We Remember Caylee Marie Anthony

We Remember Caylee Marie Anthony
Last Photo of Caylee: 6.15.08

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Memories -- Food and Drink

While Memorial Day is a day full of parades, and memories of heroes gone by. If you are lucky enough to still have a grandfather or great-grandfather around to tell of War stories you have heard a million times, listen to them again. I wish I still had mine to tell me history like that. And someone to share that kind of history with my children. Although, I have to admit, when I was younger, I would have given my eye teeth to get out of listening to my Uncle Douglas' War Stories again and and again. He was my grandmother's brother. Usually, before he would leave, he would give me a John F. Kennedy half dollar. The SILVER kind. He knew he wasn't paying me to listen, because he saw that I truly enjoyed the history, unlike the other cousins, and he must have foreseen the coming day that those 50cent pieces would no longer be made and how much I treasure every one. Yes, I still have them all. But today, I would give every dollar I have to have him come back, if only for one day, just to tell the stories so that my children could hear them and realize what a real hero he was is.

Memorial Day Weekend is the official kick off for summertime. The official lighting of the grill, the pool initiation. Softball games and hot dogs and desserts we thought Mom magically pulled out of the refrigerator. When did she have time to do all of this? I hope my children share fond memories of the holidays like I do. I try to make the magic happen in all them. Some sort of a tradition to give them so that when they look back they can feel the magic of the day throughout their body.

This post has been scheduled so some of these things have already been done, so just follow along. I just love that new post scheduler!

For Memorial Day, we will raise our Flag on Saturday morning. I have a few traditional recipes to make. for our dinner on Sunday. I usually make Southern Banana Puddin', that is always a MUST for Memorial Day. The kids love it. They get to pick out the type of cake they want and I make that as well. I also make a fruit salad and some deviled eggs. These things are always better made a day ahead. Sunday morning, I will get out the bread mixer and start making bread around 5am, so I can make at least 3 loaves. I usually make sourdough and this goes well with spinach dip and, if I make it "darker", I'm loving it with hummus. The kids just love to eat it with honey butter. I also have several other secret dips that I make for the bread to be dipped in.

And you have to have a drink. The perfect Southern drink is Iced Tea. There are 1,101 variations, but I just love mine sweet and a little on the strong side. kinda like my men. LOL that sounded like a country song, couldn't resist. I just love all the flavorings you can buy now. I like to buy the peach and raspberry for the kids and the adults love them as well. They need to make a blackberry because I am loving me some of that Sonic Blackberry sweet tea. I hate it when it says "for a limited time only". It better be limited only until I get tired of drinking it.

After 5 o'clock, but Southerners know it's always 5 o'clock somewhere, we have to have cocktail hour. The men can have their beer, but us GRITS* have to have something a little more than a cocktail in a a bottle. A good standby is a Crown and water. (that's on a bad day) but since we are celebrating, something a little fruity would be in order.

