Laurens and I both had a 4-day weekend last week. Thursday was a nationally observed holiday in the Netherlands, and I had Friday off. Laurens decided to take Friday off as well, so we could have a nice long weekend together.
Since we wanted to visit Laurens’ parents, who had just returned from Italy, we figured we could finally go to the ‘Drunense Duinen’, a National Park near his parents town. The Drunense Duinen are beautiful. They are natural sand dunes in the middle of dry land. No water in sight. The only big problem in the Drunense Duinen is that nature is doing too well. Trees and bushes that aren’t supposed to grow in dunes have been thriving and a very large part of this amazing dune-land has been overgrown with forests. The preservation societies are actually cutting down trees there, to preserve nature. It’s a strange phenomenon.
I had never been to the Drunense Duinen before. We figured we’d walk around and grab something to eat and drink there, when I realized that I have a beautiful antique style picnic basket that I’d never even used. A picnic it would be.
My requirements for our picnic were simple. The foods needed to be easy enough to make and eat; filling enough to last us during a walk through the dunes and forest; and able to keep well during transportation.
I settled on wraps and sandwiches for our main lunch. Some hummus and bread and small baggies of chips to nibble on as sides, and chocolate-almond cupcakes for dessert. I baked the cupcakes the evening before and had a hard time not eating them before we left.
For the wraps I spread a layer of pesto over an entire tortilla, then added some thick slices of smoked chicken breast. I cut up sun-dried tomatoes and finished off with a good handful of rocket before rolling the tortilla, cutting it in half and placing it in it’s container.
The sandwich I made was a very simple roast beef and blue cheese sandwich. I got some nice, crusty white bread, sliced it in half and spread the bottom half with a thin layer of horseradish. Then thin-sliced roast beef was generously piled up and the sandwich was topped with a good dose of crumbled blue cheese. I cut the sandwich in half (so we could share) and wrapped it in plastic. Salt and pepper, slices of tomato, shredded lettuce and a drizzle of olive oil were packaged separately and added right before eating to prevent the sandwich from getting all soggy during the hour-and-a-half drive to the dunes.
I cut up some leftover bread to go with the hummus and packed everything with some ice packs in my beautiful picnic basket.
Once we got to the Drunense Duinen we quickly spread out our blanket on the sand, in the shade under a tree and enjoyed our picnic. The food held up wonderful during the trip. Everything was super easy to make and tasty to eat. I know lots of people think food tastes better when eaten outdoors, but I can honestly say these wraps and sandwiches would’ve been just as great when eaten at a table.
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