For this particular meal I scoured all the books in the Mary Poppins series. Now I had no idea that there were eight books in the series including a cookbook. So this search of over 700 pages reveal that P.L. Travers loved to include food and therefore there may be more Mary Poppins meals based on the event, i.e. birthday party, baby shower, tea party, and picnic. But these will come later and some may even include recipes completed by Mary Poppins herself. But, back to the meal at hand.
To begin our Mary Poppins picnic, drinks will be offered. These drinks are inspired by the wonderful medicine that Mary Poppins produces in the very first book and the very first chapter. It is also what inspired the song “Spoonful of Sugar”.
The main courses come from several different sources. Of course they must be able to withstand the picnic basket so I chose several things that do not need extraordinary cold or heat.
Egg Salad Sandwiches- this comes from “The Park in the Park” when Michael says that all he wants for supper is a “hard-boiled egg and a piece of buttered toast. And rice pudding and two tomatoes and perhaps a cup of milk.” So instead of just hard boiled eggs, I have them made into sandwiches and cut into fun shapes.
Sausage Rolls- These sausage rolls were the very same ones that Mary Poppins used for their own picnic in the park.
Roast Beef Sandwiches- I decided to make something like the Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Beef that is recommended in Mary Poppins Cookery Book. We will see how this version of Yorkshire Pudding holds up in a picnic situation
Salad with Mary Poppins’ Dressing
This recipe comes from Mary Poppins’ cookery book with the note of “‘There are some,’ says Mary Poppins, ‘who like it without any sugar.'” The reduction of sweetness is optional.
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
3 T. oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
Mix the ingredients in a small glass jar with a screw top. Shake thoroughly before pouring over your salad and tossing.
Last and certainly not least, we have our desserts>
Raspberry Jam Cakes- which are stated as her favorite. These are the cakes that she and Bert go out together and have on her day off. Bert ends up not having made enough money and there’s a sweet exchange where she says that it is ok to spare his feelings. She then takes Bert into his chalk painting to have a picnic of their own complete with a table, whelks (sea snails), and a mountain of jam cakes
Arrowroot Biscuits- these are given in several books and are always a favorite of both children and starlings, typically served with tea
Frozen Peaches- Peaches appear in Mr. Twigley’s wish as Mr. Twigley (Mary Poppins’ cousin) receives seven wishes from his Godmother. Mr. Twigley rashly wishes for peaches and cream and gives them to the children. I chose frozen peaches because they were a favorite of mine growing up, it will keep the various sandwiches cold, and they are good for a sunny day.
Other Food mentioned in Mary Poppins:
Medicine- Strawberry ice, lime-juice cordial, and rum punch
Mary’s Day Out:
Raspberry jam cakes (Mary Poppins’ favorite)
Whelks (sea snails)
Uncle Albert’s Birthday:
Bread and butter
Plum cake with pink icing
Apples on a Stick
Candied Orange Peel
Strawberries and Cream
Ice Cream Man
Fried Whiting (fish)
Bread, Butter, and Strawberry Jam
Rice Pudding with Honey
Tea in the park
Food in Mary Poppins in the Kitchen:
Tuesday- Shepherd’s Pie with Apple Charlotte
Wednesday- Irish Stew with Honey and Bananas… but then Mr. and Mrs. Turvy visit and they decide to have Peaches Topsy-Turvy Cake instead!
Friday- Roast Chicken with Bread Sauce, Green Beans and Fruit Salad
Saturday- Lancashire Hot Pies with Cherry Pie