In a few weeks I’m competing in an event in which I’ll be mountain biking for 30km, so last Sunday I decided to see if my legs would get me up to the top of Kingley Vale without me passing out.
I did an outward loop that took me to the back of Kingley through Stoughton where I know there is a long climb up to the Devil’s Humps. I just about managed the climb without getting off. As I got to the summit of this wonderful national nature reserve, wheezing only slightly, I saw several families enjoying a picnic in glorious sunshine. I nearly asked for a slurp of ginger beer to help me on my way.
On the way home I started to think about what would be good to take on a picnic as we don’t have many weekends left when it will be warm enough.
Apart from the usual sandwiches, pork pie and boiled eggs, I thought it would be good to have something special for dessert.
Strawberries and Pimm’s jelly that you can put into small plastic or cardboard cups, topped with strawberries and cream as you sit and enjoy the view, would work for me.
Hopefully you won’t see a wheezing, middle-aged man on his mountain bike while you’re tucking in.
Strawberry and Pimm’s jelly
Four-and-a-half leaves of gelatine
Extra strawberries and cream
1. Cut the strawberries into quarters and put in a saucepan with the sugar and water.
2. Heat over a gentle heat for 12 to 15 minutes. The strawberries will be soft and opaque .
3. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and discard the pulp.
4. Add the gelatine and whisk in the Pimm’s.
5. Allow to cool before putting into your moulds.
6. Put in the fridge for at least three hours before serving.
8. Top with strawberries and cream.
Lawrence Murphy’s restaurant is Fat Olives at Emsworth (fatolives.co.uk). Call 01243 377914.