It’s National Picnic Month, That’s Something to Get Jazzed About!

The other thing is quality of life; if you have a place where you can go and have a picnic with your family, it doesn’t matter if it’s a recession or not, you can include that in your quality of life.

Jim Fowler

Up until Victorian times, picnics were primarily a pursuit of the wealthy. It’s easy to understand why: Working men and women barely had enough means to scrape together a proper meal indoors, let alone pack up a feast to go. But the Victorian era saw the picnic cross class boundaries. The seminal book on British cooking and housekeeping, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, gave detailed instructions on how to hold a picnic. For 40 people, Mrs. Beeton insisted on, among many other things, cold roast beef, four meat pies, four roast chickens, two roast ducks, four dozen cheesecakes and one large cold plum pudding. To quench the picnickers’ thirst, three dozen quart bottles of beer were on the menu, as well as claret, sherry and brandy.

Of course, picnics have been somewhat simplified since then. Cold fried chicken, chilled watermelon and beer on ice are all hallmarks of modern-day picnics, as well as that ubiquitous favorite, potato salad. Here’s a recipe for a new take on a classic—hold the mayo to let the late summer flavors of new potatoes and dill really shine.

We have to have a song about picnics and I found a great one from Johnny Desmond called “The Picnic Song”. Here is your listening activity: how many different foods are listed in the song that you should bring on a picnic?

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