The Ideal Picnic
by the Restigouche
Picnics began as a sort of potluck where everyone brought a favourite dish; over time they moved outside.
I grew up in a family that loved to eat outdoors and picnics along with BBQs were common.
The main difference, between a BBQ and a picnic, is the picnic often involves cold foods such as potato salad, devilled eggs and a cold roast chicken or a selection of cold meat sandwiches, while a BBQ involves cooking the food on a BBQ.
When we first began going on picnics in the early 1950s we did not have a BBQ not even a hibachi. The meals was the standard fare as I described, although we did bring a Coleman stove in order to make tea.
My wife and I still go on picnics and have done so over the nearly 30 years that we have been together.
Our favourite picnic spot is along side the RestigoucheRiver which sits between the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. We take advantage of the picnic stations the City built complete with picnic tables and a great view. We can enjoy the cormorants skimming along the water and fishing while we look at the mountains in Quebec.
Another upside to this site, besides the view and relative quiet, considering we are within a five minute walk of downtown, is that it is also only a six minute walk from our home.
In fall, we can pick apples from a small grove of wild apple tree we pass along the way. Since we have lived here this has become our favourite spot to step outside of our normal routine and listen to the wind, water and sea birds.
On days when the wind is still the river becomes a mirror and the hills in Quebec are reflected on the surface.
It is a perfect site to sit and chat or simply watch the water flow. No matter what the meal, whether it is something we picked up at one of the restaurants on the way down or something we made at home, the setting makes it all taste wonderful.
When I pack a picnic supper in the picnic basket that ahs been with us since we have been together, the lunch features an old white cheddar cheese, one Granny Smith apple and one Cortland apple, she likes the Granny Smith, either a loaf of French bread and some crusty roils, dill pickles and maybe a few hardboiled eggs. Now and then I do make devilled eggs. I enjoy them and they connect me with the picnics of my youth.
Over the summer months we have about one picnic per week, usually on a Friday evening if the weather permits.
There are few other people down by the water at that hour, probably because that is when they are either hurrying home to start the weekend or going shopping if it is pay day.
We usually stroll a little way along the river bank after letting thee meal settle and before turning for home and the start of the weekend.