I love holidays, and one of the most solemn is Memorial Day. Originally known as Decoration Day, the day was set aside to remember the Civil War dead, but has since expanded to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our nation, and to include all family members regardless of military service. It is always good to remember our ancestors and to learn, study and understand our history. This is why I founded my business!
Our tradition is to lay flowers and visit the graves of our family members and friends. But, I expand that tradition personally, and earlier in the month of May, I carefully walk, in a grid pattern, the three local cemeteries in Havre, to ensure that all get a visitor. I was told once that you are never truly dead until no one visits your grave. There are many in our local cemeteries that have no one to visit them, so I make a point to pay respects to all who have gone before.
We also have a small Memorial Day dinner, featuring family recipes passed down through the years. The menu varies, but the recipes are pure family. For this year's table setting, I chose Pioneer Woman Betsy plates in red and white (Walmart). They remind me of eyelet fabric I so loved as a child, but so rarely wore-I grew up with two younger brothers and a neighborhood full of boys, so wearing pretty things like eyelet dresses and pinafores were out of the question if I wanted to have friends. I paired Betsy with Doily plates from Pier 1 Imports. Doily has four different styles, so I bought two of each several years ago. At the same time, I purchased six little domed butter pats on clearance (all they had on the table!). I had forgotten I bought them until I opened the box of plates, so that was a great surprise! Kind of like Christmas, LOL! The flatware is my everyday set of an unknown pattern name by Fifth Avenue Stainless (Woolworth). Drinkware is Central Park by Anchor Hocking for water and Claret by Libbey Glass for the wine (both Walmart). Bread and butter plates are plain white Corelle (Walmart). The tablecloth is an antique blue and white checked one I found at Bull Market Antiques Mall in Great Falls, Montana (now out of business), and the napkins are plain cotton ones by Living Quarters (Herberger's). The salt and pepper shakers are alternating; Fiesta round shakers in Scarlet (Herberger's) are matched with barn shaped ones by Pioneer Woman (Walmart). I think they're cute together! Speaking of cute, I used a Pioneer Woman cow creamer as a server for the ranch dressing (Walmart), which rests on top of a Fiesta White figure 8 tray (Herberger's). The centerpiece is a blend of two American glass companies; vases and compote in milk white hobnail Fenton Art Glass (rummage sales), and Ring and Petal candlestick holders in milk white Westmoreland Glass (thrift store).
On the Pepin Sideboard is the dessert and beverage services. The extra Doily plates were used for dessert, which was served on the Fenton Art Glass milk white hobnail cake pedestal (thrift store). Fiesta White teapot, carafe and coffee server are at the ready for tea, water and coffee, and the mix and match Scarlet and White cups and saucers just beg to be put to good use (Herberger's, Fiesta Factory Direct). Extra flatware rests in the white porcelain holder (thrift store). Fiesta Scarlet bud vases complete the cheery sideboard setting (gifts from my family).
On the menu:
Tossed green salad with pecans (my beloved late Auntie Patricia loved to add pecans to her green salads) with ranch dressing;
Pork tenderloin with peach preserves glaze (my recipe);
Mom's mashed potatoes with gravy from the pork tenderloin drippings;
Green beans almandine (Auntie DD);
Strawberry jam cake (Grandma O'Donnell)