today i exalt the picnic. it seems that like many old fashioned pasttimes, deemed “dorky”, “dirty” or just plain old inconvenient, the picnic has become a rare event. eating outside is still with us, though only on “nice” days between 69 and 74 degrees. i am not talking about perching my ass on some crappy resin outdoor furniture. i am not talking about sitting in a cloud of toxic bug spray trying not to breathe. i am talking about contact with the earth, wielding my pocket knife dangerously, everything’s blowing away, birds and honeybees come over to check us out.
i like full contact interactions with my picnic. i like to find things and eat them. i like stinky cheese and a big chunk of smoked bluefish, a jar of red wine and an oyster in the parking lot. i like a juicy peach, smoked almonds, violets, pickled ramps, dandelion leaves and beef jerky.
i like the hunger that comes from hiking 2 hours into the perfect spot. or not…perhaps it is just the backyard.
i like going to little markets and finding little edibles to delight my friends and family with. when we think we are done, and i whip out some little squares of super dark chocolate and the air is fresh, and we wash our hands and sporks in a stream , get a little cleanup help from our dogs….now, THAT is a picnic.
outdoors really can make everything better, including food and flavor, friends and family. so throw a sausage and some cornichons in your backpack and hit the trail, buddy. see where yor footmobile takes you, properly provisioned. and don’t forget to bring a napkin.