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“A book of verse beneath the bough
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Ah, wilderness were paradise now!”
Omar Kháyyám praised the simple pleasure of eating and relaxing outside in his 12th-century poem Rubáiyát; the English caught on about five centuries later. Regardless of when it began, picnicking has become ingrained in our culture, mostly because it’s so easy yet so rewarding: put together a light meal, grab a book and a blanket, and go to town (or rather, to country).
Now that it’s warm enough for you to plan your own outings, check out these books; they’ll help you scour the farmers’ market for the best seasonal ingredients, make everything from snacks to feasts, locate the best picnic spot…and, of course, give you a book or two to bury your nose in while you enjoy the lovely weather outdoors.
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