Picnic among the roses

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2008

By Sara Anthony Hill
For The Salisbury Post
Who can say which came into existence first ó the rose or the picnic?
For as long as poets have written and sung of their loves, of their passions, hopes and yearnings, they have found that the world of nature is the perfect mirror for the world of their emotions. Nothing but nature’s moods and changing seasons can reflect the variety of love’s emotions. Nothing but the beauty of a flower ó or maybe good homecooked food ó can equal or express the loved one’s charms. It is no coincidence that the earliest love story took place in a garden:
“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food (Genesis 1: 8-9).”
The first food that was eaten was in The Garden (a picnic), and there were probably roses there. Or at least I would like to think that there were. Maybe they even ate strawberries, which are of the rose family.
The picnic. Nothing is more American, whether it is in a garden, by the lake or at the park, but I believe family outings and picnics today have suffered greatly over the years because of fast food and the hurried times. It’s usually a family reunion or covered-dish supper at church when you may try a new recipe or take the time to make something from scratch.
Most of the recipes I would like to share are easy, practical, portable and can be made in advance of the picnic day. Try some or all of them, or create your own picnic menu. Hamburgers and hot dogs are traditional, and these recipes will go great with both. But KFC, Mickey D’s and Pizza Hut are off limits.Some of the recipes have been around for a long time, as far back as Martha Washington. Martha loved roses, too. The Shrewsbury cakes were popular in early America. This particular recipe is an adaptation of “To Make Shrewsbury Cakes” from a pre-1715 manuscript that belonged to Martha Washington.I couldn’t resist trying these delicate shortbread cakes. After calling around, I found rosewater flavoring (not with glycerin) at the Simply Good Health Food Store on East Innes Street.
My mother loved flowers and was a wonderful cook. My daddy grew roses for her. Neither were Master Gardeners, but they were both masters of the garden. Both had green thumbs. Their garden also was “pleasant to the sight and good for food.” Thank goodness! There were eight mouths to feed. I suppose my passion for cooking and roses is a genetic gift.
Rose Show this weekend
Wish Mother and Daddy were here to see all the tremendously gorgeous roses and rose arrangements that will be on display at the Rose Show from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1, at the Civic Center.
Roses will be sold on Sunday at the close of the show. Admission is free.
The Salisbury-Rowan Rose Society was formed on April 16, 1956. We have 53 members in our society. The meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at John Calvin Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, 1620 Brenner Ave.
The Triangle Rose Garden on West Innes Street was started in 1976 as a gift to the citizens of the city and county. The Salisbury-Rowan Rose Society planted and maintains the garden.
As members, we are blessed to have six Consulting Rosarians in our society, certified by the American Rose Society: Carolyn Alexander, Clyde Harriss, John Lowery; Doris and Baxter Morgan and Robert Myers, who is also our president.
Abraham Lincoln wrote:
“Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”
Picnic season is here. Get out, enjoy and be sure to stop and smell the roses.
Sara Anthony Hill lives in Salisbury.