The Picnic Book Author:Nika Hazelton Each of the nineteen chapters is the story of a picnic fondly remembered and reproduced. — For instance, the Menu for a Fire Island Beach Costume Picnic: Potato Chips, Corn Chips, Pretzels, Malaxe, Simple Chicken Liver Pate, My Mother's Roast Leg of Lamb, Rice Salad, Potato Salad, Cooked Onion Salad, Ratatouille, Rum Cake, Hermits. — Everyone love... more »s a picnic. But who isn't tired of the same old hard-boiled eggs and tuna-fish sandwiches? For your next alfresco feast, spread a tablecloth full of delights, chosen from Nika Hazelton's Picnic Book.
Nineteen chapters, each one the fascinating story of a picnic, remembered with affection and documented n full to the last detail of taste, fragrance, color, circumstance and atmosphere. Others are planned, drawn from her fertile imagination, full of social and gustatory fancy. All are complete with menus and recipes, and there is a bonus of general advice to make every picnic easier, more frolicsome and festive. So picnic day or night, summer or winter, on the shores of Maine, under the willows in Torcello, in cathedrals and ruins, on the frontier or a boat, with children in the park, a crowd on the beach, or a lover in a graveyard. And let Nika Hazelton's lifetime of picnicking the world over be your guide.
Things I've Found Useful to Know for Picnicking
A Picnic ? Deux in a Graveyard
A. fire island Beach Costume Picnic
A Boat-Launching Picnic in St. James
A Picnic for the Loves of Yesteryear
A Picnic on the Grass at Ely Cathedral
A Simple Beach Picnic in Fregene
A Tailgate Picnic in New Mexico
A Children's Picnic Off the Maine Coast
A Frontier-Inspired Picnic
A Winter Picnic in the Park
A Night Picnic for Two
A Picnic Under the Willows in Torcello
A Child's Birthday Picnic
A Picnic in the Ruins
A Thrifty but Filling Wine or Beer Picnic
A West Indian Island Picnic
A British Shooting Picnic
A Paying-Back-an-Obligation Picnic
A Picnic for Angels
Author's intro: The book is based on many different picnics I either went to or imagined, all with much pleasure. Obviously, these picnic situations are not likely to apply to other people. But I hope that there is a sufficient variety of picnic ideas and foods so that my readers can find something that will suit their own needs and tastes.
My idea of a good picnic is one that I can fix up at home and need only carry and unpack at the chosen spot. I loathe cooking out-of-doors, which I find an inconvenient bore. After all, I am perfectly willing to provide any amount of nice food for my guests, so why must I cook under the most inconvenient circumstances? And I am willing to heat up a casserole or stew right on the picnic spot.
My husband won't cook outdoors either; his high point as a home cook was achieved when, in the heat of passion during our courting days, he once, and only once, heated up a can of chili for me. Else, we went out to eat.
For this reason, practically all the recipes in this book are for picnic dishes that can be made at home, to be carried to picnics in the plethora of attractive insulated containers that now exist.
The true me, the me that ignores the realities of life, yearns of course for those exquisite f?tes champ?tres where mousses, chaud-froids, aspics and the like are carried by a liveried chauffeur in an early Rolls Royce, not in one of the contemporary, vulgar ones. Two footmen have set up the table in a shady glen with the best damask, all the Georgian silver and the Waterford glass. The me that knows about the realities of life knows that this cannot be unless you are very rich, and in that case, you would neither read nor need this book. Chauffeurs maybe, if we are so lucky, but not footmen in this day and age.
In this book I have deliberately steered away from the more obvious picnic dishes, except for the indispensable chicken.
I think people know about quiches, pizzas, stuffed eggs and the like, which travel well. I have also steered away from the equivalents of plovers' eggs and truffled trouts. It is extremely pleasant and easy to go through one's fancier cookbooks and make up wild, lavish picnics. But what's the use if the food is too hard to find and too expensive? Furthermore, I think it is ridiculous to look upon a picnic as an outdoor banquet. Picnic meals should, for most occasions, be simple and easy to eat.
Many picnic suggestions, even good ones, give recipes for picnics for a given number of people. I do not find this practical, but I've never set out to give a picnic for six or twenty. I invite the people I want, then figure out the food and make as much of it as needed. Therefore the recipes in this book are calculated to feed the usual number of people, as indicated. However, do not take the number of servings of each recipe too literally. They depend on the appetites of the people who will eat them and on whether many other dishes and what kind of other dishes will be served along with them.
About the author: Born in Rome, Nika Hazelton spent her early years traveling to the capitals of Europe with her father, who was a diplomat. She studied under Harold Laski at the London School of Economics and wrote for the New Statesman before coming to the United States to join the staff of Fortune. She began writing cookbooks during World War II and has been a cookbook expert for several magazines, including Ladies' Home Journal, House and Garden and National Review, and for The New York Times Book Review. Mrs. Hazelton is the author of Reminiscence and Ravioli, The Art of Cheese Cookery, The Continental Flavor, The Art of Danish Cooking, The Art of Scandinavian Cooking, Chocolate, The Best of Italian Cooking, Stew, The Cooking of Germany and The Swiss Cookbook« less