Honoring the fallen (and lots of food!)

May 23, 2015

The history behind the holiday. Remember them.


You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em got your menus planned for the holiday weekend?

No doubt they will involve the grill, as grilling is just one of those things that Must Be Done on Memorial Day weekend.

But before we dive off into weekend food plans, let’s take a moment to consider the holiday, and have our history/civics lesson for the day.

Memorial Day, created in the wake of the Civil War, is a day for honoring those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives on the field of battle in the service of their country. It is NOT a day to honor all veterans — that’s Veterans’ Day, in November. Major Gen. John A. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Civil War vets, formally proclaimed the holiday in 1868, though some scattered observances were taking place, both North and South, before that.

So — those hundreds of thousands buried in National Cemeteries at Shloh, Chickamauga, Fort Donelson, Gettysburg, Arlington — those are the men and women behind your three day weekend and your holiday. Remember them, amid the cold beer and the hot dogs.

So — whatcha cooking? Here in the MidSouth, things are complicated by the fact that there’s a good chance of rain Saturday and Sunday, so my brisket I’d planned to sous vide and then grill may wind up getting done in the oven. Ditto the chicken, which I had pegged for a garlic-lime marinade and grilling. Oh, well, they can both go in the oven (just not at the same time!) if need be.

Today's market treasures. Good eating.

Today’s market treasures. Good eating.

And I have Farmers Market veggies to go with both of them. I have, in fact, squash and asparagus, which I might put on the grill with the chicken, should the weather allow me to grill. If not, well, they’ll cook inside.

I also got some more new potatoes. That last batch I got was just so, so, so sweet and creamy when I roasted them alongside a meat loaf. These’ll get roasted as well, and then maybe they’ll go into a potato salad with lemon, mayo and dill. Or maybe a lemon-tarragon viniagrette.  Ooohhh. That sounds good. That will have to happen to at least some of them.

Dessert — will cap and macerate strawberries in sugar, and make something for them to go over. Maybe a true shortcake, made like a biscuit but with butter instead of shortening, and lightly sweetened.  I have creme anglaise in the fridge, and it would be quick work to make creme fraiche as well. (Then I would have creme fraiche if I wanted to make that asparagus pasta later in the week….)

In any event, we will not starve. Nor will you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em, should you decide to stop by. Y’all enjoy your holiday.





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