Let's Go on a Picnic

By Skokie Staff Bibliocommons Readers Advisory

It's summertime and the outdoors is a-callin'. Grab a basket and blanket and head to the park, or fire up the grill in your own backyard. From the simple to the exotic, these books offer suggestions for outdoor eating. And there are culinary fiction books to enjoy, as well.

  • The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration From Basket to Blanket

    2015 by Hanel, Marnie

    This everything picnic guide and cookbook includes advice on permits for alcohol, outfitting your bicycle, pop-up picnics, and lots more. The recipes are all picnic-appropriate, like the “unflappable apricot almond franny, sturdy enough to tote in a basket, and impervious to temperature changes.”

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  • Eating Outdoors: Sensational Recipes for Cookouts, Picnics, and Take-along Food


    Covering everything from grilling meats and vegetables to pastas, condiments, drinks, and desserts, this book will inspire your next picnic menu. Grilled artichoke anyone?

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  • Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal

    2014 by Chin, Ava

    Why not take eating outdoors a step further and see what you can find to eat right there in the park? Chin, formerly the author of the Urban Forager blog for the New York Times, forages her urban neighborhood for edible plants and berries. You will never look at a lawn in quite the same way again.

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  • Cool Picnics & Road Food: Beyond the Basics for Kids Who Cook

    2014 by Wagner, Lisa

    Divided into levels from the simplest recipes for the youngest cooks, to challenging ones involving more prep and oven use, this book gives a little history and fun facts along with its recipes. Experimentation is encouraged, with many suggestions along the way. Great for teens, too!

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  • Vegan Al Fresco: Happy & Healthy Recipes for Picnics, Barbecues & Outdoor Dining

    2014 by Kelly, Carla

    If you’re a vegan, you’re always looking for ways to make dishes similar to the ones from your meat- and dairy-eating days. This book includes those and many more innovative dishes, such as arugula and artichoke dip, peanut rice noodle salad, and walnut and mushroom pate. Yum!

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  • Paris Picnic Club: More Than 100 Recipes to Savor and Share

    2018 by Peerhabi, Shaheen

    Every Friday for a year, the authors prepared a picnic for friends. It grew into a pop-up picnic club held in parks all across Paris, feeding as many 80 people. In this illustrated volume, posh picnickers willing to spend some time and money on their preparations will find creative recipes, but there are also simpler ones for the rest of us.

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  • The Grilling Book: The Definitive Guide From Bon Appétit


    Just what you would expect from Bon Appetit, a mouth-watering collection of phenomenal recipes with illustrations, plus good advice about grilling. Side dishes, marinades, sauces, and drinks are not forgotten.

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  • Picnic in Provence: A Memoir With Recipes

    2015 by Bard, Elizabeth

    In this culinary memoir, American journalist Bard describes moving with her French husband and young child to a village in Provence where they opened an ice cream business. More than just delicious food—though there’s plenty of that—it’s the story of a young couple making a home and family in a new place.

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  • The New Vegetarian Grill: 250 Flame-kissed Recipes for Fresh, Inspired Meals

    2008 by Chesman, Andrea

    Over 250 quick, delicious vegetarian recipes, plus techniques to satisfy your quesadilla, pizza, kabob, and lo mein hankerings. Move over meat, the eggplant steaks are coming!

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  • The Body in the Casket

    2017 by Page, Katherine Hall

    Since casket rhymes with basket and the sleuth in this mystery novel is a caterer, it has landed itself on my picnic list. A Broadway musical producer receives a casket as a gift and concludes that someone intends to kill him in this Agatha Christie-style mystery.

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  • Garden Spells

    2007 by Allen, Sarah Addison

    Horticultural folklore and the supernatural blend together in this delightful novel about two sisters, a magical garden, and the curious effects of the edible plants. Library Journal says, “Just buy it, read it, and recommend it to others.”

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  • Little Beach Street Bakery

    2014 by Colgan, Jenny

    In this international best-seller, broken-hearted Polly builds a new life for herself making bread and cupcakes using the handsome beekeeper’s honey in a seaside town in Cornwall.

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  • The Body in the Bonfire: A Faith Fairchild Mystery

    2002 by Page, Katherine Hall

    Sometimes bonfires are not about the marshmallows but cough up dead bodies instead. Sleuth Faith Fairchild uses the ruse of a cooking class to try to find the instigator of cruel racist pranks at a boys’ boarding school. This is part of the deservedly popular Faith Fairchild series of culinary whodunits with recipes.

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  • Pomegranate Soup: A Novel

    2005 by Mehran, Marsha

    When three Iranian sisters move to an Irish town and open a café, the locals align either in support of them, or with the town bully, who’s against foreigners moving in. Recipes with deliciously exotic flavors such as cardamom, rosewater and, of course, pomegranate, are included.

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