I should have a log book where I write down goals and tick them off one by one, because indeed, this is one for the books. When K (or was it B?) suggested we have an Enid Blyton picnic, the rest of us heartily agreed. Of course, we had to choose our favorite characters, and dress up. I chose Alicia from the Mallory Towers series (well, I always loved her), while K was all for Fatty (in disguise, because she also wanted to wear a dress) from the Five Find-Outers. B wanted to be someone feminine and pretty like Anne, but ended up being George (from Famous Five), while C was Dick/Julian (Famous Five), and really wasn’t particular about it.

And what’s an Enid Blyton picnic without a tree house? We were perched atop the tree house right after entering the premises of this place, and we all said our passwords religiously, and K was denied entry, because we asked, “What’s the password?” and K was left mute… possibly for the first time in K’s life. Of course, then we HAD to supply with hints, but it took a good five minutes for her to figure it out. K did stand in the rungs of the ladder and contemplated while we laughed our respective heads off at each of the failed attempts.

To begin, we had sat down a few days ago, and among gales of laughter, perused through K’s collection of Enid Blytons, and read through them to make a list of food suitable for the picnic. Only what was mentioned in the books were written down. We did falter later, but well… who doesn’t? Our list was extensive and of course, C had to read out suggestive things from the book and make them sound obnoxiously sleazy while she was at it. I never knew First Year at Mallory Towers could sound like that!

However, soon enough, we got the list down in a mail. Which is as follows:

 
Enid Blyton, Enid Blyton. ‘Nuff said. <3
 
After extensive archival research by C and P (with inputs from B), we have: 
 
1. Ginger  bread
2. Chocolate (enormous bar)
3. Fizzy lemonade/orangeade
4. Jam Tarts
5. Boiled eggs
6. Ham sandwiches
7. Chocolate cake
8. Tongue sandwiches with lettuce
9. New-made cream cheese
10. Potted meat
11. Bread and butter
12. Biscuits of all types
13. Jam sandwiches
14. Short bread biscuits
15. Ginger beer
16. Egg and sardine sandwich
17. Cherry cake
18. Tomato and lettuce sandwich
19. ENORMOUS cakes
20. Scones and homemade jam
21. Ham
22. Sausage rolls
23. Ripe strawberries with cream
24. BACON
25. Meat pies laced with hard boiled eggs
26. Fruit pies/tarts
27. Pickles
28. Trifle
29. Lamb chops
30. Apple pies
31. Macaroons
32. Cherry buns
33. Chocolate biscuits
34. Ice creams
35. Chocolate eclairs
36. Roast chicken with all the trimmings (K added the trimmings bit)
37. Tomatoes
 
The stuff which has been put in bold were what we actually ended up eating. 
 
So we all dressed up in our favorite dresses, and went on a picnic together.
I looked like this.
We also saw a school of fish. And went on a paddle boat. And played badminton. And saw how people cut down a banana tree and left us with thor, mocha and kNachkola. 
School of Fish.
But before the picnic, there were plenty of preps to do. We went out to pick them up the night before the picnic.
My contribution were sandwiches. C boiled the eggs. K’s parents made AMAZING and ENORMOUS cakes. B brought some Thums Up (because by that time, orangeade or ginger beer sounded less exciting somehow).
I got a whole skinless chicken from New Market. However, seeing that the chicken was skinless, I decided to roast the chicken in a pan and then make sandwiches out of it. So we had Roast Chicken Sandwiches. Then K wanted everything on it, so I interspersed the chicken with salami.
More for us that way.
K’s Plate with some of the menu – Sausages, Roast Chicken Sandwich, Shredded bacon and ham, lettuce, Salami. Mustard and Sriracha on the side.
Here’s the recipe for the Roast Chicken (I made it in a pan, Indian Style).
Cut up a whole chicken into four pieces. Apply salt, pepper, lemon juice and a dash of cocoa. Peel an entire head of garlic, and add the cloves to the mixture.
Heat oil in a pan. Throw in a teaspoon of sugar. Let the sugar caramelize. Add the chicken, two pieces at a time and fry them over high heat to make sure both sides are colored a lovely brown. Once chicken is fried, remove to a platter, and add the cloves of garlic and a stick of cinnamon. Return the chicken to the pan, add 1/2 cup water, and cover tightly. Simmer for half an hour. Turn off the heat. No peeking. Your chicken will be cooked, and at this point you can eat it with bread and call it a day. But… why stop there?
Let the chicken cool down naturally, then lift the pieces off the gravy from the chicken. Remove the cinnamon stick. Shred the chicken and discard the bones.
Heat the pan with the gravy, and add 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup. Stir well and add the chicken. Stir well, adjust salt and pepper, and your roast chicken filling is ready.
Apply butter and mustard on sandwich bread. Add some chicken, top with lettuce and some tomato slices. Cover with another slice of buttered bread. Eat.
I leave you with a picture of the ENORMOUS CAKE we received as part of our picnic.
Themed Picnics are indeed a lot of fun and good times!
Written by Poorna Banerjee

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