Although Memorial Day has simply come to symbolize the start of summer for many people, its true purpose is to honor the men and women who lost their lives while serving our country.
Here are a few ways you can observe the real meaning of Memorial Day with your family:
- Take time to explain the meaning of Memorial Day to children or grandchildren.
- Proudly fly the American flag.
- Take your family to a Memorial Day parade in your community.
- Place a donation in an American Legion kettle and get a red poppy for your lapel.
- Make a point of attending a ceremony at the local war memorial.
- Stop by a local cemetery and place flags on the graves of fallen soldiers.
Also Memorial Day wouldn’t be the holiday that it is without a picnic, right? I have many great fond memories as a child uniting with my family for our semi annual gathering. They were simply the best. Thought I would share a few helpful tips with you on how to make it go from drab to fab.
When dining outdoors on Memorial Day show your patriotic colors with a red, white and blue table trim. This is a very easy way to get a festive feel for you picnic.
- First, cover your picnic or patio table with a white tablecloth, allowing it to hang over the sides of the table. You can use cloth if you choose, but disposable paper tablecloths are less expensive and require no laundering afterward. They can be found at variety and party supply stores.
- Next, gather red and blue ribbon in assorted widths. Cut lengths of ribbon equal to the length of the tablecloth. Center the widest ribbon down the length of the table. Place a bit of double-stick tape on the underside of the ribbon at each edge of the table. Add additional ribbons on each side of the wide ribbon, and tape as before. Trim the ribbons even with the tablecloth.
- Now cut lengths of ribbon equal to the width of the table. Place them across the width of the table between each place setting, weaving them through the lengthwise ribbons, and tape as before. Trim ribbons even with the tablecloth.
- Place red and white geraniums in a patriotic container on the center of the table. Wrap tableware in a festive napkin; tie in a bow with a contrasting ribbon.
Now, one thing that makes these times so special is the food….take a look at some of these goodies.
Flag Pop-tarts (to cute)
I think your kids would think your the best, with these little treats.
Pop-Tarts® | Tasty Creations | Celebration Flags
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 Kellogg's® Pop-Tarts® Strawberry toaster pastries
16 fresh red raspberries or 12 medium fresh strawberries
36 fresh blueberries
1. In a small bowl stir together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spread on top of KELLOGG'S POP-TARTS STRAWBERRY toaster pastries, completely covering tops.
2. Lengthwise quarter raspberries or halve strawberries and thinly slice. Arrange 9 blueberries on top left corner of each toaster pastry to make "stars" on flags. Arrange raspberries or strawberries on top of toaster pastries to make "red stripes" on flags. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
Ice cream (fun for the kids)
In a pint sized zip lock bag combine:
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbs. sugar
Zip the bag closed getting out as much air as possible.
Put the pint size zip lock bag into a gallon zip lock with:
1/3 bag of ice
1/4 cup salt on the ice.
Zip it closed and shake it (the kids love this part) until the ice cream is firm. Cut a corner off the small bag and squeeze the ice cream into a cup or bowl. Top with toppings of your choice.
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Quickly dip ice cream sandwiches partway in melted chocolate; coat chocolate with sprinkles. Place on prepared baking sheet and freeze. Yield: 4 servings.
- 8 cups lemonade
- 2 cans (5-1/2 ounces each) peach nectar or apricot nectar
- 1 cup frozen unsweetened sliced peaches
- Fresh mint sprigs, snapdragons and lemon balm
- In a 3-qt. glass pitcher, combine the lemonade and nectar; refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving, stir the lemonade mixture; add frozen peach slices. Place mint sprigs along the sides of the pitcher and float the flowers on top of the lemonade. Yield: About 2-1/2 quarts.
Serves 12 to 15
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
- Raw sugar or fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
- 2 pints blueberries
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled (small berries left whole, large berries halved lengthwise)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
- Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, pulse flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add butter, and pulse until largest pieces are the size of peas. Add cream cheese, and pulse again until largest pieces are the size of peas. Add buttermilk, and pulse until dough comes together. Transfer to a bowl, and gently knead into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or overnight).
- Divide dough in half. Working with one portion at a time on a lightly floured work surface, pat into a disk, then roll into a 10-inch round. Transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Brush biscuits with buttermilk. Generously sprinkle raw or sanding sugar over tops and sides. Brush off sugar from parchment. Bake until dough has risen slightly and is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes (if bottoms brown too quickly, reduce temperature to 400 degrees). Leave biscuits on sheets. Using a 2 1/2-inch star cutter, cut out (but do not remove) 7 stars from one biscuit while it is still warm. Let cool.
- Using a paring knife, carefully remove star shapes. Reserve for snacking or another use. (Biscuits can be made up to 8 hours ahead; store on wire racks, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.)
- Make the filling: Combine blueberries, strawberries, and 2 tablespoons sugar, and let macerate until juicy, 10 minutes.
- Just before serving, beat cream to medium peaks with remaining tablespoon sugar and the vanilla.
- Assemble the cake: Place uncut biscuit on a large plate. Spoon half the berries and their juices on top of biscuit, then spread the whipped cream over berries. Top with all but about 1/2 cup berries. (Make sure surface is even; it will support the top biscuit and prevent it from breaking.) Carefully place cutout biscuit on top. Fill star cutouts with reserved berries. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, uncovered, up to 3 hours.
If time allows I will try to add some grilling ideas….they would be good for anytime this summer….and remember there is always July 4th right around the corner.
When dining indoors, decorate your table using all your red, white and blue goodies.
You don’t have to spend alot of time decorating for this holiday, however if you are having friends or family over during this weekend, it serves as a nice reminder of why we celebrate and puts people in a more festive mood. Just a few simple ideas I found while scouring the internet.
Well really should scoot for now. Have some packing to do as well as a few errands. Hubby and I along with some friends are heading out to Amish Country tomorrow for a few days, should be home late Sunday night . If I don’t get back before Monday, hope all has a safe and family fun filled Memorial Day.
Woo Hoo Summer is here!