Memorial Day – about so much more than burgers on the grill. It’s about honoring all Americans who died while in military service, and their families who by extension, gave so much. It began as Decoration Day when family members visited cemeteries and decorated gravesites of the war dead with flowers. This traditional of having Decoration Days still remains today and often involves many family members meeting at a cemetery, decorating together and then having a picnic-like “dinner on the ground” (at least according to Wikipedia).
Also according to Wikipedia, “On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.”
So on this day, remember with your own family and friends how grateful we need to be for all who’ve sacrificed their lives. Attend a parade. Say thank you. Prepare a meal that you mindfully share with those family and friends.
I’m sticking with Decoration Day here and suggesting a picnic. Nobody will be mad if you pour them a Back Nine to start – you know, a spiked Arnold Palmer. Next, everyone seems to like cold fried chicken – how about turning that into a sandwich on this day. Make a spicy slaw too, and slice pickles – people can top their chicken sandwich as they wish. Alongside, a fresh couscous salad (keeps well outside – a little fancier than baby carrots and hummus…not that there’s anything wrong with that). I always want potato chips at picnics, so find the best you can and snag a few bags. And last, it’s not a picnic without dessert…at a picnic cherry pie might be messy, so go with bars – cherry pie bars.
Have a happy, healthy, grateful and mindful Memorial Day.
Tips and Notes
The chicken from this sandwich, make ahead, grab some buns, make the slaw, have people assemble on their own: http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/buttermilk-fried-chicken-sandwich
Buy the best pickles you can find: http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/07/taste-test-what-are-the-best-pickles.html
THIS couscous salad! http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/couscous-salad-zucchini-and-roasted-almonds
Also smart to buy the best potato chips you can find: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/05/taste-test-potato-chips.html
And last but not least, a not messy “cherry pie” http://joythebaker.com/2014/05/cherry-pie-bars/