28 May 2013

PCS food give away

I gave most if my condiments away today. My cupboards are bare.

ONE came home and went right to the pantry and said "MOM!!! The food is gone! Where's all the food?"

This is my kind of Mom

25 May 2013

Memorial Day BBQ recipes

This Memorial Day will be spent with my parents and kids. Hubby cant get back, needs to save leave for our move.  So it'll be quiet- no entertaining, but we'll probably keep a lot of our recipe traditions anyway.  We'll still play in the pool, set up the camp chairs, turn on the palm trees, and fire up the grill.

Here's my post from last year.

We had a great time and everyone pitched in to make some sides while our family took care of the meats and drinks. We had BBQ chicken- thighs and drumsticks, steak tips, and natural casing hot dogs and bratwursts.
In the summer months we try to grill as much as possible to help cut down on the heat that comes from the oven making the AC work harder.  If you do have to cook, do it in the morning or in a crock pot.

BBQ chicken is so easy to make!  I learned a few tricks to making the chicken really moist and fabulous tasting.

Memorial Day Craft Ideas

Kids love crafts!  They love to make things with their hands- whether it's finger painting or making paper mache or simply cutting out pictures.  We've always had great success incorporating crafts into our family BBQs.  Having crafts gives parents a bit of a break to have adult conversation, and a chance to grab some munchies without little ones vying for a spot on Mom's lap.

Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day has always been about remembering Soldiers who have died in service to our country. It originally began as a day to recognize fallen Union and Confederate Soldiers.  And it has expanded with each subsequent war the US has become involved in. It’s not about patriotism, it’s not a time for fireworks and celebrations; it’s a time of remembrance. It’s a time to pay tribute.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our country. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. 

During the first national celebration, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there. This event was inspired by local observances of the day that had taken place in several towns throughout America in the three years since the Civil War. By the late 1800s, many more cities and communities had begun to observe Memorial Day, and after World War I, it became an occasion for honoring those who had died in all America’s wars.

Since the late 1950's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd United States Army Infantry Regiment place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones and about 7,300 niches at Arlington National Cemetery's columbarium. Another 13,500 flags are placed at the Soldier's and Airmen's Home National Cemetery.  They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.  Most other National Cemeteries have followed suit.

To help Americans re-educate and remind them of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed in December, 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to "Taps" .

When I think of Memorial Day, my first thoughts are to my own father.  My dad is a military guy- in fact he and 5 of his brothers all served in the military.  My Dad grew up in the sugar cane fields on the southern coast of Puerto Rico.  When he was about 10 years old he immigrated to New Jersey where his father and mother made a better life for their children.  My Dad grew up listening to NY Mets games on the radio, listening to his father tell him what a great country this was.

My father continued those same values in his own family of 7 kids.  I am the eldest and I cannot remember a time when my father didn't express his great love of country.  He was in the US Army 82nd AirBorne Division.  I remember being on base and hearing the bugle in the afternoon and my dad teaching us to stop and place our hands on our hearts as we listened to the National Anthem.  I remember having great BBQs where my dad would invite everyone and anyone to come and celebrate with us on the 4th of July.  I remember when he retired that he kept that same love of country as he flew both the US flag as well as the 82nd flag.  I married an AF guy and he now flies an AF flag.  My brother in law is a retired Army Ranger so he flies the Army flag, too.  My father loves his country!

Every year, since I was a little girl, he watches the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS.  Now we continue that tradition in our home.  We have a nice BBQ but we always remember to speak with our children about the great freedoms they enjoy and the great land in which they live, that these freedoms didn't come easily, in fact came a great sacrifice of both blood and treasure.  But not to simply remember but to honor them.  They need to be treated with the respect they deserve from those whose freedoms they fought and often died for.

Here are a few ways we've celebrated Memorial Day.  Perhaps there are a few you'd like to share as well.
  • visit cemeteries and place flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
  • visit memorials.
  • fly the U.S. Flag if you don't already
  • fly the 'POW/MIA Flag'
  • participate in the "National Moment of Remembrance": at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day
  • renew your pledge to find a way to give back to the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans and their families
I call upon all Americans to come alongside these valiant men and women to offer them the healing balm of friendship. Don’t be reluctant to reach out and offer tangible aid and support to the sons and daughters of America who are returning home from the battlefields to our neighborhoods. While our government can and must facilitate their rehabilitation, you can play a crucial role in bringing about a recovery of the soul which comes through individual acts of kindness and friendship. Recognizing our wounded Americans for their service alone is not enough! We must walk with them on the path to wholeness of body, mind and spirit. Let us devote ourselves to being there for them each step of the way. Anointing them with friendship blesses and supports each of them in ways that make for a better America.
— General Colin L. Powell