Happy Memorial Day, y'all!

It’s Sunday, and I’m mellow and lazing around the house.  Memorial Day was the beginning of summer wonders in the days of ol’ SGE, and I’ve found myself nostalgic for times of Barton Springs and Hippie Hollow, Annie bbqs, Kerbey Lane brunches and Aunt Melissa’s Summer Tonic-fueled Skip Bo games, Bullfrog pool parties and Uncle Charlie’s/Boathouse dance parties.  (Is it just because this is college nostalgia that most of these memories contain massive amounts of alcoholic beverages, or were/are we a bunch of lushes?)  Madonna’s “Holiday” came on the radio the other day, and my geezer brain shifted to remembering when no one knew who she was (or whether she was white or black) and that song would cause a buzz of excitement on Austin gay bar dancefloors.

For some reason, Becca will ALWAYS be summer to me.  Is it because we inherited the Estate in the early summer before our sophomore year?  Is it because the school year was too busy busy busy with classes and crew and rehearsals and life, while summers in Austin always slowed down to ‘jes hangin’ with our posse at The Posse?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that when I think of Becca, it is always her smiling face glowing with suntan and freckles, wisps of Austin-humiditied hair curling around her happy face, a sheen of summer shimmering her smile as she laughs and pours me another beer from a shared pitcher.  Said together we’re one and divided we’re though.  Happy Memorial Day, all my college friends.  May this weekend be the beginning of new laughter and friendship, warm nights and camaraderie, balmy happy memories for now and for always.

As to food (always a favorite topic):

Here’s my newest concoction which I am loving like NOBODY’s business.  Bring it to your next potluck barbecue and be the hero.

There’s a divine market near our house which has the cheapest produce I have ever encountered, and it is all fresh and delicious and flavorful.  Everything in this lil salad is in season, so its a great Slow Food summer treat:

three nectarines, pitted and cut into cubes with skin still on
two pints of fresh blackberries
one half of a fresh pineapple, cleaned and cubed
one pound of bing cherries, pitted and halved (these are firm when ripe, so its not too hard to cut them and remove the pits.  Not like pitting pie cherries – and so worth it)

I know, I know, it sounds labor intensive but its a zen thing to do.  Put on some music, pour a glass of wine and cut the damn fruit.  It’s worth it.

Combine the cut fruit in a bowl. Then, zest the peel of one medium-sized lemon over the fruit.
Then grate a thumb-size piece of peeled ginger over the fruit. (I keep mine in the freezer in a baggie.  It’s easy to chop or break a piece off and peel with a potato peeler.  Then grate it with the zester.)
Then pick about twenty leaves of fresh mint, chop and add in.  (Should be about 2Tb of mint)

I happened to have some Trade Joe’s dried wild blueberries in the house, so I tossed a handful in and stirred it all together.  I added no other juice or sweeteners.

Chill.  Scoop into small bowls.  Garnish with another couple of mint leaves.  Pour another glass of wine.  Enjoy.

I mean REALLY.

3 comments to Happy Memorial Day, y’all!

  • Damn, that looks good. And healthful! What on earth has come over you? At least tell me that you eat this delicious fruit as a side with some extra greasy bbq ribs.

    I always think of summer at the Estate too. Probably because it’s such a strong sensorial memory. Because it was just so GODDAMNED HOT. And living together under such extreme conditions tends to bond folks. Like being in a war together.

    I was always torn between spending summer nights at my parents house where there was AIR CONDITIONING, and spending them at the Estate where there was FUN.

    I particularly remember that summer when we spent all our time in the front yard, sitting in the hammock in our bathing suits, drinking beer and listening to Christopher Cross on the stereo, which we somehow turned around and aimed out the window.

    I also remember developing a clever and intricate method of sleeping in the heat. I’d go in the bathroom and soak myself in the coldest water I could stand, for as long as I could stand it. I’d then put a box fan in the window of my room, cover both my body and my bed in baby powder, and sleep naked on this pile of powder.

    Lannyl, of course, had that damned air conditioner. Damn her.

  • David P

    Randy and Gretchen you two have summed things up beautifully. I just need someone to move over on the hammock so I can get in there. Maybe ‘Nettie can make another batch of bullfrogs (and bring me my lighter…). Some one turn up the boombox!

  • lannyl

    I just saw this one, a month late. Oh my God, I miss those days. Even the heat seems like a romantic dream. I think mainly I miss those days because we were carefree and the whole world was at our feet. It was sexy and lush and we were so cool!
    Love you guys.

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