August 22, 2007

Picnic Fare, Fifties Style

We take plastic, styrofoam filled ice chests that keep food chilled for days for granted now. Fifty years ago, picnic food could be dangerous, bacteria growing in tasty dishes that did not keep well in summer heat. Banana or pineapple sandwiches made and eaten on the spot were a safe choice. Mama usually added peanut butter with bananas and cheese to pineapple.

My friend Burt laughed when she told about taking her new boyfriend on a family picnic. Eddie was from the north, stationed at Fort Benning. Burt, blond and pretty, had caught his eye. She was only allowed to double date with her best friend. Somehow they'd managed to convince these fellows to go along on a family picnic to Callaway Gardens.

Burt's Mama spread the picnic fare on the table under a huge live oak. "Y'all come on now. There's bananas and pineapple for sandwiches."

Eddie looked startled. He leaned over and said in a low voice, "Burt, I don't eat... FRUIT sandwiches."

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