The lunch basket should contain ample provision for fresh-air-sharpened appetites, but let the food be as simple as possible, and of not too great variety. Good whole-wheat or Graham bread in some form, with well sterilized milk and cream, or a soup previously prepared from grains or legumes, which can be readily heated with the aid of a small alcohol or kerosene stove, and plenty of fruit of seasonable variety, will constitute a very good bill of fare. If cake is desirable, let it be of a very simple kind, like the buns or raised cake for which directions are given in another chapter. Beaten biscuits, rolls, and crisps are also serviceable for picnic dinners. Fruit sandwiches—made by spreading slices of light whole-wheat or Graham bread with a little whipped cream and then with fresh fruit jam lightly sweetened, with fig sauce or steamed figs chopped, steamed prunes or sliced bananas—are most relishable. These should be made on the ground, just before serving, from material previously prepared. An egg sandwich may be prepared in the same manner by substituting for the fruit the hard-boiled yolks of eggs chopped with a very little of the whitest and tenderest celery, and seasoned lightly with salt. Two pleasing and palatable picnic breads may be made as follows:—
PICNIC BISCUIT.—Prepare a dough as for Raised Biscuit, page 145, and when thoroughly kneaded the last time, divide, and roll both portions to about one fourth of an inch in thickness. Spread one portion with stoned dates, or figs that have been chopped or cut fine with scissors, cover with the second portion, and cut into fancy shapes. Let the biscuits rise until very light, and bake. Wash the tops with milk to glace before baking.
FIG WAFERS.—Rub together equal quantities of Graham meal, and figs that have been chopped very fine. Make into a dough with cold sweet cream. Roll thin, cut in shape, and bake.
If provision can be made for the reheating of foods, a soup, or grain, macaroni with tomato sauce, or with egg or cream sauce, or some similar article which can be cooked at home, transported in sealed fruit cans, and reheated in a few moments on the grounds, is a desirable addition to the picnic bill of fare.
Recipes for suitable beverages for such occasions will be found in the chapter on Beverages.
Mothers whose children are obliged to go long distances to school, are often greatly perplexed to know what to put up for the noonday lunch which shall be both appetizing and wholesome. The conventional school lunch of white bread and butter, sandwiches, pickles, mince or other rich pie, with a variety of cake and cookies, is scarcely better than none at all; since on the one hand there is a deficiency of food material which can be used for the upbuilding of brains, muscles, and nerves; while on the other hand it contains an