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What kind of word is picnic? Where did it evolve from? The French, in the 16th century used the word pique-nique; however, it would appear that the English did not include this in their society until after the 1800ís. What we know as potluck meals are nothing more than a picnic considering the first outings were social events where everyone who came brought something to share.
Our grandparents would have been the first to relish in an afternoon at the fishing hole with you guessed it, a basket filled with food. Yet, the noon day meal that was brought to them as they worked the fields would have never been thought of as a picnic!
Some things never change. Children, serving their toys make believe tea while the child sits on a blanket nearby with friends having lunch. Picnic? Oh, yes! If you have ever been privy to one of these outings, you will know the importance of the atmosphere, company and food. The words from the song Teddy Bears Picnic say it all. "If you go out in the woods today, you're in for a big surprise....."
As adults, our ideas of picnics are only curtailed by lack of imagination. Contrary to what people think, picnics are not, and I repeat not, seasonal. There are venues available year around to welcome you on your outing. You may find, by making some inquiries, the local zoo has an atrium or indoor garden setting that is available during the winter. A bon-fire at the edge of a frozen pond works wonderfully for hot dogs and hot chocolate. Even your own living room floor is acceptable any time of year. Yes, there is also the great outdoors. There are green spaces in most cities and if you are lucky enough to live in the country or close to national parks and forest reserves, you will never be at a loss for new location each time you want to go on a picnic. Remember, a picnic is not complete unless Mother Nature provides some sort of agrivation, be it insects or bad weather!
Picnics, as we know them, have indeed been around for hundreds of years. In the 1800's, a publication by Mrs. Beetin, "Book of Household Management", states that a proper picnic should consist of thirty-five different dishes. The word picnic need not become panic! Preparing food for an outing can be both fun and relaxing, and no, unless you really, really want to, you do not need thirty-five dishes! Most foods can be made ahead of time if proper methods of preparation and storage are followed. However, before you pull out your cookbooks and trot off to the kitchen to start preparing food, you may want to consider some of these guidelines.
We have prepared for you, a list of picnic recipes to be added to the tried and true sandwiches, fried chicken and potato salads. We hope that these will make your outing memorable.
- Who will be invited?
- How many will be invited?
- Will this be a social event, a family affair or an intimate outing?
- Rain or shine?
- Just a picnic or activities too?
- Food likes and dislikes?
- Completely prepared by you or pot luck?
- Hot food, cold food or a mixture of both?
- How many plates, utensil sets are needed?
Please visit our other related pages and articles.
Picnic Recipes |
Kitchen Tips |
Creative Table Centerpieces |
This information is for the purpose of sharing only and not for purposes of reselling.