Why does food taste better outside?

It’s Spring where I live, and Spring is the perfect time to break out of our regular food routines. Away with the heavy table cloths, the dark napkins, the dimmer switch in the dining room. Now is the time for long evenings, picnics, lighter meals, and candles outside. In fact, eating outside is one of the things I love most about this time of year.

Breakfast: Starting as soon as humanly possible (and this year that was at the beginning of May), I start eating breakfast on my apartment balcony every day it’s even remotely possible. My favourite breakfast is toast with butter and a layer of smoky cheese (Applewood cheddar if I can find it), topped with one lightly egg fried in a non-stick pan. And a side of green veggie (beans or spinach or bok choy). And decaf coffee. I set myself up on the wooden patio table, with a place mat, napkin, and a magazine. I sit, facing east, reading Food Illustrated or Cook’s Country until it gets too warm and I have to go inside and get to work. If you don’t have a balcony, maybe you have a porch (veranda?), the front steps to your apartment, or a nearby park bench. I find that eating breakfast outside is a quiet, peaceful way to begin your day.

Lunch: If you work in an office, you can take your packed lunch away from your desk and head to the nearest playground. Your tuna sandwich and pickles taste magical when eaten outdoors. Use any excuse to escape your florescent environment. If you work right downtown, you might have to hunt for a restaurant with a patio where you can order a cup of coffee and eat your homemade lunch. Some places are more friendly about you bringing in ‘outside’ food than others… search a bit until you find someplace near you.

Dinner: Plan a picnic supper, leftover Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Three Bean Salad go well together. Cold roast chicken is divine, and goes well with the vinegary bean salad. Add extra chick peas (garbanzo beans) to the salad for extra protein. Take a blanket, a good book, and settle yourself near the best view – whatever kind of view you can find: beach, mountains, prairie, duck pond.

And since it’s nearly a scientific fact that food tastes better outside, now is the time to find the door ‘out’ of your usual routine. This afternoon I proposed to André that we could make margaritas in glass jars with lids, pack a picnic, and head off the park for supper. Then I thought I’d sweeten the deal by saying we could take the new laptop computer, pop in a DVD, and watch a movie outside under the stars with our mason jar drinks. He looked at me like I had a watermelon where my head should be. OK, maybe we’ll leave the movie at home.

Welcome this week to all of our new subscribers. And, of course, welcome to those of you who’ve been here awhile … come on, everybody wave ‘hi’ to Lida in Sweden, Khadija in Mauritius, and Eva in Kenya 🙂 I’m glad you’re all here.

To make these recipes and more…

Check out OneRoastChicken’s new cookbook, “Successful Home Cooking” which is now available for order. This is not another cookbook. This is a cooking school in full-colour delivered right to your kitchen. All recipes include pages of colour photography and step-by-step instructions. And to keep you on budget, every recipe includes the price per serving. How about Meatloaf with Spicy Ketchup for $1.32 per serving? Or Chicken Tandoori for $1.81? Order your copy of “Successful Home Cooking” now…

Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef

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