On Saturday, I woke up and decided I wanted to make the 5-hour drive home to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to hang out with my parents and grandparents for the Memorial Day weekend. Having a three-day holiday weekend makes for a perfect trip home, and I decided I needed to follow the urge for family time. So, I threw a bag of clothes, a bag of baking ingredients, and bag of produce in the car and hit the road.
Since I need to leave Wisconsin to go back to Minneapolis on Memorial Day, we had our family get-together today. My parents and I and enjoyed a wonderful dinner together on the back porch with my grandparents. Everyone loves good, home-cooked food - I come from a family of great bakers and cooks - so everyone is very open to food that works for my dietary restrictions and trying out new recipes.
We had a great menu - grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, creamy jicama collard slaw, and a delicious raspberry rhubarb coconut bar for dessert. The sun was shining, a cool breeze was in the air and it was family time well-spent. And not only did we have great food, the rest of my family enjoyed the classic Wisconsin cocktail: the Old-Fashioned. Familiar with it? Yeah, probably not, unless you are from Wisconsin. No real Wisconsin family get-together is ever complete without an Old-Fashioned (or a cheese and cracker plate, which the rest of my family also ate). Heck, my absolutely adorable, sweet-looking 86-years-young grandma has an Old-Fashioned every afternoon. It is a combination of whiskey or brandy, 7Up, bitters, cherry juice, and a garnish of cherries, olives, orange, or cinnamon sticks, depending on your preference. My grandma likes hers with whiskey and cherries, and not too much ice, for fear of watering it down too much.
I hope you enjoy any get-togethers with friends or family on this holiday, and maybe even enjoy these recipes some time. They all passed the test with the parents and grandparents, and passed the test with me too. Check it! This was a great menu, and left everyone feeling satisfied and happy. Hooray for family time and great food.
PRE-MEMORIAL DAY GET-TOGETHER RECIPE ROUND-UP