Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

This was a memorable Memorial Day in my kitchen. We had visits from relatives whom we hadn't seen in years and a very nice picnic to which I contributed my version of German potato salad. The significant days continue today, with the coincidence of my firstborn son's birthday and the Prop. 8 decision from the California Supreme Court as well as the announcement of Judge Sonia Sotomayer as President Obama's US Supreme Court Justice selection. Wowser!

Sunday afternoon saw both me and my spouse rather worn out and looking for a nice nap. It was interrupted, however, by the appearance of spouse's nephews whom I hadn't seen since I came out to her family. I've mentioned here before how spouse's family still mostly refuses to accept, with some notable exceptions, the changes we've traversed. To see the young people of her family show up unannounced was nothing short of a joyous bombshell. They were kind, friendly and, apparently, at ease with seeing me in my new role. New name and pronouns were scrupulously used. Their visit reinforced the observation that the younger generation is a lot more tolerant of people's life choices and needs. It gives me hope that the future will see more and more acceptance of TLGB people in our culture. Both spouse and I were floating after they left.

We went to a local park for a picnic with the other small part of spouse's family the next day. We were asked to bring a dish to pass and we put together our favorite dish for these occasions, German potato salad, on the evening before. It's a pretty easy recipe and is popular with almost everyone. I peeled and sliced into quarters (lengthwise) about 2½ to 3 pounds of golden potatoes. Regular white potatoes work well for this dish too. Russets are too soft and red potatoes are too dense but they would work in a pinch. While boiling the potatoes, I cooked up 5 slices of bacon (if it doesn't have pig fat it isn't German!) and carefully reserved 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Then I cut up about ½ to 3/4 cup of sweet onion. I think we had a Vidalia in the house.

Once the potatoes were done, I drained and let them cool before slicing them about 3/16 to 1/4" (5 to 7 mm) thick. The bacon was crumbled into small pieces and thrown along with the onion, into the bowl with the potatoes. Then I made the dressing, 1 cup of beef broth, 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings and about 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar (more or less to taste). A pinch of salt was then thrown in to taste (depends on how much salt the bacon has).

I warmed up the dressing in the microwave to just warmer than room temperature, whisked it to distribute the fat with the broth and poured 1/2 of it onto the potato salad. I folded the potatoes, bacon and onions with the dressing, covered the bowl and placed it with the rest of the dressing into the fridge for an overnight stay. The next morning I took then out, let them come to room temperature, rewarmed the remaining dressing and folded that in. The potato salad is best served at room temp or slightly warmer making it a good choice for a picnic.

Today, 31 years ago, I became a brand new parent when my son was born. He lives far away, in Portland, OR and I haven't seen him in person for a few years. We keep in touch via Facebook and he is apparently doing well. I wish him a happy birthday and happy everdays too!

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