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.
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.
- 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.
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.