Happy Memorial Day

Been too cold, so my red poppies are late to bloom this year. Last year’s will have to do to honor Memorial Day.

It’s a soaker (again) here today.


Happy Memorial Day Weekend


This is the downtown park where my parents live. My dad and brother have been active for years in placing these flags every Memorial Day weekend. Each one is a Veteran’s casket flag (the ones draped over the casket then folded and given to a family member). The families donate them to the local American Legion, the Veteran gets name plate and a flag holder in the area and every Memorial day the flags are flown.

I don’t know how many they are up now, but they cover the downtown.

A year or so ago, the American Legion had a fire and the biggest concern for everyone was the flags, They really are irreplaceable. Luckily they were all fine. The insurance company took them, had them cleaned, sealed and stored until the Legion was repaired.

After putting the  big flags up, the volunteers then go to the local cemeteries and put flags at all the Veteran’s graves.  It’s a busy weekend.

Just a reminder it’s about more than picnics and cookouts.



P1000241 (1600x1060)We had a nice day for a picnic.  Here’s the grill master enjoying a brew.P1000243 (1600x1060)A few of the ginormous chicken breasts.  Lily, the grill dog, is taking a short break.  Don’t reach for a chicken unless you know her.  Also on the menu were pork steaks, and roasted corn:P1000238 (1600x1060)I didn’t get there in time to get a picture of the corn piled atop the grill.

P1000248 (1600x1060)In the spirit of good old American Innovation, here is a sauerkraut dip.  It has cheddar cheese, mayo, hard boiled eggs, and green onions.  Maybe cream cheese – alas, I didn’t take notes.  It drew favorable comments along the lines of “you can’t even taste the sauerkraut”.P1000254 (1600x1060)The serving table was laden with all the usual side dishes.  Note the can of insect repellant.  Mosquitoes were not a problem but ticks are a concern.P1000258 (1600x1060)There was the usual collection of desserts but Mrs J will be miffed if I don’t feature her pudding pie.P1000259 (1600x1060)Faithful Grill Dog.  She accepts tips!

Happy Memorial Day

Just a reminder to remember those who have served. These photos are from my brother Paul, of the Columbus, NE Memorial Day display. For years my dad was in charge of this event. I don’t know how many flags there are any more. Thousands. Each flag is from a veteran or soldier’s casket. The families donate them and each Memorial Day they are displayed all over town. This year my Uncle Gary’s was added (it’s the single flag in the slideshow).

EDIT: Talked with the folks and guess dad and Paul were helping set up flags since about 5 am today. Thanks guys!

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There was quite a scare a few months ago. The American Legion, where all the flags were stored, had a bad fire. The insurance agents were almost first on the scene, they took the flags, had them cleaned, pressed and packed and not one was lost. Everything else can be replaced.

What fun do you have on the schedule today?

Memorial Day Grilling Menu

Here’s a grilling menu that is a nice change from BBQ, burgers and steak (not that there is anything wrong with any of that!).  The grilled pears are a real treat, especially with the melted butter baste.  If the weather cooperates, why cook inside when you can cook your entire meal outside?

  1. Honey Glazed Chicken
  2. Grilled Vegetable Wraps
  3. Grilled Pears

Honey Glazed Chicken

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/8 tsp salt & pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Mix together honey, zest, mustard, garlic, salt & pepper. Brush chicken breasts with oil and grill over medium-high heat. After 10 minutes, turn breasts over. After 5 additional minutes begin to brush with sauce. Turn and brush every 5 minutes until breasts are cooked through (approximately 20-30 minutes total cooking time).

Grilled Vegetable Wraps

  • 1 red sweet pepper
  • 1 yellow sweet pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 summer squash, cut lengthwise (¼” thick)
  • 1 small onion, cut into thin rings
  • 1 tomato, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup Ranch Dressing
  • 4 tomato or spinach flavored flour tortillas
  • 2 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
  • ½ cup snipped cilantro

grilling basket or foil

Seed & slice peppers into thin strips. Toss peppers, squash, onions & tomato with oil. Grill in grilling basket or in foil packet until vegetables are tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Spread ranch dressing on each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese & cilantro, place ¼ of vegetables in each tortilla and wrap up. If you like you can then toast rolled up tortillas on the grill until cheese melts.

Grilled pears

4 pears, cut into 4 wedges each and place on skewers & grill for 5 minutes, brushing lightly with butter during grilling.

Cooking, Cooking and More, Well, Cooking

Had an impromptu barbecue today, which was great.  My friends have a Traeger grill, which uses wood pellets for cooking, so it’s always a joy to cook on it.  I grilled some ribeyes, pineapple and corn.  Seasonings were simple, covered the steaks with fresh ground pepper and garlic.  Grilled the corn in the husks (with the silks cleaned off first).  Sliced the pineapple about 1/2 inch thick and grilled it naked. Appetizers were a great selection of cheeses with a nice baguette.  Gelato and Italian coffee for dessert.

A simple lunch, but everyone was happy.

Since I returned from the BBQ, I’ve been cooking up a storm.  Made Chicken Tortilla Soup for lunches this week, it’s great because it can be served hot or cold.  And in my office, which sits under the shadow of the Boulder Flatirons, you never know what the day will bring.  I’m also making another Raspberry Poppyseed Cake, as a birthday request for one of the guys.  The guys seem to really like the fruit based cakes.  I have to tell you when it’s my turn (and yes, I’ll probably be making my own cake) it will be some kind of triple chocolate with a dark chocolate ganache .  I’m also putting together dinners for the week, so I can spend the extra time outdoors.

Once I get done with all of that I’ll try and get one of the recipes I promised up.  If not, it will be something to look forward to tomorrow.  Until then…