Picnic, Pic Nik

One cup of sugar, one half cup of butter, two eggs, one half cup of sweet milk, one tea-spoonful of cream of tartar, one half tea-spoonful of soda. Mix with sifted flour to the consistency of cookies, cut in strips, which roll in powdered sugar and twist into round cakes. Bake a very light brown.
Croly, Jane. Jennie June's American Cookery Book. NY: 1870

Excerpt from article in Yankee Notions, November 1, 1861:
EVERYBODY has, at some time of his life, been afflicted with that peculiar disease that attacks a rural community, and makes them rush into the woods, and perpetrate that most dismal and elaborate form of all known forms of human discomfort, known as a “Picnic.”
This malady, which has never yet been described by physicians, principally prevails in the country—there being something in the air of the city that neutralizes the floating malaria that breeds the picnic fever. This strange infection is most prevalent in small country villages about strawberry time; and it generally attacks all the unmarried people in a single neighborhood on nearly the same day. It is incurable, and must always be permitted to run its course. If the old folks in the neighborhood where the disease appears, are wise, they will at once provide the afflicted juveniles with a large quantity of sandwiches, cake, cheese, pies, lemonade and bottled ale, pack the young folks carefully into wagons (the boys and girls being equally distributed in each wagon) and hustle them off to the nearest shady cow-pasture, and let the disease culminate in a picnic.
Everybody in the country knows the effects of this fever—jealousies and heart-burnings for some, and engagements and weddings for others. In those places where the symptoms are well understood, it is brought to its culmination quickly, so as to have the crisis past, and get the patients progressing favorably, as soon as possible.
It has been proposed to put this peculiar summer-sickness to a good use in a meteorological way; for keen observers have often remarked, that there was never a picnic-party yet, where women were invited, that didn't get drenched to the skin by a driving shower before they came home.
Accordingly, in seasons of drought, picnic parties are resorted to for the purpose of bringing on rain and saving the crops—and the expedient has never been known to fail.


London Literary Gazette. 1829. Differences in America & England
British history. 1839 new entertainment...Pic Nic supper (1802)
Notes and Queries London: 1853. from France or Italy
Chandler, Thomas. The Americans at Home. 1854 A Pic-Nic at the Sea Shore
Pencil Sketches series 1 by Miss Leslie 1831. A Pic-Nic at the Sea Shore
Wilcox, Estelle. Buckeye Cookery. 1877 For the Picnic
Epicure's year book. London: 1869