The Perfect Picnic: Tandoori Chicken with Apple/Cucumber Relish

Tandoori Chicken Sandwich with Apple/Cucumber Relish -- and some picnic wine, of course.

It was Krista’s birthday yesterday, and I wanted to do something special.

For those of you who aren’t regular readers of the column and blog, Krista is the Farm to Table gardener, baker, and bookkeeper. She’s also my main squeeze. My partner in crime. My wife.

Krista turned 29 this year. Which is astounding as she turned 31 last year. Women’s math, I think, differs from men’s.

But age means little on a birthday in the Farm to Table household. No, for us it is all about food. Birthdays are wonderful excuses to try restaurants we’ve never tried before, or to cook elaborate birthday dishes to have by candlelight.

This year, however, we did things a bit differently.

This year, Krista wanted a picnic.

And so a picnic I did make.

Wrapping my head around picnic food, I knew that I would need something somewhat portable. Something that could be eaten cold. But something fun, fresh, and exciting.

Of course, I also wanted it to be local and seasonal (or as much as possible anyway).

And with Krista out for the day yesterday, I set to work making a lovely dinner. By the time she got home, it was packed and ready to go.

Now, as any food lover will tell you, setting greatly enhances any dish. So, for the picnic, we decided a paddle up the canal to a nice secluded area would do the trick. We have a lovely private area that we pull into whenever we canoe up the canal. I’m not going to tell you where, but it is a little bit before you get to the bridge at Nassau Mills Road.

We made the short paddle up, set out our blanket, let Cedar the Wonderdog loose to go play in the meadow, and tore into the feast.

I was a bit nervous that Krista wouldn’t like my main course, but was relieved when she bit into it with gusto. At the end of the meal, when there were only crumbs left, I knew I had nailed a perfect picnic.

Click through to my MyKawartha Farm to Table Blog for the Recipe

My picnic dates: Krista and Cedar.