In the "Sunny South," picnics are in order as early as April, but in the more northern latitudes should never be attempted before the latter part of May or June, and September and October are the crowning months for them around the northern lakes, where hunting and fishing give zest to the sports. First be up "at five o'clock in the morning," in order to have the chicken, biscuit, etc., freshly baked. Provide two baskets, one for the provisions, and the other for dishes and utensils, which should include the following: Tablecloth and an oil-cloth to put under it, napkins, towels, plates, cups, forks, a. few knives and table-spoons, tea-spoons, sauce dishes, tin cups (or tumblers, if the picnickers are of the over-fastidious variety); a tin bucket, for water, in which a bottle of cream, lemons, oranges, or other fruit may be carried to the scene of action; another with an extra close cover, partly filled with made chocolate, which may be readily reheated by setting in an old tin pail or pan in which water is kept boiling a la custard-kettle; a frying-pan; a coffee-pot, with the amount of prepared coffee needed tied in a coarse, white flannel hag; a tea-pot, with tea in a neat paper package; tin boxes of salt, pepper, and sugar; a tin box for butter (if carried) placed next to block of ice, which should be well wrapped with a blanket and put in a shady corner of the picnic wagon. For extra occasions, add a freezer filled with frozen cream, with ice well packed around it, and heavily wrapped with carpeting. To pack the basket, first put in plates, cups, and sauce dishes carefully with the towels and napkins, and paper if needed; then add the rest, fitting them in tightly, and covering all with the table-cloth, and over it the oil-cloth. Tie the coffee and tea-pots, well wrapped up, and the frying-pan to the handles. Pack provision basket as full as the law allows, or as the nature of the occasion and the elasticity of the appetites demand.
The following bills of fare may be picked to pieces and recombined to suit tastes and occasions: