Picnics

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Picnics

Postby Scottish Lady » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:32 am

Does anyone know when the word picnic first came into general usage, and when the concept of packing up food to eat outside started?


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Merlon.
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Postby Merlon. » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:05 am

The OED gives the following early dating evidence for picnic.

1748 LD. CHESTERFIELD Let. 29 Oct. (1932) (modernized text) IV. 1255, I like the description of your pic-nic [in Germany; 1774 Pic-nic], where I take it for granted that your cards are only to break the formality of a circle.
c1800 E. C. KNIGHT Autobiogr. I. 45 We stayed here [i.e. at Toulon] till the 17th [Feb. 1777] and on the previous day went to a ‘pique-nique’ at a little country house not far from the town.
1807 J. BERESFORD Miseries Human Life II. xv. 38 She's so full of Fête, and Pic-nic and Opera.
1826 B. DISRAELI Vivian Grey III. iv, Nature had intended the spot for pic-nics.
1859 E. C. GASKELL Fear for Future in Fraser's Mag. Feb., We were very happy, with our summer picnics and our winter card-playing.



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Postby Scottish Lady » Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:04 pm

Thanks Merlon. Looks like mine's going to have to be an unauthenti picnic then. We're at Dumbarton Castle next weekend doing a 1645 event, and as there's only a not very big tearoom there, and nothing else nearby, plus we're not allowed fires and only limited LH equipment, it's going to be cheese and oatcakes in a basket!


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Postby sally » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:11 pm

I'm sure people have taken packed lunches out with them as long as there have been outdoors jobs that keep you away from home



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Postby Tiny Castle » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:42 pm

What you is needin' is pasties, good ol' home baked cornish oggies that if you gets em all mucky from yer hands you can chuck away the crust see.
It ain't a picnic without a pastie



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Postby Brother Ranulf » Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:20 am

My contender for the earliest recorded "picnic" (albeit unplanned and the word was not yet invented) appears in Bede's Life of St Cuthbert, referring to an incident that took place around 650 AD. Cuthbert was on a long journey in a very remote area on horseback and both man and horse were starving:

"When the evening drew near, and he perceived that he could not finish his intended journey the same day, and that there was no house at hand in which he could pass the night, he presently fell upon some shepherds' huts, which, having been slightly constructed in the summer, were now deserted and ruinous. Into one of these he entered, and having tied his horse to the wall, placed before him a handful of hay, which the wind had forced from the roof. He then turned his thoughts to prayer, but suddenly, as he was singing a psalm, he saw his horse lift up his head and pull out some straw from the roof, and among the straw there fell down a linen cloth folded up, with something in it. When he had ended his prayers, wishing to see what this was, he came and opened the cloth, and found in it half of a loaf of bread, still hot, and some meat, enough of both to serve him for a single meal."


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Postby Handbag » Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:36 pm

here is an image of hunters pausing for lunch which shows then sitting upon rugs feasting on many delights in a very picnicy fashion

its from the Book of the Hunt
France, Paris, 15th Century. and i think its by Gaston Phoebus,



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Postby Phil the Grips » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:42 pm

Brother Ranulf wrote:My contender for the earliest recorded "picnic" (albeit unplanned and the word was not yet invented) appears in Bede's Life of St Cuthbert, referring to an incident that took place around 650 AD.
There was a small incident involving the al fresco eating of loaves and fishes a bit before that ;)


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Postby Sophia » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:10 am

Phil the Grips wrote:
Brother Ranulf wrote:My contender for the earliest recorded "picnic" (albeit unplanned and the word was not yet invented) appears in Bede's Life of St Cuthbert, referring to an incident that took place around 650 AD.
There was a small incident involving the al fresco eating of loaves and fishes a bit before that ;)


Your forgetting the instant bread with a double helping for the weekend and poultry from the sky which definitely predates it :roll: :wink:


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Postby Scottish Lady » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:01 am

Tiny Castle - Love proper Cornish Pasties, but I don't think they'd made it this far north in the 17thC. Lets face it, the normal Scots diet until at least the 1900's was based on oats and kail, and they weren't that keen on kail!
So far, it'll be oatcakes, cheese, pickled onions, and an apple preserve, (genuine recipe that goes great with strong cheese), maybe a curd tart if I get the time to make one this week.
Love the picture of the knights 'picnicking'. I'll need to find something worthy of a tablecloth and some decent plates.


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Postby lidimy » Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:03 pm

Sophia wrote:
Phil the Grips wrote:
Brother Ranulf wrote:My contender for the earliest recorded "picnic" (albeit unplanned and the word was not yet invented) appears in Bede's Life of St Cuthbert, referring to an incident that took place around 650 AD.
There was a small incident involving the al fresco eating of loaves and fishes a bit before that ;)


Your forgetting the instant bread with a double helping for the weekend and poultry from the sky which definitely predates it :roll: :wink:


Nice one!! :lol:


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Postby gregory23b » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:45 am

"al fresco"

Yeah, he runs an Italian restuarant just off Oxford Street.


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Postby hazy » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:23 pm

Medieval and tudor nobles certainly ate meals outdoors during hunts or for summer entertainments- whether they were called picnics I have no idea though. Certainly thwey were definite occasions, so I suppose are maybe closer to the modern notion of a picnic as a treat, than a workers lunch taken outside, which must have happened very often! (you can certainly find images of men and women eating outdoors during harvest and suchlike..I'll see if I can find anything..)



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Postby Hraefn » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:06 am

Image


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Postby Hraefn » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:12 am

Image

Both Brueghels mid 16thC and if you look at the figures dining they are virtually identical, but outside with a white cloth picca nic style (No bears though)


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Postby hazy » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:31 pm

They're the ones I was thinking of- thanks!



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Postby hazy » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:32 pm

They're the ones I was thinking of- thanks!




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