What does Memorial Day mean to you? For most it's the unofficial start of summer. It begins with a long weekend that marks the start of time to spend with family, go on vacation, and enjoy the outdoors. For some it's the end of school and the start of long, lazy days out of the classroom.
Over the past week or so I've seen dozens of posts about the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. They've given recipes for cookouts and ideas for family vacations. Almost none of them talk about what Memorial Day means.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was established three years after the end of the Civil War by the head of an organization of Union veterans as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. May 30 was chosen by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan because he believed that flowers would be in bloom all over the country at that time. The first large observance was held in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery.
Gen. Logan’s order stated, "We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic."
So, while we're enjoying our weekend, let's remember to take a few minutes to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy and the service members past and present who guard them. And, if you haven't yet planned what you're going to be cooking for your bunch of freedom loving folks, let me make a few suggestions.
I'd suggest starting with these delicious and easy to prepare Slow Cooker Barbecued Ribs. Nothing says "Memorial Day Cookout" like barbecued ribs and this is an easy, foolproof recipe that results in flavorful, tender ribs. By using your slow cooker, you don't have to tend the grill or baste every few minutes. Just follow my easy directions and you'll have tasty, mouth-watering ribs right out of your slow cooker.
And to go along with your ribs, I'd like to suggest our family's favorite Potato Salad. It's slightly tangy from the yellow mustard in the dressing but also sweet from the pickle relish.
And what would ribs be without a side of Baked Beans. This is my mother's recipe and the only one I ever use. The beans are topped with a layer of bacon that imparts its flavor into the complete dish. You're gonna love these.
Then for dessert, what better than a classic Banana Pudding. This is a real oldie-but-goodie. Everyone from the smallest to the oldest loves Banana Pudding and this is the classic cooked custard recipe. No instant pudding mix involved here.
So there you have a complete Memorial Day cookout menu. Hope you find something there that you'd like to try this weekend.
And while you enjoy your cookout, beach trip or just relaxing with your family and friends this weekend, don't forget the men and women who gave and continue to give their lives in service to our country. It is they who make it possible for us to enjoy our freedom every day.
Lana Stuart is the cook and occasional traveler here at Never Enough Thyme. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
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