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PICNICKING IN THE PARKS:

ST. FRANCISVILLE, LOUISIANA, OFFERS OLD-FASHIONED PLEASURES

By Anne Butler

Picnics used to be one of the most highly anticipated of pleasures, whether they were beside bubbling creeks, in sun-drenched meadows filled with wildflowers, or in some urban greenspace with traffic roaring along the periphery. The picnickers themselves might be lovers snatching a few magical moments together, or they might be sunburnt children toting fishing poles along with their baskets of goodies. And as for the picnic fare, it could range from gourmet goose liver pates and imported vino in baskets equipped with fine silverware and china to PB&J “sammiches” and a Mason jar of sweet tea in a brown paper sack. But somehow it all tasted divine on a picnic.

Some of the most memorable picnics began at Catalpa Plantation near St. Francisville in the old days, when Miss Mamie and Miss Sadie doted on young visitors and would send them out into the lovely landscaped grounds with picnic baskets so heavily laden that the gardener had to be dispatched as bearer for the expedition. There would be fried chicken, dainty finger sandwiches with crusts removed, tiny tarts with lemon filling or perhaps pecan, deviled eggs, chicken salad, old-fashioned tea cakes, fresh strawberries, pink lemonade with maraschino cherries, all to be devoured on a patchwork quilt spread beneath the live oaks amidst the blossoming hydrangeas and the drooping pink indigo blooms. At every historic home near St. Francisville, the same scene was repeated, though perhaps not with quite such elan.



Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 August 2007 )
 
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