Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery recipe for Lobster Salad (1845)

Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery recipe for Lobster Salad (1845)

Eliza Acton’s recipe for lobster salad is contemporary with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Thespis. Lobster Salad. First, prepare a sauce with the coral of a hen lobster, pounded and rubbed through a sieve, and very gradually mixed with a good mayonnaise,...
Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food (1951)

Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food (1951)

David’s favorite picnic food is tian. She asserts that it’s simple for the experienced cook, especially if you have a tian, the Provençal earthenware casserole it is cooked in. You also need freshly baked bread, butter, cheese, and wine. David’s...

Elizabeth David’s Summer Cooking (1955/65)

David’s books are suffused with references to picnics. She could be informal or according to her whims, something she adopted from her youth, which she wrote about in Summer Cooking, “Picnic addicts  [like herself] seem to be roughly divided between those...
Sunset Books’ Picnics and Tailgate Parties (1982)

Sunset Books’ Picnics and Tailgate Parties (1982)

Good advice for packing a picnic: “Pack the unbreakable items first, the French bread last of all.” See Cornelia Fogle. ed. Sunset Books, Picnics and Tailgate Parties. Menlo Park, California: Lane Publishing, 1982  
Alice Toklas’   The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (1954)

Alice Toklas’ The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (1954)

The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (1954) suggests that chopped roast beef and chopped chicken with mushrooms make the best picnic sandwiches. However, when these were not enough, Toklas and her partner Gertrude Stein stopped at restaurants where they might dine on Morvan...
C.F.  Leyel’s Picnics for Motorists  (1936)

C.F. Leyel’s Picnics for Motorists (1936)

Leyel’s Picnic for Motorists is designed for an emerging market linking the joy of picnics with the pleasure of motoring. “There are many people with cars who make a regular habit of spending Saturday or Sunday in the country,” Leyel trills, “with a hamper of food,...
May E. Southworth’s The Motorist’s Luncheon Book (1923)

May E. Southworth’s The Motorist’s Luncheon Book (1923)

Southworth’s The Motorist’s Luncheon Book (1923) so blatantly hypes the motorcar that the book might as well be a motorcar manufacturer’s promotion gimmick. “The love of the great outdoors grows with each new automobile,” the blurb...

Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery (1806)

A fricassee is picnic food when dining indoors. It’s mentioned in Samuel Foote’s The Nabob (1772) and Mary Belson Elliott’s The Mice and Their Pic Nic (1809).  Had Elliott needed a recipe, she might have found it in Mrs. Rundell’s A New System...
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Partie de Campagne (1897)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Partie de Campagne (1897)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Partie de Campagne, an 1897 lithograph, depicts a couple going off to spend a day in the country. Lautrec makes a visual pun by having a dog run behind the conveyance known as a dogcart. According to French usage of the day, Lautrec prefers...