Grace Krilanovich's Reviews > The Picnic Book

The Picnic Book by Nika Hazelton
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's review
Nov 25, 07

Read in January, 2008

An amazing book -- not just a cookbook, because I suppose you could consider it more "gastronomy,” with a lot of text and lavish illustrations in a dated 60s Hallmark-psychedelic style -- just an all around attractive package with nice paper and everything. The first chapter alone, "Picnic a Deux in a Graveyard, " is worth the price of admission. Beginning with some exposition about all the lovely things about picnicking with the dead, Hazleton goes on to reminisce at length about a plein air snackypoo in Switzerland next to Rilke's grave when she was just a "young girl" (whatever that means) being fed by a man 30 years her senior. This is, I guess, the 1940s. He keeps pulling pate du fois gras, chilled asparagus, strawberry tarts out of this big basket while they sip "Matador's wine" out of little glasses. Lots of talk about sneaking around like little children and her dipping a sugar lump in his bourbon make for an odd (aka: kinda perverted) read. And, of course, after the author deftly unleashes more sexual tension than the entire Naked Gun trilogy, she lists each recipe as it appeared in the story.

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