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Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's International Picnic Day, Time to Play the Picnic Game!

Ready? Start your engines. It's time to play the Picnic Game! Can you believe it's that time of year again? And look at the new updated logo we have. That Heather, she's not only the hottest girl chef, EVER, she was sweet enough to create our picnic logo for 2011. Wasn't that nice of her? Thank you Heather!!!

To tell you the truth, I thought this day would never get here! Sure, we can blame it on what seemed to be the longest winter, EVER! But, I'd rather believe it's more likely because we just LOVE to play the Picnic Game and fantasize about all the fabulous goodies we'll be sharing. But first, a pit stop. Oh come on, you knew there had to be a pit stop:)
"Then from his knapsack very calmly and contently he takes cold chicken and golden encrusted rolls, packed for him perchance by loving hands, and lays conveniently by the wedge of Gruyere or Roquefort which is to be his whole dessert."~Brillat Savarin (as found in Picnics For Motorists)
Picnics For Motorists was written by the founder of the British Herbal Society; Mrs. C. F. Leyel. While researching Mrs. Leyel, I discovered she was actually renowned herbalist Hilda Winifred Ivy. Not only was she the author of Picnics For Motorists, she also edited the Modern Herbal in 1931 and owned a chain of herbalist stores called the "Culpepper Shops." By now, you must know how I feel about herbs so of course, I was delighted! I have another book authored by her titled The Magic of Herbs which I plan on sharing on her birthday in December.

Here's what I found out about her in The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: L-Z published in 2000. It was authored by Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie and Joy Dorothy Harvey and is available (limited) at google books. (I left link below)
First published in 1936, by George Routledge & Sons L.T.D., Picnics for Motorists is a fairly small red cloth book brimming with countless choices in its 118 pages. Choosing a recipe to share today, was most difficult. From the first page:

"This little book was inspired by a picnic near Itchenor, given in the summer of 1935 by the owner of a white Peke to the owner of a white Alsatian."
A taste of the Preface:
"There are many people with cars who make a regular habit of spending Saturday or Sunday in the country, with a hamper of food they are independent of hotels and can eat their meals in any part of the country they chosen...Today wide mouthed thermos flasks make it possible to arrange picnic food that is really delicious because not only hot or iced soups can have a place in the menu, but even curries, ragouts, and other casseroled dishes can be served steaming hot; or the meal can end with an iced sweet of some sort...Pies are as a rule much nicer cold than hot, but they must be made with plenty of jelly (the author also wrote jelly books)...It is better and more economical to buy the pastry for the pies from a good baker...Hard boiled eggs if they are to be eaten plain should be shelled beforehand and packed in a wide mouthed screw jar...A glass jar such as French plums are sold in the best container for salad and many other things...The expensively ready fitted baskets are not by any means the most useful and it is much more fun choosing the colored cups and saucers and plates that please one's own fancy...the more practical plates for meals are the white cardboard ones with waxed papers to fit, fluted at the edges so that they are heavy enough to stay on the plates which never get stained so that they can be used several times...No one is too young or too old to delight in such a simple pleasure as a picnic in lovely surroundings and there is no more perfect way of spending a hot day...
I thought you would get a kick out of this Picnic Menu of the time:
As I said, choosing a recipe was difficult so what I've decided is to close the book. The first recipe that pops up when I open it will be the one to share. How's that for a "scientific" choice? And, the winners are, (they were right next to each other so, why not?) Iced Claret Soup and Roman Pie!

Picnic Game Rules

I'm not to fond of the word "rules" when it comes to the Picnic Game but alas, we do need a few guidelines:) Basically, it's very simple. You choose a letter of the alphabet which matches the title of the dish you would like to bring to the picnic and post it on your blog.

The traditional memory game starts when one player recites: "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an ___."  (a delicious dish) that starts with the letter A; for instance Apple Pie)

The second player says, "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing an Apple Pie. (the same "A" word(s) the first player used, in this case an Apple Pie) and ___." Here's where you add the B word like, Blueberry Muffins.

Each player recites what the person before is bringing and adds what they're bringing until we reach the end of the alphabet. 

a tisket a tasket

How To Play
It's really easy. The traditional memory game starts when one player recites:
"I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an ___." (word(s) that starts with the letter A; for instance Apple Pie)
The second player recites, "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing an Apple Pie. (the same "A" word(s) the first player chose, in this case an Apple Pie) and ___." they add a B word like, Blueberry Muffins.

