The holiday is highly anticipated—the first long week-end of summer. If your history is a little clouded, Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day—the American holiday honoring the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Activities of the day traditionally include visiting cemeteries and decorating the graves of veterans, attending memorials, parades, and family gatherings. The holiday is also considered the unofficial start of summer.
If your fam marks Memorial Day with food and fellowship, it’s likely you’ll hear tales of the military service of family veterans ‘round the grill as the delegated pitmaster tends the food. The well-seasoned grill grate may be topped with brats, hotdogs, spareribs, rib tips, burgers or steaks. Deciding on meat, fish, or poultry is easy—-it’s the sides that make the meal. These highly favored salads are make-ahead additions to the menu when cooking ‘cue or simply celebrating the summer season. I’ve had several requests for the recipes; I hope you’ll enjoy them too.
Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
Inspired by the salad created by Blair Hobbs for the Southern Foodways Alliance potato salad throwdown.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
4 drops hot sauce
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chopped sweet pickles or 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 4-oz. jar diced pimentos, drained
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1-2 jalapeno chiles, seeded, minced
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, chopped
2 teaspoons celery salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Additional chopped parsley
Place a large mixing bowl in refrigerator to chill.
Cook the whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot of boiling water about 20 minutes or until they are easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. When the potatoes are done, gently pour them into the sink and under running cold water, peel potatoes as if peeling a hard-cooked egg. Cool potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces into chilled bowl.
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and hot sauce, mix to blend. Set aside.
Add, celery, pickle, onion, bell pepper, pimento, parsley, jalapeno pepper, and eggs to potatoes. Mix together gently. Add mayonnaise mixture; mix gently until blended. Season to taste. Chill several hours or overnight. Before serving top with additional chopped parsley or paprika, if desired. About 15 servings
Favorite Cucumber Salad
This summer refresher is one of my most requested recipes.
3 medium to large cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
11/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
Layer cucumber and onion in large mixing bowl. Stir together vinegar, sugar, salt, parsley, dill, mustard seed, and celery seeds. Pour vinegar mixture over cucumbers and onion. Mix lightly. Cover and chill several hours or overnight.