Make a Memory

Posted on: June 1, 2015
Tags: Monthly News, Holiday, cafe, midwest, brunch, Cincinnati, tradition

I romanticize about summer. Picnics were one my favorite things to think about even though as a child we hardly went on any. When visiting my grandparents in Florida, however, we actually did enjoy picnics most days that we went to the beach. It was simple .Nana would make us sandwiches wrapped in smooth waxed paper. There would some kind of  cookie, some cut up fruit or grapes , a stack of paper napkins and 6 colorful plastic glasses all laid neatly at the bottom of a woven basket complete with a handle all protected from the sun with one of her worn tablecloths. Sitting off to the side was a tall green Aladdin thermos filled with cold lemonade. We would head off to the beach after completing our morning chores supervised by our grandfather. No matter what your age you could help. Chores consisted of picking weeds, watering plants, hanging laundry or sweeping the patio.

By late morning, we were ready for a swim. My Mom would drive us there. We would stake our territory with our towels and jump in the ocean.

As most of you know, all food tastes like heaven after a swim, so those sandwiches , fruit, cookies and lemonade all sprinkled with a bit of sand couldn’t have been better. We had to take a bit of a rest after lunch to digest our food. That was a great time for walking or digging in the sand. Occasionally my Mom brought stale bread along, which she would sprinkle on top of her hat and we would watch in amazement as the seagulls would swoop down to get the crumbs off the brim.

As children, there was one day a year that my Grandfather’s family would all meet at Old Coney Island. It is there that we would enjoy the glorious bounty of our rarely seen relatives multiple cooking talents come forth. I remember it all. German potato salad with bacon and vinegar, oven roasted fried chicken, Aunt Ceil’s butter cookies in a Christmas tin and my Grandmother’s tart delicious orangeade in a big green metal dispenser. A picnic table set with our family’s tablecloth, plastic dishes and familiar picnic basket felt like home after wandering the large and wild world of Coney Island. I looked forward to the eating with family as much as riding on the Lost River or Roller Coaster.

So as far picnics go, in our landlocked town, I still pack a few picnics each summer and my husband and I take a drive to nowhere in particular, find a table somewhere in a park or along a roadside stop  on a hot summer evening  and eat. It really doesn’t matter what we’re eating. It just tastes like summer.


This summer pick up a few treats from The BonBonerie so you can have a picnic of your own in one of our wonderful parks. Go on, make a memory.


Sharon Butler


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