Each player recites what the person before is bringing and adds what they're bringing until we reach the end of the alphabet. Still not sure how to play? Take a look at the How to Play the Picnic Game Video  I found online. It's child's play:)

1. Since this is a virtual picnic game, Anyone, Anywhere can play. I do request that recipes be posted in English or have easy access to translation. 

2. Choose your letter but don't take too long. The "easy" letters seem to go pretty quickly. Leave a comment on this post with the letter you have chosen. For instance, if you want to bring a dish to the picnic, that begins with the letter "A," your comment must be left before another person chooses that letter. We can only have one letter of the alphabet for each dish.  Note: If you would like to choose a backup letter just in case your chosen letter is taken, that would be GREAT too.

3. I will let you know if you can bring your dish to the picnic by leaving a You're Invited! comment on your blog. "You're Invited" will be your signal to grab a copy of the Picnic Game logo above and prepare a post for the Picnic Game Round-Up. Now, here's the difficult part. Since the Picnic Game is listed in alphabetical order, you may feel a bit like a contortionist trying to get your post up while still leaving room for the letters and delicious looking images that will be preceding yours. Just make a mental note and it should all work out fine. I'm always here for any questions and once we get going, I'll have many samples to show you I'm sure:)
Let's say my dish begins with the letter "E" and I'm bringing Eggplant and Pimiento Long Boys. After a "picnicky" introduction, my post would look something like this:
I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...
A-Assorted Relishes & Condiments
B-
C-Coleslaw
D-Date-nut Bread Sandwiches
E-Eggplant and Pimiento Long Boys
It's your choice whether you chose to include images from the recipes before yours but please do include an image with your recipe and don't forget to send it to me with the link. [acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com]
The sooner you send me your link, the sooner you'll be able to fill in the blanks as will everyone else. I'll be sending you a list of the letters you need for your post as I get them in. I will try to send the complete list each of you needs if at all possible.

Well, I think I've covered all the bases. If I've missed anything, please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment or dropping me an email. (acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com) The absolute deadline for your chosen letter recipe link is Wednesday, June 29th. That date should give me enough time to fill in the blanks for the letters not taken and whip up the final list of Picnic Game goodies in time for National Picnic Month in July. I'll be posting the Round-Up on Friday, July 1st. 

summary

1. Select a recipe that begins with your chosen letter and write a post about it on your blog. You must list what the people before you are bringing. That's why it's called the Picnic Game! I will email you with those links and images, as soon as they are emailed to me.

2. Include the Picnic Day Logo in your post with a link back to this post.

3. Email me at acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com (it would be really nice of you to include Picnic Game in the subject line) In the email please include the following.

a. Your name
b. Your blog's name
c. Your post URL
d. The name of your recipe
e. An image of your dish (250 pixels wide sounds good) Also let me know if you give me permission to pass the image along to other picnickers.

4. If you would like to bring more than one dish to the picnic, you are more than welcome. Just note it in the email and include items C-E for each additional dish.

5. Please email me as soon as you know what you are bringing. No later than Wednesday, June 29, midnight EST. The sooner the better so I can forward your link to the other picnickers.

6. I will be posting the entire list of Picnic Game recipes by midnight July 1st. If for some reason, there are not enough entries by that time, I'll do my best to fill in the blanks.

7. If you would like to host the Picnic Day Game on your blog, and get your visitors involved, be my guest. The more the merrier. Just let me know. (this would require another set of picnic letters from A-Z and a bit of enjoyable work on the part of the hostess:) We would just, shall I say, "link our picnic "blankets" together:) 

9. If for some reason, there are not enough entries for the Picnic Game, I will do my best to fill in the blanks. 

10. Most important, Have FUN!  

So, do you want to play the Picnic Game? Oh goodie, then just pick a letter and let's get toting!!! If you would like to see the round-up of picnic recipes from previous years, I've left them in the left side-bar. Be forewarned, they are all absolutely enticing!!!


Update 2012: We're playing the Online Picnic Game right now! If you would join in on the fun, follow this link. "See" you there! 

Resources
1. The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science:L-Z