Prepare the grill, prepare a picnic, prepare a feast, prepare a celebration. Whatever you choose for your celebratory meal, on whichever day of the long weekend you choose to do it on, there are many ways to get a jump start on the preparation, if you care to do so.
But, the most important part of the Memorial Day weekend is, of course, remembering why we celebrate. Originally, this federal holiday was called Decoration Day and it commemorated the soldiers who had lost their lives in the American Civil War; in fact, more than 600,000 soldiers died in that war. It wasn’t until 1967 that the name Memorial Day was officially changed by Congress. There has been some confusion over the years as to the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The former recognizes the men and women who lost their lives fighting for our freedoms in all wars, while the latter celebrates all veterans for their service in the U.S. Military.
One of the most popular side dishes for any Memorial Day celebration or feast is potato salad, and we just can’t get enough of it. But don’t feel like you need to stick to the basics; potato salad can be gourmet, healthy, colorful and inventive. From our own archives, take a look at the following tips to get the most out of your potato salad: http://eatwisconsinpotatoes.com/2012/07/secrets-to-a-great-potato-salad/. And don’t forget, this is a dish that can be prepared ahead of time; in fact, many people believe their potato salad recipes become more flavorful over the course of the next day or two from when they prepare it.
Speaking of being inventive, we found this potato salad recipe that’s a true Wisconsin original. Can you imagine mixing Wisconsin Potatoes with Wisconsin Cheese Curds – what could be better? Give it a try this weekend: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/wisconsin-cheese-curd-potato-salad/.
And let’s not forget the warm German Potato Salad variety. In Germany, it’s not even called warm or hot potato salad. Early settlers in America noticed that German immigrants made their potato salad warm and added bacon and a tart and sweet dressing. It was the Americans that actually named it Warm or Hot German Potato Salad. And here’s the classic Wisconsin recipe for that dish: http://www.wisconsinmade.com/recipes/German-Style-Potato-Salad.aspx.
So, have a great long weekend everyone, and travel safely. And let’s always remember that we should honor the men and women who gave their lives so we could enjoy ours, not just on Memorial Day, but on every day of the year.