About this book
Urban picnics are a hot foodie trend right now; from The Economist to Le Monde, food journalists and lovers the world around are jumping on the blanket. Like so many of us, they want to put their hectic city lives on hold and enjoy themselves―without having to head off into the hinterland.
The Urban Picnic, whimsically subtitled Being an Idiosyncratic and Lyrically Recollected Account of Menus, Recipes, History, Trivia, and Admonitions on the Subject of Alfresco Dining in Cities Both Large and Small, is designed for modern gourmands and kitchen newcomers alike, to inspire them to introduce a little pleasure and picnickery into their lives. With an irreverent and highly opinionated history of the picnic, strange accounts from the 19th and 20th centuries, original illustrations, and over 200 recipes―many contributed from renowned chefs such as Nigella Lawson, Nadine Abensur, and Mark Bittman― it's the essential how-to (and how-not-to) for anyone who was ever looking for a tasty little morsel to eat under that tree that grows in Brooklyn.
Two-colour throughout. Includes more than 100 illustrations.
Barbecued Lemon Chicken (Anne Lindsay), Banana-Strawberry Layer Cake (Regan Daley), Mint Julep Peaches (Nigella Lawson), Chicken Liver Crostini (Umberto Menghi), and Ahi Tuna Salad with Green Papaya (Rob Feenie).
"The great charm of this social device is undoubtedly the freedom it affords. . . . To eat cold chicken and drink iced claret under trees, amid the grass and the flowers."
―Appleton's Journal of Literature, Science, and Art, 1869
"The latest fashion among young city-dwellers, providing a new advertising niche for manufacturers of luxury products, is the good old family picnic."
"An upper-class English ritual traditionally confined to rural French life, the picnic has been rebranded."
Don't wait for that rare occasion when you might actually plan a picnic to use this generous and approachable cookbook/picnic guide... Whatever the provenance of the recipes, they all sound delicious. —Quill and Quire
The Urban Picnic
is just the cookbook for the serious picnicker. It's just the thing to turn you into a natural, like Burns, for whom "to picnic" is a verb to live by. —Vancouver Sun
...a new book from Arsenal Pulp Press designed to change the way urbanites treat a sunny afternoon, yes, even in the season of slush.—Ottawa Citizen
The Urban Picnic
, by John Burns and Elisabeth Caton, recogonizes the problem of the fast-living urbanite's dissatisfied soul, and presents, in essay and recipe, a picnic philosophy as remedy...Here, the picnic is presented as a near-meditative process...—Pop Matters
John Burns and Elisabeth Caton have created a powerful incentive to just get out there and live.—Toronto Star
John Burns with the help of recipe gatherer Elizabeth Caton have written a book that challenges the notion of the five-day work week and exposes the irony that with all our technological advancements we are bound to our offices, factories and shops more than ever before.—sceneandheard.ca
There's a definite Left Coast vibe, with an ode to the Slow Food movement and suggestions for CBC-friendly musical accompaniment.—Saturday Night
A quirky omnibus of outdoor eating...—National Post
Urban picnics are a trend and following right along is The Urban Picnic
, a cookbook designed to inspire both cooks and kitchen novices to introduce the 'urban picnic' concept into their lives. A history of the picnic, accounts from across the centuries, and musings on picnic appeal compliment over 200 recipes suitable for picnic foods: salads, sandwich spreads, portable pies, muffins and much more. Expands upon and provides fine insights into modern picnic food options—which are many.—Bookwatch
The Urban Picnic
is a tasty piece of work, not least for its erudite and amusing prose style. All the recipes are not only transportable, they're also interesting enough to add to your daily house-bound repertoire. —The Georgia Straight