A Perfect Food For Every Holiday

Recipes for Memorial Day.

BIMG_20130525_180509elieve it or not (I’m actually quite sure you will believe it), I have a notebook where I keep record of our holiday traditions, including meal plans and recipes. My terrible memory plus my ADD equals the need to write everything down. So I pulled out the notes today to plan Memorial Day. It says, “Food: Granitas, Fruit or Mint Tea, Lemon Bars, BBQ Chicken, Spaghetti Salad, Sunshine Salad. Decorations: Bright red, white, true blue.” Not a very thorough entry.

I’m going to guess I don’t have to instruct you on BBQ chicken. You likely already have your own way of accomplishing it and it probably involves a bottle of bbq sauce and a gas grill. If you are still lost, please see the entry “Those Summer Nights” from May 2, 2012, where I include recipes for Spiced and Grilled Chicken (a great substitute for BBQ chicken) and Summer Spaghetti Salad (so I won’t be repeating it here). Then to round out your Memorial Day spread, I will give you here the recipes for a classic Sunshine Salad (as Betty Crocker named it years ago), Lemon Bars, and Granitas. Enjoy the holiday with a little summer-conjuring linner, and don’t forget to take a moment to remember those who have fought (and died) for our freedom.

SUNSHINE BROCCOLI SALAD

This salad is better than you expect, if you have never tasted it. Don’t leave anything out.

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup natural mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons organic cider vinegar.
  2. In a serving dish, toss together 3 cups broccoli florets and pieces, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar, and a couple tablespoons diced, red onion.
  3. Mix in the dressing and then 4 slices of cooked bacon, diced.

LEMON BARS

Which I’ll be serving with fresh berries and cherries. Lemon bars on Memorial Day always remind me of two things: the coming summer months of lemonade and tying a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree. And by the way, homemade lemon bars are light years ahead of the boxed variety. I once got lazy not wanting to zest my lemons, so I used a teaspoon or so of natural lemon extract. It worked well.

  1. Grease/oil a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups spelt flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (which you can do quickly with your hands) and then 3 tablespoons orange juice.
  3. Press crust mixture into the bottom of your pan and bake 20 minutes at 350F, until beginning to brown.
  4. Meanwhile, beat together 4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice.  Whisk in 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Pour filling into crust and bake another 25 minutes, until they are completely set. Let cool, and store refrigerated, bringing to room temp before serving.

BLUEBERRY GRANITAS

Aka. slushies for grown ups (and for people who don’t accept red dye #329 as a suitable dessert flavoring).

  1. Puree 5 cups blueberries with 1 cup sugar until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve.
  2. Mix strained blueberry juice with 1 1/2 cup water and the juice of 2 lemons.
  3. Put liquid in the fridge and stir with a fork once an hour for 4-5 hours. The more you stir, the slushier the end product will be. Keep frozen. Serve in a small bowl or in glasses, optionally topped with champagne.
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