The first explicit picnic cookbook is Linda Hull Larned’s One Hundred Picnic Suggestions.
It is strongly is it associated with motoring that the cover shows a picnic basket, sandwiches and thermos in the foreground and a motorcar in the background. Larned makes no pretense for cooking out, and her foods and drinks require preparation elsewhere. Larned divides her foods into things a for a picnic basket or a “motor hamper.” That implies motorists are more food savvy and richer. There are many sandwiches and salads, but for the motorists there’s a uptick of suggestions and a switch from cold to hot foods; instead of tuna or ham sandwiches, choices might be include lobster creole, beef, calf’s liver, terrapin, or deep fried cheese cutlets. Larned’s suggestion for hot Oysters à la King fulfills the picnicker’s expectation that any food is picnic food as long as it can be transported. The motorcar made this wish viable, if not practical.
The recipe for chicken salad is standard fare, slightly tarted-up. But try cooking this at your next picnic: Cook chicken in boiling water, when half done add salt, a slice each of salt pork, lemon, and onion, a bit of bay leaf, and a piece of red pepper. Cool in the stock, drain, and cut in cubes. Cover them with French dressing for an hour or more. To 1/3rd cups of the chicken add 1 cup of celery dice, or use same amount of fresh cooked and cooled green peas and cucumber dice. Or blanched and shredded almonds may be used instead of the peas. Add a cup of mayonnaise, turn into a tin box lined with wax paper, garnish with capers and slices of gherkins, cover, wrap the box in a cloth wet in ice-water and then in strong paper.
Larned’s other cookbooks are One Hundred Salads (1914), One Hundred Cold Desserts (1914), and One Hundred Luncheon Dishes (1915).
Featured Image: Helen E. Turquand. Cover. One Hundred Picnic Suggestions (1915). A motorcar is discreetly parked behind the basket.
See: Linda Hull Larned. One Hundred Picnic Suggestions. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1915.