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Memorial Day: So it Begins, So we Remember.

Stroll down your "Memory Lane" and remember how you celebrated it, with family, friends, loved ones, and remembering those that gave us the freedom to do it.

So here we are at the "Un-official" start of summer.  Memorial Day.  FYI Summer really starts on June 20th.  Memorial Day is a very important holiday.  For most people it is a time of barbecues, parties, parades, and get togethers. 

For me...it is a bit more than that. As a young girl in New York City, this particular weekend did include parades and family gatherings. But, also, my grandparents were the ones as well as my parents of course, told us that we would not be able to be together unless our soldiers protected us.  They explained that they were our protectors so we can all be safe. 

So, with that being said, when we were kids, my grandma would help us make small signs that said "Thank you" on them so we can hold them up and let the soldiers know that we appreciated them. My brother and I always believed that they read them and liked it....and they did.    

My other memories of course are the family gatherings after the parade.  Living in New York City, it usually meant a train ride to Long Island to have a family member meet us and go to one of the parks and have a huge picnic.  What fun!!  My Mom, aunts, and grandmother would be cooking for days before the picnic.  I can remember roasted peppers in olive oil and garlic, some homemade cakes with fresh berries, chicken that was cooked (partially) then barbecued on the grills (which by the way were these huge cement things that were on a post that you had to put charcoal on it and wait till forever for the coals to get hot), and then while waiting for the coals, grandma would be yelling at us kids to stay away from the grill. There was deviled eggs, every kind of salami, ham and cheese with all kinds of rolls, potato salad cole slaw, garden salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and all kinds of home baked treats.  You would think we were feeding the whole park!! 

The food back then seemed to taste different.  The ingredients were fresh.  Not one item was processed.  The meat, and chicken even had a different taste.  That is becauase everything did not go through a process, it came directly from the farms.  Everything was purchased from the grocer, the butcher or small market where food was brought in everyday.  

So, as you celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, please...remember our men and women who sacrifced their lives so we can be with our loved ones...go shop at your local farm stand, that little butcher shop or grocer for your ingredients.  After all, they are the ones that will know your culinary needs the best.  Please post your thoughts and share some of your happy memories.  Until next time, Happy Cooking.

Dorothy Peel, of Montauk, is the owner of  and teaches clients how to cook healthy, locally-based foods. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jaguar-Guy May 28, 2012 at 10:18 AM
What a GREAT day to be an American and celebrate a day to remember all our Veterans. I like to remember and honor the memory of my Father and Grandfather for their service - both Captain's in the Air Force. BBQ, family and friends - the parades, the start of our season out east - and even some traffic. Ah, great to be home in the Good Old USA - and after being away in Europe the last two weeks, it is especially good to be home today, on this great day - Yeah America !!

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