A Moveable Feast

Image credit: Image: iStock, deamaerre
Transporting your cooked or pre-prepared dish is often the trickiest part of a picnic or bring-a-plate occasion. There’s nothing worse than lovingly preparing a dish to find it’s fallen apart or been damaged while you’re on the move. These tips should help you avoid such scenarios!    
  • Protect sandwiches and pies..
In general, if transporting pies, tartlets and cakes, cool them on a wire rack then return them to the tin for moving; this will help prevent damage while on the move, particularly to fragile pastry. Wrap sandwiches in layers of baking paper and tie the ends with coloured twine or string, then wrap them again in a layer of foil to prevent leakage. Remove just the layer of foil before serving.  
  • To slice or not to slice?
It’s often a better idea to cut cakes, pies and tortillas on arrival. However, if this isn’t possible, transport individual pieces between layers of baking paper, padded with paper towels if necessary.  
  • Avoid leaks and spills...
Ensure containers carrying liquids, such as sauces or salad dressings, are leak-proof; wrap them in a layer of clingfilm to be extra safe. On the subject of salads, don’t dress them too far in advance, otherwise the leaves will become soggy. Transporting the salad components separately before tossing everything together at the last minute will ensure your salad looks its best when served.  
  • Drink up!
Transport drinks in flasks or plastic bottles, then transfer them to beautiful jugs or individual cute bottles to serve.  
  • Keep it cool...
Always remember to keep things in a cool box and out of the direct sun.  
  • Safety first...
Never leave food in the back of a hot car, and when you arrive at your destination always look for the coolest or shadiest spot to put your food.  
  • Portion it up... 
Think about how you’re going to serve your food and see if this can make transportation easier. Why not divide a salad among individual cardboard noodle boxes (available from most craft shops) before you leave home, and then dress the salads just before serving? The boxes will help protect the salad leaves, but make sure you don’t squash the leaves into the boxes.  
  • Try using a jar...
Serving food in jars is also a way to protect it; salads, pâtés and drinks can all be served this way. Ensure the jars are leak-proof and protect them by wrapping them in cloth napkins or clean tea towels for the journey.  

This feature is taken from A Moveable Feast by Katy Holder (Hardie Grant, £12.99) Photography © Natasha Milne

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