Decoration Day a Time for Rememberance and Food


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On Monday, I asked a golf buddy of mine if his family ever decorated the graves of relatives or love ones.  He said no because none of their relatives were members of the military.  His response puzzled me because our family has always decorated the graves of those who have gone before us regardless of any military connection.  Maybe as I get older, the process of dying becomes of more interest.  It is not depressing or alarming;  it is just part of the continuum.  I know that I go on too much about the significance of a grave site and marker.  Cremation and a liberal sprinkling of your ashes in your favorite spot is a good and economical option but you should still have a marker so future generations know that you were here scratching out an existence, making people laugh and making people cry.  Having people love you and having people wonder why you bothered them so.

This past week, Becky and I helped Mom and Dad celebrate this time-honored act by visiting our relative graves in Boonville and Bunceton Mo as well as our love ones in Springfield.   The days were beautiful and the spirits of all were uplifting as they remembered the good that was shared with these relatives who now find their place in heaven.

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Bunceton, Mo

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Boonville Maplewoods

 

The other wonderful think about Memorial Day is you often share a meal with love ones and friends which is what we did.  Our good neighbors Betty and Don and Lynley shared dishes and their company with us.  The menu was typical Spring Holiday fare:

  • Baby Back pork ribs, Eckridge beef sausage, and chicken cooked on a charcoal grill  with a Honey and Soy glaze
  • Betty’s baked bean casserole from First & Calvary Cookbook which was very similar to Carol Sanford’s baked beans
  • Aunt Glad’s Calico Veggie Salad
  • A salad of Spring ingredients of lettuce, onions, tomatoes, artichokes,  and radishes (which in our house we seldom if ever use) tossed with a vinegar and oil dressing and finished with shredded Romano cheese.
  • Watermelon
  • Cheese bread
  • Lynley provided lemon bars which were a nice tart ending to the sweetness of the glazed meat, baked beans and veggie salad.
  • Drinks were  wine, tea, lemonade and a glass of whiskey for me.

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All of the food was great as was the conversation.  Two recipes that I want to pass along are the Honey and Soy Glaze and Aunt Glad’s Calico Veggie Salad.

Aunt Glad’s Calico Salad

I used the following vegetables which I drained;

  • 2 small cans green beans
  • 1 small can petite sweet peas
  • 1 small can of yellow corn
  • 1 medium can of white corn
  • 1 small can of lima beans
  • Half of a 16 oz can of kidney beans
  • Half of a 16 oz can of pinto beans
  • 1 small jar of pimento

I finely chopped the following vegetables:

  • 1 cup of celery
  • 1 cup of red onion
  • 1 cup of green pepper

Prepare the following dressing, than toss with all the above and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of vinegar
  • 2/3 cup of veg oil

Honey and Soy Glaze

Use the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground pepper
  • a generous 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese 5 Spice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • A heaping spoon of chopped garlic
  • I added 2 tablespoons of Maul’s barbeque sauce

Combine and bring these ingredients to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer until the sauce is reduced by half.  Let the mixture cool while you grill the meat and than apply as you would normally do.

Holidays such as Memorial day brings to gather the elements that comforts us and reminds us of the continuum of life; friends, family and good food.

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Where do old meatballs go?

meatballs wine

Tiziano Chianti

 

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What do you do with an old meat ball??

You make a red pasta sauce and simmer the meat balls that were made for a meal in the cold of March.  When there are only two of us, you often have the opportunity to reuse.  The flavor is always good and the meal can come together quickly.  However, I really like the preparation time of chopping, mixing, stirring and simmering.  If you combine this effort with a few glasses of a 2011 Tiziano Chianti, it really tastes quite good and you get compliments from your better half.  Of course, neither one of us can remember what went into the meat balls originally so it is up to you to find  the recipe for the main participant of the dish.

Sauce:

Nonstick skillet

Enough olive oil to sauté your vegetables

Veggies:  Chop half of a celery stalk, 4 baby carrots, 4 slices of yellow onion, white half of a green onion.

Herbs:  Since it is May, I have oregano, basil and parsley growing in my garden and I chopped up a few cutting from these plants plus 2 chopped garlic cloves

Spices; Add a covered palm of sugar and kosher salt and 4 turns of ground pepper

Finally, 8 cherry  Romano tomatoes that were from my 2013 garden and frozen last September.  Becky stated that they needed to be removed from the freezer so into the sauce they went.

Sauté all of the above until the onions are transparent, than add the spices and herbs.  After a few sizzles and pops add a quarter cup of chardonnay, but take a swig first to ensure it is wine and not one of too high quality.  Cook the wine down until the sauce begins to thicken.  Add 6 oz of tomato sauce, add water to the empty can and add to the sauce to make sure all of the tomato sauce is used.  If the sauce begins to thicken too much add some beef broth to increase the moisture.

Plop in the meat balls and simmer for as long as you want.

We used Lidia’s Linguine.  Make as much as your sauce will accommodate.

I always like to add the pasta to the sauce and let it simmer with the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes.  Let the pasta absorb the sauce and its flavor.  I hate those restaurants that serve a sauce and the pasta is sitting in cook water and makes everything so runny.

We like a salad of lettuce, green onion, celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes and chopped green olives with an ample dosing of Zia’s Sweet Italian Oil & Vinegar.

The leftover meatballs inspired a simple, delicious meal for two.

 

 

 

meatless monday — fresh bruschetta pasta

hello spring

hello spring

its finally spring outside! my taste buds are ready for fresh garden goodness. now i know i’ll have to wait a little bit longer to hit the farmers market for those goodies but why not just start making some summer recipes. over the weekend i made a giant batch of bruschetta and garlic toast to serve at a wine night. what to do with the leftovers? i created my owe so favorite nest of pasta, angel hair with some Portobello mushroom ravioli and tossed it in the bruschetta, light, garlicy and just the spring comfort i needed on a monday night!