Despite the two jumpers I am wearing while I write this, it is nevertheless almost proper summer, and it’s time to start thinking about leaving out a cool bag or insulated box for your veg box deliveries when you’re not in. This is especially worth noting if you have milk or other dairy items on your orders. If you want to make any changes to your delivery instructions, please send an email in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
On the shop this week, we have some lovely new potatoes from Wales. I love new potatoes, sweet and flavourful. I like them boiled, hot with lots of cold butter. But even better is their dense, almost fudgy texture the next day.
Saturday Delivery Times May Differ
If you’re expecting a delivery tomorrow, please note it may arrive at a different time of day than is usual, as we’re trying out a new way of planning routes which should make everything much more efficient.
In the Veg Boxes This Week
Subject to last minute changes
Check out storage guidance for helpful tips and tricks on how to prolong the life of your fresh produce. If you’re wondering where your veg comes from, have a look at these maps. You can also join your fellow subscribers over in the Facebook group for lots of tips, tricks, and recipe ideas!
To contact us, ring 0141 378 1672 or email us at email@example.com
The Nice Bit
Alas, it doesn’t look like this weekend will be good picnicking weather. We are no strangers to a rainy June, or indeed a rainy July, or a rainy August. But one of the main strategies for getting through a Scottish summer (aside from the ones for avoiding midges) is to always be ready to make the most of any sunny afternoon which might arise. So today, the newsletter is an optimistic daydream with some menu suggestions. But perhaps next weekend it will transform, as if by magic, into a giant gingham blanket lain on plush soft grass. And we will all be able to take a seat and help ourselves to a grand array of treats, served from the clingfilm-(or beeswax cloth)-covered bowls, the old takeaway containers and ice-cream tubs, thermoses, and the paper packages that are arranged upon it.
The word picnic is from the French “pique-nique”, which originally meant a sort of pot-luck meal made up of dishes brought by those eating, or else split the cost of meals. It took some time for the word picnic to have a settled meaning in English, passing through the Pic Nic Club, who were mainly rakes putting on plays, and taking until the early 1800s to land determinedly on a meal eaten outside. Even then, the practise was more formalised than we know it now, closer to hunting parties than a sandwich in the park. Pen Vogler argues that this was more or less on purpose, an attempt by the rich to make their outdoor meals as unalike the ones eaten by agricultural workers as possible, using crockery and cutlery, lobsters and strawberries to display their status to anyone who passed by. But when the railways and public parks made outdoor leisure far more accessible, picnics became what they are now: everyone’s.
A huge part of the value of picnics is that you can have as many people involved as you like. Growing up in a tiny flat without room for more than the people living there, a picnic was the best option for a party, and to this day I don’t know anyone with a dining table big enough to serve a crowd. But in the local park you can take up all the space you need while still leaving plenty for everyone else. And the everyone else is a bonus too, as your lovely day takes place against a backdrop of many simultaneous lovely days: kids splashing in fountains, people reading under trees, doing yoga, or just watching the world go by from a bench.
Now the real question: what do you eat? You can keep it simple and just do sandwiches, or you can let your veg box take care of you by ordering a loaf of bread and a pot of Locavore hummus. Or you can make a feast of it with potato salad, tabbouleh, quiches, dips, pastries, pies, falafel, cold roast veg, hard-boiled eggs, anything else you can think of – and a thermos of tea. The picnic is always a fun meal, a frivolous pleasure that can represent your dream of what you most like to eat when the world is at its sunshiniest. So with my fingers crossed for a day bright and dry enough, I would humbly suggest getting a very big blanket and rounding up everyone you want to eat with, and, remembering that picnics are at their root an opportunity to share, asking them to bring a dish each, and making together the kind of summer you want to have.