This weekend is the celebration of our freedoms as Americans. I love the freedom that I have to celebrate how I want with whom I want! Indiana’s Family of Farmers has made a wonderful contribution of goodies and picnic accessories to our family and asked me to share with you about our Memorial Day traditions!
When I was a kid, our family tradition for Memorial Day was to load up the car Beverly Hillbilly style and head south of the border to Mexico with six or seven other families. We would camp out on gorgeous cliffs overlooking the ocean, light off firecrackers at night, sit around the bonfire telling stories (after camping together for so many years, there were A LOT of stories), scuba dive and hang out on boats all day, hike and climb the bluffs, go fishing and explore. My favorite part was that we were let loose to do whatever we wanted to do. It was fantastic!
Since I’ve moved so far away from Mexico, our Indiana Memorial Day family traditions are different now. We spend time with family. Who our family is changes and expands every year and it has for the past 9 years. Close friends, neighbors, blood relatives, our new babies, church friends, they have all become part of our family — this makes me happy since my own parents and sister and aunts and uncles and cousins are so far.
Our family generally has at least one big backyard BBQ during the weekend, sometimes we just grill out all weekend long. This year, one of my best friends from my childhood will be visiting from California and attending the Indy500. While attending the 500 isn’t necessarily a tradition among our family group, this year we are including it and I am so excited to get to attend the parade.
As our “traditional” family grows and forms, I have no idea what to expect as far as traditions for the future but for now we’re just living in the moment and enjoying one another and all of those who are such a wonderful addition to our family group.
We tend to pull the grill out and make use of it as soon as the snow melts so by Memorial day we’re ready for something other than hot dogs and hamburgers. Another awesome entree for the grill is Kabobs. Yum! Just add marinated meat (steak, shrimp, chicken) and your favorite veggies to a wooden kabob skewer (soaked in water), or a metal version available in stores. Great items to try are peppers, onions, tomatoes, pineapple, tomatoes and even tofu!
As it gets deeper into summer, corn on the cob will start making appearances in local grocery stores — we LOVE to grill corn for dinner. Sometimes we grill it in the husk but generally we will remove the husk and silk, rub olive oil on the corn, add some seasonings: I’ve found our favorites to be garlic salt and pepper, wrap in foil and place it on the grill for 15-30 minutes, rotating frequently. Some of our friends swear that putting a few ice cubes in the foil with the corn creates a great steam effect and makes the corn more moist and yummy.
Memorial Day Conversation Starter: There are 800 kernels of corn and 16 rows of kernels on every healthy ear of corn AND there is one silky strand for every kernel of corn! Did you know that most of the corn growing in Indiana is field corn, which is used to feed animals, produce biofuel or make a whole host of products from plastic cups to fabric for shirts?
Thank you to Indiana’s Family of Farmers for sponsoring this post and encouraging us all to enjoy the Hoosier tradition of food, family and fun!