Having the mind-set of a home cook as I do, the first time I heard that the Friday before Memorial Day was also National Don’t Fry Day, my mind immediately thought of fried foods. Turns out, that’s not the case at all.
National Don’t Fry Day is all about getting ready for the unofficial yet official start to the summer season. Memorial Day kicks off all that fun in the sun. Don’t Fry Day is aimed to raise awareness of the risks of overexposure to the sun and as a reminder to everyone to use protection. Having suffered from sun stroke twice in my life, I can tell you it’s not fun. So lather up with the sunscreen, wear a hat and remember to spend some time in the shade.
Turns out the Friday before Memorial Day is a reminder of more than just replacing last year’s sun screen lotion. It’s also Cooler Day – as in check your coolers. Boating, hiking, camping season is nearly upon us. Make sure your equipment is up to snuff. And while you are at it, check out the family ride. The Friday before Memorial Day is also National Road Trip Day. Summer for many of us “old folks” means piling in the family car and hitting the open road. I know a lot of younger folks think summer is the time to fly to some theme park and pretend to see America. I’m from the old school that believes nothing can beat the experience of seeing the country first-hand. I especially like back roads. So having the tires inflated properly, and the engine running smoothly is important.
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s talk Memorial Day. After all, it’s just around the corner. We’ve already done our big road trip for the year. Decided with all the rains seeing America in spring bloom would be amazing. So now we’re going to stick close to home – with just some weekend trips scattered in here and there. That means more family potlucks. Love family potlucks.
Recently we had an all-day strategy meeting of the Eucharistic Devotion Committees at the Parish Hall. Since it was a long day of brain-storming and prayer, lunch was served. There is an amazing woman at our church who is into everything. And I mean that in the most positive way. Anytime something is needed, she is one of the first to step forward and ask What can I do? Out of respect, I won’t go into details, except to say she has health issues. Yet she offers those up to the Lord in ways that are inspiring. She also makes an awesome Bacon-Broccoli Salad. I had never heard of a Bacon-Broccoli Salad before. One bite and we were hooked. Wow! I can see why those who were familiar with her salad were so excited. And I knew right away, I would be adding it to our potluck repertoire.
One more thing – May 26 is also National Blueberry Cheesecake Day. In honor of Blueberries in general, I decided to add some to this Broccoli Bacon Salad. Originally I was going to just have the raisins, but then blueberries sounded lovely. And naturally, we needed the crisp-sweetness of an apple to add more texture. Before I knew it, we had a sweet yet savory salad on our hands. Enjoy!
Broccoli Bacon Fruit Salad
6 cups Broccoli Florets
1/2 cup Red Onion, diced
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
2 (3 oz) packages Real Bacon Bits
1-1/2 cups Golden Raisins
1 Red Apple, diced
1 cup Blueberries
1 (16 oz) bottle Poppy Seed Dressing
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Create an ice-water bath in a large bowl, set aside.
While the water comes to a boil, pick over broccoli, cut larger pieces into more manageable bite-size florets. Blanch broccoli florets in the boiling water for no more than 2 minutes. Remove with a large slotted spoon or drain into a colander, then plunge into the ice water bath to stop the cooking precess. Drain and place broccoli aside in a large salad bowl.
Cut onion in half from root to tip. Reserve half for another purpose. Peel and dice remaining half, scatter over the broccoli. Add pecans, bacon bits and golden raisins to the salad. Core and dice the apple, scatter over the salad. Add blueberries. Toss to blend.
Pour dressing over the salad, toss again to blend into the dressing and coat lightly. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and let all that is within me bless His holy name
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