Monday, May 27, 2013

On the Homefront: Memorial Day Table

A Dalmatian named Blue has his napkin tied on,
and is ready for his Memorial Day dinner
(the green and yellow Skittles are merely an appetizer)!

Memorial Day makes me think of the wars this nation has fought, and that brings to mind Pearl Harbor.  Naturally this leads to thoughts of Hawaii, which is why the theme of my Memorial Day table is rather tropical (I know, my mind works in mysterious ways, as my dear husband often likes to point out).  Blue, green, yellow, and white are some of the colors of summer to me, and since this holiday is often considered the unofficial start of summer I decided they were appropriate for the day.

Blue floral print tablecloth from HomeGoods (Capri by Benson Mills); once again the dark brown wooden bead placemat from Target; white dinner plate (Tivoli by Studio Nova); yellow dessert plate (Block Basics by Cerind of Portugal); yellow napkin from HomeGoods (Hotel Provence by Windham Home); can't remember where I got the bamboo flatware or the water glass.

My favorite sea turtle votive candleholders return to the table
to enhance the subtly tropical theme.

Barbecue seemed like the ideal food to serve on the beautiful and sunny mild day we had here, but to keep things simple I used an easy crock pot recipe for the chicken.  Macaroni salad and coleslaw from the supermarket deli completed the meal.  For dessert I made the lemon coconut bars from Friday's recipe post, and served them with fresh berries.  This was a tasty, casual, and almost effortless meal for a holiday that kicks off the summer season.

Memorial Day Menu:

Iced Tea or Lemonade
Easy Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Barbecue* on Hamburger Buns
Macaroni Salad
Sweetened Mixed Fresh Berries

*Easy Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Barbecue

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bottle (18 oz.) barbecue sauce
2 T. hoisin sauce (see Note)

Spray the inside of the crock pot container with cooking spray.  Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the pot.  Spinkle the sliced onions over the chicken.  Cover with the barbecue sauce (you may not need the whole bottle, but I did).  Set the crock pot temperature on LOW and cook for about 8 hours until the chicken is tender and cooked through.  (Mine was done in about 7 hours -- I could tell by the aroma of the chicken, which changes as the cooking progresses.)  Shred the chicken with two forks.  Taste for seasoning and stir in the hoisin sauce if necessary.  Serve on hamburger buns.  Serves 4 to 6 depending on appetites.

Note:  The barbecue sauce I used was a rather mild Vidalia onion variety we had in the pantry.  When I tasted the cooked chicken it seemed a bit bland, so I stirred in the hoisin sauce, which made all the difference in terms of flavor.  You may or may not need the hoisin sauce, depending on what type of barbecue sauce you use, so be sure to taste first before adding it.

Lindt Lindor Truffles are back on the table, this time in coconut and dark chocolate flavors for a hint of the tropics.


Enjoy the holiday with family and friends, but spare a few moments to honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation of ours.

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