I often wondered about the origin of the word picnic. Allabouthistory.com reports that it is derived from the French word, piquenique, which means an outing with food. At French piqueniques, attendees would all bring their favorite food to the outdoor party, just like the picnics we enjoy today…so now I know and so do you!
There were many “Block Party Picnics” around town yesterday. These are much-anticipated events and a tradition in Swarthmore...the Borough allows the residents to close the street that hosts the venue and we all bring our favorite food. There is also a parade every year where kids decorate their bikes and proudly pedal for first place and the volunteer fire fighters offer tours of the town on their gleaming red engines.
Every year, the volunteer fire fighters stage a little "fire hazard" show and some years the productions are more dramatic than others. I remember one year our blazing buddies recreated a scene about the dangers of smoking in bed...you can imagine the havoc that followed.
For the cookout I attended yesterday, I made a salad called “Crunchy Slaw” that a co-worker of mine spotted in the April 2010 edition of Redbook Magazine and shared with me.
1 Bag of cole slaw mix
8 green onions
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup butter
2 packages of ramen noodles (use only the noodles), crushed
I also added some chopped fresh broccoli
2 tablespoons of sugar
½ cup of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
In a small sauce pan, brown the almonds and the sesame seeds in the butter. Combine this mixture with the cole slaw, broccoli, green onions, and noodles. Pour the dressing over the salad mix and refrigerate until ready to eat. This salad is very good…the almonds and noodles give it a very satisfying little crunch not enjoyed in traditional cole slaw!
Funny 4th of July trivia proving that our Forefathers were not only architects of freedom, but funny as well:
“There, I guess King George will be able to read that.”
John Hancock said after signing the Declaration of Independence!