Enjoying The Great Outdoors
Now is the time when we really can enjoy the great outdoors. The hot, sunny days give way to balmy evenings as we watch the sun go down, bringing a change of atmosphere as well as temperature. Here we take a look at the latest gixmos and gadgets to enhance the outdoor experience.
Fun Ideas for Lighting Up the Great Outdoors
Thinking of the lighting, LED lights complete with Bluetooth speakers are a great combination and can be waterproof for by the pool or spa too. Don’t just settle for a circle of LED lights around the outer edge of your parasol, you can now buy sets that spread out like a spiders web to cover the spokes and shed light all round. For many, flaming torch stands have had their day but solar, moving-flame-effect versions are shining a new light on the subject of garden lighting and safety.
A set of 4 torche de jardin torche solaire, €39.13 from amazon.fr
Planchas, BBQ’s, pizza ovens, heaters, smokers, fire pits and even BBQ mats all form part of the great outdoors fun but, where do we stop? Here’s something else to consider: small, portable BBQs are ideal for those moments when you don’t want to fire up the big grill or just want to heat up some appetizers.
A smokeless, portable mini-BBQ, €39.15, manomano.fr
Don’t forget the Decs
Garden decorations have come a long way too with decorated spikes for hanging plants, bird food and lights. Some just look pretty whilst others can have a more practical use such as holding a glass whilst taking that winning croquet shot! Speaking of hanging, are you bothered by mozzies? Citronella hanging coils can look good and keep them at bay for hours.
A hanging retro wrought iron coil frame, €25.95 from fruugo.fr
Marinades make all the difference, as does that that heady aroma of herbs such as rosemary thrown onto the BBQ or plancha.
Garlic bread (three ways) is another winner. Make cuts through the top of a baguette (but not all the way through). Soften butter in a microwave, roughly chop as much garlic as you like, finely chop sprigs of parsley and mix them together, then slather it on between the slices. Wrap in tin foil and bake on the BBQ or in an oven. For a lighter version use olive oil instead of butter, or toast baguette slices and rub them with a halved and peeled garlic glove.
There is nothing like home-made lemonade, especially if you have lemon trees! Start by rolling nine lemons on a hard surface to release the juices, then squeeze them. Make a sugar syrup with 1.75 cups of white sugar and a cup of water (stir over heat until sugar has melted). Add 7 cups of very cold water to a jug or container, stir in the lemon juice (with any pulp) then add the sugar syrup and ice. Whatever else you add is up to you!
Herbs add great flavour
First published in the May/June 2022 issue of The Local Buzz