Memorial Day is a special holiday in my family. Of course we're delighted to celebrate the beginning of summer and all the wonderful, fresh produce that comes with it (and my mind suddenly wanders through you-pick fields and farmstands with barking dogs and freshly picked sweet corn) but my grandmother faithfully maintains a beautiful tradition on this day that reminds me what Memorial Day is all about.
In the morning, she loads the back of her car with small blooming plants along with water and garden tools, and visits all of the area cemeteries where our family members have been laid to rest over the last several decades. I was fortunate enough to go with her while visiting when I was about thirteen, and it was a lovely occassion to hear stories and become acquainted with the people who have laid the path on which I now walk. As the years roll by, I'm sad to think that people I knew (and deeply loved) have been added to her list of stops, but it touches me deeply to think that her love and devotion will be visible to others in the form of brilliant blooms all summer long.
So today, as I prepare my favorite summer salad, I'm thinking with a grateful heart of my grandmother and my mother who joins her.
(Recipe for MINTED PEACH AND TOMATO SALAD available here)