By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach
I was horrified to read, when researching the word picnic, a word I happen to like very much, that some people believe it has racial connotations. To find out what you can google it for yourself as I cannot bear to think about it. Baguette
Suffice to say it's not true and we can happily continue to use the word, which was originally a 17th Century French word, picque-nique. Its meaning was similar to today's meaning: a social gathering where each attendee brings a share of the food. The literal meaning of picque-nique, which became our picnic, is "each pick a bit."
It's great to review the original intention of the word because I think it takes the pressure off those of us who have become a little caught up by glamorously styled digital spreads on Instagram and glossy food mags in which the organiser would have undoubtedly spent hours, if not days, preparing food in advance.
That to me is a dinner or lunch party served on the ground.
When a picnic becomes too hard and there's so much work involved, we stop having them as often, which to my way of thinking, is a shame.
If you like the idea of a picnic remember it just means "each pick-a-bit" and everyone can bring-a-bit and it doesn't need to be a competition to put on the most innovative, diverse, gourmet spread.
For a simple and delicious picnic, fresh is best and bits of food make it special.
So aside from setting the date, time and venue and inviting some friends, all you have to do is get into that Tupperware cupboard, match some lids to their containers, find some paper (or bamboo) plates, cups and cutlery, a sharp knife, some salt and pepper and assign people with a list of things to bring.
Whole egg mayonnaise
Choice of protein - boiled eggs, fresh prawns, whole chicken, sliced ham
Punnets of cherry tomatoes
Punnets of strawberries and blueberries
Watermelon and mango
Nuts and chips to nibble on
It's that simple. Fancy a picnic this long weekend?
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