and voilà it’s that simple.
So all in all, we had a dry, fun afternoon eating and playing games and more importantly, I’ve added two new delicious recipes to my growing collection.