To start, let me get to the core of Memorial Day, and why we, as Americans, have the privilege to celebrate such an honorable day. There is a great and profound meaning behind this 3 day weekend which speaks louder than beach bonanzas, BBQ parties and enjoying an extra day off off work.
Now that we have our heads and hearts in the right place, it's time to gather!
I like to start off the morning with blueberry scones, ice cold milk and, of course, some patriotic napkins:
As with any gathering, formal or informal, I always consider some key variables that I always implement:
SETTING THE STAGE:
Weather permitting, we are taking our shin-dig outdoors, and though my mother in law is the hostess this year, she has given me, shall we say. creative license. *wink!
Red, white and blue is the palette, naturally, and really not much is needed. We'll rely on fun accents like patterned napkins, [above] decorative straws, accent pillows and American flags galore. Most everything procured came from World Market, which was practical and cost-effective!
The Mister typically manages the playlists for all of our gatherings, but he's off the hook this holiday as his work schedule has been bustling. Thank goodness for Pop Sugar whose list is just the perfect fit!
- "Summer Love" — Justin Timberlake
- "School's Out" — Alice Cooper
- "Standing on the Shore" — Empire of the Sun
- "Summertime" — Langhorne Slim & The Law
- "When the Sun Goes Down" — Arctic Monkeys
- "King of the Beach" — Wavves
- "Blister in the Sun" — Violent Femmes
- "Beach Comber" — Real Estate
- "Summer Nights" — Rascal Flatts
- "Beach Side" — Kings of Leon
- "The Boys of Summer" — Don Henley
- "The Summer" — Coconut Records
- "Beach Monster" — STRFKR
- "Summertime Sadness" — Lana Del Rey
- "Cruel Summer" — Bananarama
Something that is light, refreshing and colorful is what's in order for this soirée, and this Red, White and Blue Sangria fits the bill perfectly!
Strawberries, sliced, blueberries pineapple, cut into star shapes, 2 bottles dry white wine, 1 cup triple sec, 1/2 cup berry-flavored vodka, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup simple syrup. Combine ingredients in a large pitcher & stir. Chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours.
I mentioned I wanted to entertain this Memorial Day with a twist. I know the go-to is burgers, hot dogs and ribs, but you all know me better than that by now, don't you?
This season, I am all about grilling anything and everything from protein to fruit and even some surprises in between!
First , the pièce de résistance, grilled oysters, inspired by my new favorite go-to place for anything oysters, The Oyster Pub, local to me here in Florida. [Daytona Beach]
Friends, they GRILL the oysters in a way that I have never experienced oysters before! You owe it to yourself to visit and order plenty, they go fast!
Next, anything from romaine, avocados, corn and watermelon, everything is fair game. Everything tastes better with that wonderful charred flavor!
When looking for a twist on recipes, I always check out my savvy, blogger-friend Tieghan curator of Half Baked Harvest.
She must have been channeling my needs for all things grilled and fresh, and I can;t think of anything else I would want to serve this weekend like pork tenderloins with balsamic strawberries and salad in a jar. Perfect portions!
Some assembly required:
Happy Memorial Day Weekend friends! I hope you will take the time to reflect, thank a soldier or veteran and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the very freedoms we het to experience this weekend and every day.
Image Source: Clip Art Photo
Half Baked Harvest
The Oyster Pub, Daytona Beach