A summer picnic on the sands of Pearl Beach.
There is nothing to compare with the succulent flavour of a freshly caught fish cooked on the barbecue. Use a portable barbie if local regulations allow, or take advantage of the many beachside barbecue facilities local councils up and down the coast provide. Wrap the fish in foil if you want to avoid it breaking during handling, but many people think the crunchy brown bits from direct contact with the flame or coals have the best flavour.
Prawns and corn on the cob are other great ingredients for barbecuing. No need to peel either of them as the shell or husk seals in the flavour and juices.
Don’t forget the practicalities. You need something to sit on and a folding table makes the whole expedition a bit more civilised. Plus, cutlery and plates and napkins, or at least kitchen paper, for tidying up and keeping hands clean. And, of course, don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellent.
It wouldn’t be a beach barbie without storebought or homemade lemon squash. Combine the zest of 6-8 lemons in a saucepan with 500ml water and 500ml lemon juice. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Serve, diluted with soda or tap water, in Mason jars with traditional stripey straws for a retro touch.
Fresh sea air and sunshine are known appetite stimulants so be sure to pack plenty of snacks and salads and something sweet to finish with. Fresh or poached fruit makes a great summer dessert. Make the most of the season’s stone fruit and serve peaches, apricots and nectarines. We poached ours in a sugar syrup made of equal parts sugar, water and dessert wine, brought to boil with a cinnamon stick. Cook the peeled peaches in the simmering syrup, until they soften slightly then remove from heat and cool. Place the peaches and their syrup in a jar and keep in the fridge or Esky until you’re ready to serve them.