“There is one firm … requirement” of the picnic, M.F.K. Fisher wrote in her delightful 1957 essay, The Pleasures of Picnics: It “must be eaten outdoors.” In case you didn’t get that, she adds, for emphasis, “al fresco, en plein air.”
With great deference to Ms. Fisher, I must, however, disagree. This is not to say I don’t love a good summer spread under the shade of a years-old tree as much as anyone — I do! Ants, grass stains, and all. In fact, I love picnics so much that I simply can’t reserve them for natural settings. No, my requirements for a picnic are much simpler.