*GRITS=Girls Raised In The South

Seltzer water is a staple in my home. As should be in any good bar, but in a home with kids, you can create some of the most yummiest "virgin" cocktails that even the big kids will be wanting.
There are several variations on the recipes and several alcohol and non alcoholic mixers, but I have found a little secret to make everyone happy.
Although non-alcoholic, Martini Gold makes a great line of mixers. I have tried the chocolate, the pomegranate (pome-tini) and the green apple (apple-tini). I also happen to love the lemon for a lemon drop. Nothing says Summer in the South like a Lemon Drop (oh yeah, have to use vodka for that)
Kiddos are hooked too! LOL Theirs are made 2 and 2 but with seltzer water. Told you seltzer is a staple in our home. They are to die for. Most of these mixes are kid friendly with seltzer and gives them something different and fun. Not promoting underage drinking, here. You know kids love fruity drinks. Mine love the pomegranate too. They also make a blue raspberry, that you can pour over crushed ice from your blender, add seltzer or Sprite, and viola, Slushie.
For decoration, you can rim their glasses in super fine sugar.
Just rim the glass with an orange or lemon wedge then turn the glass upside down into the sugar poured on to a shallow plate. insert glass. You can make a batch of these ahead of time and keep them in the fridge so they are cold. This also keeps the sugar on longer. Another tip is to freeze lemonade for ice so that when it melts, the drink is not watered down, but still adds another layer of flavor, especially good in a lemon drop, if you like to use ice, which isn't really protocol. ;) Good for tea, or just freeze a batch of tea ice cubes. Anything you can think of freezing to keep drinks from getting watered down is great and your guests will appreciate you for it.
Another great idea for frozen punch ice cubes, is my Sangria I make with white grape juice and pomegranate juice. I add juice of on lime and one lemon, seltzer water see,
and cut up fruit of your choice. I use apples, orange slices, lemons, limes, sliced grapes (freeze them for a great treat and to use as ice), mango, papaya, etc. Put it all in a pretty clear glass pitcher and you have the best non alcoholic drink. It is totally "yours" because you can pick the fruit to add. Just make sure to use the lemon and lime juice so that the acidity can cut the sweetness and tartness of the juices. For an alcoholic version, you can add a nice white wine. Make sure you let all the fruit chill overnight for a really great flavor fusion. If using seltzer water, wait until guests arrive to add "chilled" seltzer water to the sangria just before serving. Same with wine. You can also use Rum, if you like. Whatever your choice, make sure you make a batch for the kids and have it clearly marked "For Kids" or "Non Alcoholic" so that they do not get into the wrong batch.

For sides, we have the bread, and I love grilled corn on the cob with "kicked-up butter". Nothing can be so easy and so yummy at the same time. You can either opt to shuck the corn from the husk and grill in foil with the butter all over the corn in the foil (this is what I do...yum). Or, you can grill the corn still in the husk. When it is ready, peel back the husk, leaving intact for looks and have the butter spread ready for your guests to spread on the corn.

Butter Spread "Kicked-Up Butter"

You can make this depending on your amount of guests or make an entire batch, as this keeps up to 2 weeks in fridge so you can use it later on asparagus, in potatoes, on bread, on corn, (again), and on anything you can think of.

This is for the "leftover size" version, as we like to call it. That is if any is left over. Also, a dash is my grandmother's measurement. I would like to say it is a teaspoon, but you can alter as you like to fit your taste.
Use margarine or butter at room temperature (entire entire tub) Butter works best, because it has a richer flavor, But margarine can be used and work just fine if you use it.
Remove from tub and place into a bowl just a bit larger than the butter tub. With a whisk, whisk the butter/margarine until soft and creamy.s
add a dash of garlic powder, a dash of Old Bay Seasoning.
dash of sea salt and a dash of lemon pepper, a couple of drops of Pete's hot sauce- (optional)
Whisk together well and that' s it.

You can also use this by spreading both sides of steaks with it just before placing steaks on grill. Yum-O, take my word for it!.

Now that we ladies have the sides, the desserts, and drinks under control, we can wait on the men to get to grillin'!

For a dessert that will leave them thinking you are wonder woman. Make up a batch of Symphony Brownies. OH Words cannot describe them.

You will need 1 box of family size brownies (13x9 pan)
3 large Symphony candy bars, 1lb size

Mix brownies according to package directions but use 2 eggs. Stir by hand 50 strokes. Pour half the batter into a non stick pan or a metal pan lined with foil. On top of half the batter, place the 3 1lb candy bars, face up. Pour the remainder of the batter. Spread evenly on top, making sure to cover candy bars. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Check at 25 minutes. Will still look gooey, and stick test will not be accurate. As you bake these you will "just know" when they are done. Almost to the stage where the top starts to get flaky. Do not over bake!
Adapted from Paula Deen

I hope you enjoy these recipes that have been used in our family for years. Enjoy your holiday, most of all enjoy being with your family. And don't forget to make memories that last a lifetime.

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Remember Caylee

Song: "Mad World" Gary Jules "I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad. The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.. It's a mad, mad world.." Video courtesy Sean Krause '08 Sleep Well Friend, Justice for Caylee has finally begun ~SM 6.23.11

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