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Good Day for a Picnic Hardcover – May 3, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 214 pages
  • Publisher: MorrowCB; English Language edition (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060726806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060726805
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #985,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this collection of pleasant enough recipes, Jackson (The Cornbread Book) takes one of our most enduring leisure activities and complicates it absurdly. His aggressively quirky introduction starts with the observation that any food eaten outside will taste better than when eaten indoors. Fair enough, but doesn't that make a book of specially devised picnic foods counterintuitive? Jackson goes on to recommend concoctions like Sekanjabin, a Mideastern sweet and sour drink made with vinegar and mint, and Crepes Stuffed with Chard, Feta, Pine Nuts, and Golden Raisins. Neither would fare well when stashed in a knapsack slung over the shoulder as one heads into the great outdoors. Many of these dishes are meant to be served warm, like Cornsommé, a soup made of a single shallot, three ears of corn and a few thyme sprigs, to be transported in a thermos. Make Your Own Spring Rolls (with Two Sauces) aka "Choose Your Own Adventure Spring Rolls" aren't only a mouthful to pronounce, but require assembling small, separate bowls of 10 different ingredients. Even the appealingly seasonal Chunky Summer Salad with Peaches, Tomatoes, and Farmer Cheese is better if tossed together on-site, Jackson admits. The recipes are all competent, and some sound delicious, but they're never going to replace potato salad and fried chicken. Photos. (May 3)

About the Author

Jeremy Jackson is the author of The Cornbread Book, the first cookbook devoted solely to America's bread of breads. A graduate of Vassar College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Jeremy has written about food for the Chicago Tribune and is also the author of two novels, Life at These Speeds and In Summer. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

In His Own Words. . .

Though I was born in Ohio, I grew up with my family on a farm in the Ozark borderlands of Missouri. We raised cattle and hay and had a garden the size of Texas. At various times we had horses, cattle, a pig, sheep, chickens, ducks, and a pony. We ate a lot of these animals, but not the pony. We also had wild blackberries and persimmons and walnuts on our farm. And a pear tree. And we caught fish in our ponds. We ate some of them, too.

For some crazy reason, I headed off to Vassar College, thinking that I would become a writer. Unfortunately, I did. It was all downhill from there, though the sex was good. From Vassar I went straight into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where I wrote brilliant stories about bunnies, marbles, and a talking mailbox named Ruth. Then I spent a year writing a novel and a screenplay. Then I went and taught English back at Vassar for two years. Being a professor was a mind-numbing experience, though the sex was good. I quit that job and started being a writer full time, which was very much like being a writer part time except that it took a lot more time and I felt much more guilty when I didn’t write anything. I moved from Poughkeepsie back to Iowa, which is kind of like moving from the outer circles of hell to the Garden of Eden. I bought a house here. It's a nice Craftsman-style bungalow. Plus there's a sauna.

In addition to The Cornbread Book, I'm the author of Life at These Speeds, a literary novel. There isn't any cornbread in the novel. Right now I'm writing a second novel. And my next cookbook, Desserts That Have Killed Better Men Than Me, is already on the way. There isn't any cornbread in it, either, mostly just butter and heavy cream.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Nina Beckman on May 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book inspired my husband and I to have a picnic on Mother's Day - tablecloth on the picnic table underneath the oak tree, portable radio playing tinny-sounding oldies on the AM dial. What a perfect brunch. We started with Jackson's "Champagne Punch #5" and later had the delicate and scrumptious "Crepes w/Swiss Chard & Golden Raisins." I'm making his "Rhubarb Custard Tart" next, which looks really delicious -- even though, as he says, food tastes a little better when you're outside, I'm sure this is going to taste pretty darn good when I eat it in the house as well.

I'm such a fan of Jeremy Jackson's other cookbooks, too - his writing is so fun and personable -- when's the last time you read a cookbook cover-to-cover, and laughed out loud? This book is all about simple, unpretentious, food. The recipes are original and pretty easy to make, too.

I should also add that usually never write reviews, but I felt like I had to write something because the review above from Publisher's Weekly got it all wrong -- it sounds like that reviewer just had a bad day and was letting off some steam. Which is too bad, because this is a wonderful book. I'm looking forward to a long summer full of beautiful meals and beautiful picnics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on August 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a very well written cookbook, both entertaining to read and with great recipes. I'm not sure what the issue was with the review from Publisher's Weekly. I felt like it made the book seem subversive (as if Jackson were trying to *gasp* replace fried chicken as a picnic staple) and juvenile (accusing him of being aggressively quirky), the book is neither, well at least not juvenile (sometimes a little subversive in the kitchen is fun). I know I got tired of Fried Chicken and Potato Salad at every outdoor family get together years ago. And in point of fact, to said reviewer, Sekanjabin does indeed travel well in a backpack, in the appropriate container. The old photo illustrations are clever, and Jackson's writing style is conversational, and comically unconventional, like sitting down with a close friend to talk food. I enjoy the anecdotes he provides for each recipe. Please don't let the negative reviews hold you back, if you're looking for clever, tasty recipes to try out on your family and friends, or just a nice read to get you through a cold winter, dreaming about a picnic, this is a great find.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
GOOD DAY FOR A PICNIC SIMPLE FOOD THAT TRAVELS WELL goes beyond the standard picnic fare to provide new recipe ideas for the park, backyard and beyond. Over a hundred such recipes cover everything from drinks to sandwiches, entrees and desserts, and provide easily-prepared dishes which are just as easily transported to be served later. Crisp Green Beans in Jalapeno Oil, Ham and Swiss Cheese Biscuits, and Barbecue Shredded Pork are only some of the dishes sure to provide new interest.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By msjenjenp on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
And those two words are CORNBREAD SALAD. That one recipe alone worth the cost of the book. And please people, just go ahead and double the recipe. You'll want to make another batch as soon as the first one is gone. It's fabulous. And it doesn't have pickles like all the others do. I wish I had some right now.
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