It’s a hot, hot, lazy summer, and the scene in the movie in my mind is of a picnic where I run in slow motion wearing a pretty white summer dress in a field of daffodils.
I then sit on the grass and nibble on my favorite outdoor fare. I wake up from this daydream and realize that, yes, this doesn’t have to be a fantasy and I can make this picnic happen for real. I sought out food and lifestyle purveyors and asked if they have summer picnic baskets or special food kits. I was so happy that they do.
The Milky Way Halo-Halo Kit
Chef J. Gamboa, executive chef, Milky Way Cafe, Azuthai, Cirkulo and Tsukiji restaurants, says, “A summer picnic basket should have everything to help you keep cool.”
He recommends the Milky Way Halo-halo Kit. Having tried it myself, I can say that this Pinoy summer “do-it-yourself” treat is genius. It is complete and has everything to make the famous Milky Way halo-halo during your picnic, or at home by the poolside.
All ingredients are made in small batches in-house at the Milky Way Café using heirloom recipes from 1962. Each kit makes six portions with cups, spoons and shaved ice, all in a reusable insulated bag. Red kaong, sweet saba, sweet monggo, sweet white beans, red and green gulaman, leche flan, ube, macapuno, pinipig, evaporated milk, Milky Way Ube Ice Cream (a generous half gallon) and shaved ice are included.
Aside from your craving being satisfied, the halo-halo is fun to make. There is a colorful diagram of how to “build” the perfect halo-halo. You can be creative and even use your own tumbler, wine glass or any preferred container.
Here is Chef J.’s pro tip: “Chill your glass in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before use; this will help keep your halo-halo from melting too quickly.”
The Halo-halo Kit A includes a half-gallon Milky Way Ube Ice Cream and is good for six servings at P1,990; while the Halo-halo Kit B does not include ice cream but is also good for six servings at P1,395.
To order, call Milky Way at 8843-4124, 8843-7124, 0966-634-5792; or go to https://bit.ly/milkywayonlinestore. It is also available through GrabMart.
Filipino Picnic Basket
Heny Sison, chef/founder of Heny Sison Culinary School, stylist and co-owner of Victorino’s Restaurant and Heny Sison Desserterie, is an institution in her field. Her culinary creations are just, as people today say, “Chef’s kiss.”
Heny told me that, “aside from the food, my picnic basket must have napkins. It can be paper or cloth, but of course linen is more stylish and eco-friendly. Other items included are a few stem glasses and water goblets, pitcher or thermos, porcelain plates, wooden chopping board, and wine or bottle opener.”
Heny creates a luxurious Filipino picnic basket featuring local products with native breads like the kalihim, pan de sal, pan de coco, old-fashioned ensaimada and cheese roll, which are all produced in her bakeshop.
There are also specialty cheeses like kesong puti and queso rustic, coco jam, suman pinipig with latik and suman sa lihiya. For something refreshing, she includes fresh mangoes and sweet tamarind fruit. Cold water or a refreshing juice is a must.
Chef Heny Sison: “Aside from the food, my picnic basket must have napkins. It can be paper or cloth, but of course linen is more stylish and eco-friendly. ”
The luxurious Filipino picnic basket includes native breads and other exquisite products.
Kesong Puti, Queso Rustico, Coco Jam, Suman Pinipig and Suman sa Lihiya are just some of the items in the picnic basket.
The refined taste of lifestyle maven Rachelle Wenger is quite distinct and seen in all that she touches, whether it be her interiors or her wonderful handcrafted home items.
I was quite delighted to find out that she creates bespoke baskets as well.
“Firstly, I think a picnic basket should have well-designed packaging, in both form and function,” she says. “Eco-friendly packaging should not be a trend but a standard in this time and age. Whatever would be appreciated by the recipient, depending on the personality, should be in the contents of the basket, with beautiful, high-quality items, preferably handmade. Its purpose is to please.”
Rachelle shares her favorite things in her baskets, offering different themes such as food, entertaining, décor, self-care, etc. Her food basket includes: quiche, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake, Echirè butter, artisanal bread, plums and Ferber jams.
Products she designed like cloches, embroidered table linens, napkin rings, and interesting accessories from other local suppliers make up the entertainment basket. She also carefully selects blankets, bags, and jewelry for those who order her self-care basket. Every item is curated to reflect her style yet is sensitive to the client’s own preferences.
Should you wish to order a bespoke picnic basket, send a direct message to Rachelle at her IG @everyday_flair.
Rachelle Wenger: “Firstly, I think a picnic basket should have well-designed packaging, in both form and function. Eco-friendly packaging should not be a trend but a standard in this time and age.”
A quiche, melt-in-your mouth chocolate cake, Echire butter, artisanal bread, beautiful hand-crafted items are just some of the contents in her picnic basket.
Rachelle includes handmade, high-quality items in her picnic basket.
Casa Trinidad Picnic Basket
Casa Trinidad chef Buddy Trinidad is associated with his exquisite dessert and pastry creations. This patissier has been making his masterpieces for decades and has joined international competitions representing the country.
Together with his wife, Rita, who is a kitchen guru and lifelong cook herself, they have come up with Casa Trinidad, an online food delivery service that offers meals, jams, sweets, and breads.
According to Buddy, a picnic basket is “something special to add to the memory of the day. It is not necessarily a full meal, but enough to get through the afternoon. Great bread is a must, guava jam (made by Rita herself), a hard cheese, fresh fruit, chocolate and some bubbly.”
The Casa Trinidad picnic basket includes an array of fresh mini baguettes, a wedge of Manchego cheese, homemade guava jam, fresh fruit skewers, tortilla chips, a three-layer guacamole and bean dip, chocolate-dipped candied orange Madeleines, and Apriore.
Buddy’s tip: the guava jam needs to be partnered with the Manchego cheese on a toasted baguette. The chocolate-dipped, candied-orange Madeleines are perfectly paired with fresh fruit and chilled Apriore.
The Casa Trinidad Picnic Basket is priced at P3,000 (including basket). For orders, call 0917-631-1965.
Patissier Buddy Trinidad:
“Great bread is a must, guava jam, a hard cheese, fresh fruit, chocolate and some bubbly. ”
The Casa Trinidad picnic basket includes homemade guava jam, mini baguettes, Manchego and so much more.