Memorial Day…a day of rememberance…

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What is a memorial?

If you were to search for the definition of what a memorial is, here’s what you’d find…

noun
1. something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.
2. a written statement of facts presented to a sovereign, a legislative body, etc., as the ground of, or expressed in the form of, a petition or remonstrance.
adjective

3. preserving the memory of a person or thing; commemorative: memorial services.
4. of or pertaining to the memory.
That’s pretty cut and dry, basically just remembering someone or something that happened. But what’s so important about Memorial Day? Isn’t it just a four day weekend filled with lots of yummy food, warm weather activities, sunburns, time with family and friends? Well, I’m not going to come down on anyone for enjoying those things. We’re going to cook out today, enjoy some of our favorite movies and have fun, but this day is actually a somber day. When I think of a memorial, my mind always goes back to a funeral. How everyone who attends is quiet, reminiscing of the deceased, reflecting on the importance of life and being sure to never take for granted the importance of telling someone how much they mean to us. 
I’m always torn on this day, it’s so easy to get caught up in the “celebration” mode, I love a break and being able to relax,  yet I keep finding myself retreating to the quiet corners, thinking of friends who have served this country so faithfully and have died for freedoms sake. For the last couple of days Facebook has been booming with all kinds of Memorial Day pictures, everyone reminding each other of the true meaning of this day. This one picture, I think, sums it up perfectly!
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We’ve all been touched by the loss of someone who has served, be it a loved one, friend, or someone we had the pleasure meeting at one point in our life. Today at 3pm local time please pause for a minute to remember these great heroes who have given their all for this country. It’s the very least we can do for all that they have done for us. Stay safe, have fun, and God bless!
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Creamy Pasta Salad

Morning everyone, have I got a tasty dish for you!! Here in the south pasta salad is pretty much the norm, just like mac–n–cheese, you can’t have a cook out or picnic without pasta salad. This can be made with any pasta you prefer, I personally love using rotini(cork screw shaped pasta). I love how the mayo gets down in and all around the pasta making sure that each bite is flavor packed! This is the easiest recipe I’ve made yet, not a whole lot of ingredients and it’s best to make this up the day before to allow the flavors to blend.

Creamy Pasta Salad

Day Before Serving:

3 celery stalks, diced or chopped

1/2 onion, minced or chopped

2 cups mayo

salt and pepper to taste

On the day of serving:

2 cups Dreamfields pasta, cooked and drained

1/2 large tomato, diced

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Slice celery into four strips and dice thinly. You can cut this as thick or as big as you like, me I like smaller bits.

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Mince or chop the 1/2 onion. Add both celery and onion to a large bowl. Season with three healthy pinches of salt and black pepper. You may need to reseason later.

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2 cups of mayo sounds like a lot, you can use less if you like but note it will be dryer and less creamy. When I was short on mayo I have added sour cream to make up the difference. That’s really good too and helps with the creaminess! Let this sit in the fridge, covered, overnight. It will let the celery and onion mellow out. On the day of serving, boil up 2 cups pasta in salted water. Cook pasta til it’s al dente. Softer pasta won’t hold up when stirred or stabbed with a fork.

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Drain pasta and shock it in some icy water. Drain again really well and gently stir into mayo mixture. Remove pulp from 1/2 tomato and dice or you can use cherry tomatoes cut in half which I’ve done before too! Smaller tomatoes are preferred since you don’t have to go the extra step in removing the pulp. Reseason if needed and serve immediately!

And there you have it! A creamy bowl of pasta salad that’s perfect for any cook out, picnic, or just because you want some!

Have a blessed day!

Amanda Gayle

Memorial Day Crafts

Memorial Day Crafts

There’s still enough time to squeeze in some fun family crafts to enhance your Memorial Day weekend! Better Homes and Gardens has twenty crafts for kids and adults alike that will certainly liven up your next get together and bring the family closer 🙂

Have a safe Memorial Day!

Amanda Gayle