I always love to read those "man-on-the-street" columns in my local newspaper. It seems that frivolous questions rather than weighty ones inspire far livelier and intriguing responses. In the same spirit, I collar friends, relatives, and total strangers to ask them inconsequential questions on culinary matters.

Q: What's your idea of the perfect picnic?

Go To Word of Mouth Archive

Beatrice: It would be somewhere in the mountains. I like the old baguette-and-cheese picnic menu. The baguette would also have turkey and lots of mustard. Some fancy water like San Pelligrino; I wouldn't have any alcohol because I'd have to get home in one piece. I'd round it off with an entire Swiss chocolate bar with giantic hazlenuts. OK, if I were really going to go all out, I'd have pate and cornichons....but a Clausen pickle out of the fridge is good, too.

Maddie (B.'s seven-year-old daughter): I would want a turkey sandwich with mayonaise and no mustard. I hate mustard. A smoothie. And a chocolate cake with purple sugar flowers on top.

Jack (M.'s three-year-old brother): Cake and sugar.

Maddie: You know what he really loves? Peanut-butter-and-jelly on a hot dog bun.