Picnic Advice From Fork in the Road


This weekend is shaping up to be a great one for picnics–temps in the low 80s, sunny most of the day, though there may be a few clouds and the occasional cloudburst on Saturday. Never mind, always plan like the weather is going to be perfect, because if you hesitate due to fear of the weather, it will be excellent and you’ll end up sitting at home.

When it comes to picnics, simple and spare is better. I’ve been to so many where twice as much food was brought as was needed–it’s a shame to sit and watch the leftovers spoil in the sun. Besides, the advice of the vaudeville entertainer still applies: Leave ’em wanting more.

So grab one or two cheeses, a hunk of pate (vegetarian or meat-bearing), some olives and cornichons, and, most important of all, good bread. The little number shown above is known as an epi-baguette, “epi” meaning ear or tuft and referring to the flower at the top of the grain. In other words, the bread looks like a stalk of wheat. How timely and agrarian!

This form of baguette was invented for picnicking. Instead of bringing a regular baguette and then watching as the picnic guests struggle to tear it apart, the epi-baguette permits everyone to nip off one roll at a time, then do with it what they will. These breads are available at all the outlets of Amy’s Bread for $4.50.

And now I’m off on a 10-day vacation to Northern California, where you’ll see me on the cliffs of Mendocino County–drinking a local wine and tearing a roll off an epi-baguette.