Retro Picnic

barbecues and picnicsBarbecues and Picnics
Better Homes and Gardens

A good barbecue or picnic is always a summer favorite. As we close out summer, it might be time to really stretch your cooking muscles with some of these recipes. Some of the recipes aren’t too bad, but of course there is the obligatory loaf that could be anything from a cool dessert to a wild mayonnaise molded salad. In the second picture below, there are two loaves displayed. Take your pick. Tuna mousse or garden perfection loaf. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


man grilling outside





  1. I actually have this book, I love these old Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks. But I cannot fathom why anyone would do a Theatre Party Picnic. It’s way too much work for both the cook and the guests for a meal you’ll be eating off the ground. Grass stains on dinner jackets, spilled food, and yellow jackets swarming over the Limed Pineapple in the Shell, I’ll skip it, thanks!

    1. I fear that Tanglewood — the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra — has a lot to answer for. Back in the day, one would buy a ticket “for the grounds” and spread out something like this spread in the area called the Lawn, right behind the main concert venue. In my mother’s day, the correct attire was similar to that shown; when it was my turn, jeans were the correct thing, though the food was still on the strangely-magnificent-for-picnics side. And other venues have copied this sort of thing. Don’t know about those flaming torches in the grass, though — seems a bit tricky with long skirts.

  2. Oh, wow! You’ve actually got one that appears in Jim Lileks’ classic The Gallery of Regrettable Food.

  3. OK-how’d she tuck those two roast chickens in her basket with everything else and lug it all to the blanket?! No hot juices spilled on the wicker?!

  4. I own this book, in a slightly older printing. I LOVE these Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks. I’ve found a few recipes I like, but, I must admit, for the most part I like reading the weird, gelatin-based recipes. My family is always so gratifyingly horrified. 😀

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