Although we had a late start, this has been the summer of dining al fresco. From working lunches to beach n’ Bocce dinners, I have attempted to consume this season’s bounty outdoors. Some of my favourite picnic basket offerings have included roasted Cornish hen sandwiches, Greek salad with Little Qualicum Cheeseworks’ Sunshine feta (packed in a sun-dried tomato, garlic and rosemary marinade) and spiced pecan bourbon tart. Add a well-chilled bottle or two of Unibroue’s Éphémère Apple beer and you have the perfect refreshment for beach-side tapas.

The beauty of eating outdoors is that everything tastes that much more divine, kissed by the sun and laughter of your dining mates. Start with a blanket, a bottle of wine and a surplus of edibles. I find my bike basket to be the easiest way to transport my picnic ware—it’s a personal preference whether you bring everything but the kitchen sink. Whatever ends up on the menu, I am a firm believer that outdoor dining must be accompanied by dessert. I recently made chocolate chip pecan cookies with a good dose of vanilla, and the sun kept the chocolate perfectly gooey. If you can safely transport some homemade gelato, suddenly you have whoopie pies. A serious supper showstopper, folks. Here is hoping we have an Indian summer. I am picturing a Thanksgiving bake-off picnic with myriad pies.


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