Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Picnics ... French Style

I have been on some nightmarish picnics in my time. I do not like going to the beach and sitting hunched over on a blanket in the hot sand, struggling to deal with an unappetizing lunch of sun-warmed bologna sandwich. Although this kind of memory is always good for a laugh afterward,it is not my idea of a nice time and I would never expect my guests to go through such an ordeal. The children end up cranky and crying and often the adults do too. This is not my idea of a picnic at all.

This being said, I do love a picnic in the French style, which of course, means comfort, comfort, and more comfort. First of all, a French person is simply not going to eat on the ground. Although we might lounge around on a blanket later, it is much better to eat sitting up. When you see a French family having their picnic lunch, they will be at a table -- either a permanent one or a folding model that they have brought with them -- or they will be sitting together on a bench. The food will be appealing but not too elaborate, and you will see right away that the people are taking their time to talk to each other while they eat. If they have packed their picnic at home, you can be sure that there will be proper glasses, silverware, and plates. There will be no crankiness and no crying. I have very fond memories of picnics like this.
Definitely there is a whole lot to be said for "comfort, comfort, and more comfort." I believe I could become much more fond of a picnic in this style ... although I am not giving up my paper plates and plastic cups for anyone. They are plenty comfortable enough if you buy decent ones.

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