Reflecting on Memorial Day

My Uncle Hiroshi Matsukawa died fighting in Italy during World War II. He was part of the decorated Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion.

And while that was a long time ago and he died before I was born, for me, Memorial Day will forever be linked to childhood memories of somber ceremonies at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Hilo that my family attended each year in his honor. The snap of rifles in salute, their explosive discharge, the bugler playing mournful Taps, flowers and leis lovingly placed at every headstone, the Stars and Stripes fluttering in the wind – all are part of my Memorial Day remembrance.

In 1970, Steve’s younger brother Patrick Hu died in Vietnam and is buried at Punchbowl, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. And young men and women continue to fight and die for our country today.

So while I look forward to Memorial Day as the kick-off to summer and summer grilling, I always take time to recognize what Memorial Day was meant to be: a day of remembrance and gratitude for those who have died in our nation's service.

While we would normally have a barbecue, this year, we are spending the weekend working to create office space for Special Fork. When we remodeled our home to build our new kitchen (the one we use for Special Fork Video Fridays), we chose a different part of the house from the original kitchen. We never did dismantle the old kitchen and it is jam-packed with my mom’s kitchenware and serves as spillover storage for us.

Our contractor comes Tuesday at 8 a.m. and everything in that kitchen needs to have found a new home in another part of the house or given to Goodwill.

Just because we are working all weekend doesn’t mean we won’t have our share of grilled summer food. We’ve been having hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, grilled corn and watermelon. Tomorrow, Steve is grilling a leg of lamb.

My contribution to the family work/cookout is Creamy Potato and Egg Salad. Even for the four of us, I still make enough to feed an army because we love potato salad and we always like leftovers.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Creamy Potato and Egg Salad
2 pounds potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups peeled, seeded and thinly sliced English cucumber
1 cup thinly sliced celery
10 hard-cooked eggs, cut in eighths
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Peel and cut potatoes in ¾-inch cubes. Add water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender but firm when pierced with a knife, about 7 minutes. Drain potatoes, rinse with cold water to cool down and drain again.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine mayonnaise vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper. Add cucumber, celery, eggs and parsley. Add the potatoes and toss gently to combine. Chill thoroughly.

Makes about 7 cups.

Note:

  • I like waxy, salad potatoes – round or long whites. Russets will make a mushier potato salad, which some people prefer.
  • This is a “wet” salad, creamy with mayonnaise. If you like a drier salad, decrease the mayonnaise by ¼ cup.

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Posted: May 30th by Sandy_Hu