Celebrate spring with a picnic and a ham and Brie baguette

March 23, 2015

Ham and Brie Baguettes / JillHough.com

It’s officially spring. Which makes me think of picnicking. Which makes me think of one of the best picnics ever.

I was in my 20s, on leave of absence from my Madison Avenue advertising job, visiting Europe, for two months, by myself.

There were times during those months when I was achingly lonely. But there were also times gloriously full of the freedom that only happens when you’re miles away from everything you know and have only the moment’s whim to attend to.

One day, a whim took me to Versailles. I dutifully toured the palace, and then discovered there was a lot more to it—the estate is actually a huge park. I mean HUGE. Complete with formal gardens, fountains, sculptures, promenades, long stretches of pathways, and even a grand canal.

I rented a bike and rode around.

Eventually, I bought a ham and Brie baguette from a food cart—the same kind that, in Central Park, would be selling hot dogs—and found a shady spot to enjoy my lunch.

Ham and Brie Baguettes / JillHough.com

I ate. I read. I sat back and soaked it in.

I mean, me, picnicking, in France. A ham and Brie in my hand and a bicycle at my feet.

Life was good.

And isn’t life always good on a picnic? Isn’t that sort of the point? To get outdoors, relax, and appreciate?

So do—go on a picnic, but also relax and appreciate.

It’s spring. The season of rebirth and renewal. That’s something to celebrate. With a nice bottle of wine and—why not?—a ham and Brie baguette.

Ham and Brie Baguettes / JillHough.com


10 thoughts on “Celebrate spring with a picnic and a ham and Brie baguette

  1. jean | lemons & anchovies

    I’ve never been adventurous enough to travel alone but I can see enjoying some solitude in a beautiful place with this delicious sandwich. It’s totally my kind of recipe–every single ingredient I see here is a winner for me.

  2. Jill Post author

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, on both the recipe and solo travels, Jean! It definitely wasn’t my first choice to go alone, but at some point taking the trip became more important than waiting for the right company, you know? And while it was sometimes lonely, it was also amazingly hedonistic–I never had to negotiate with someone else where to go or what to do–it really was whatever I wanted to each minute, which was a pretty great gift to myself.

  3. Jill Post author

    You’re right, Elena! I’d venture to say that almost everything tastes better on a picnic blanket. Thanks for stopping by and saying so. :)
    P.S. Your site is BEAUTIFUL! Just subscribed.

  4. Jill Post author

    Reading is one of my favorite things about a trip, Terri–I hardly read other times in life, but on trips, I love burying myself in a book! Thanks for stopping by, and happy cooking!

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