Cat’s Corner: A Memorial Day Weekend Culinary Celebration

Enjoy this special secret recipe

Catherine Mahrholz

Memorial Day Weekend heralds the start of summer with barbeques, hiking, swimming and all the summertime activities Americans across the country look forward to.

Here in the Pikes Peak region, with the presence of military bases and many retired military personnel,  I am often reminded what Memorial Day really means.  It is a day to remember our fallen soldiers; those men and women who gave their lives in service to the United States.  Whether they died when this great experiment in democracy began over 200 years ago, or perished while serving bravely in the Civil War, or were casualties of more recent conflicts such as WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or more recently in the Middle East, they must to be remembered for their bravery and sacrifice.

My father was an unwilling participant in World War II. He was of Polish, German and Jewish descent, and was born in Europe in 1917. He told me of one story where, when he was stationed in Italy, he assisted a man in escaping to the Mediterranean and on to what became Israel.

My dad, who married my mother, a United States citizen working in Europe in 1948, was able to immigrate to the United States in 1949. He was a remarkable human being, with a profound appreciation for the constitution of the United States. He also loved to cook and taught me an appreciation for good food, simply prepared and enjoyed with friends and family.

So, while I of course, remember our fallen American soldiers, I remember too, my father who fought for freedom too.

Memorial Day weekend also heralds the unofficial start of summer. And here in the Pikes Peak region, with all the National Forest land and Reservoirs, the possibilities for hiking, camping and fishing are endless!

In this year of the pandemic, family gatherings are especially looked forward to.  Memorial Day weekend barbeques and picnics are an important part of our American heritage.

Below is a favorite recipe of mine for Pasta Salad. It is super easy and can be put together in minutes.

Artichoke Pasta Salad (about 6 servings)

The liquid from marinated artichoke hearts provides a tangy dressing for this version of an American classic.

4 ounces salad macaroni or other medium size pasta.

1 jar (6oz.) marinated artichoke hearts

¼ pound mushrooms, quartered

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup medium size pitted or sliced black olives

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

½ teaspoon dried basil

salt and pepper

  1. Cook pasta, then drain and rinse it in cold water, then turn it into a large bowl.
  2. Add artichokes and their liquid, plus the remaining ingredients and toss gently.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until the next day.
  4. Before serving, season with salt and pepper to taste.

This Memorial Day weekend, remember our fallen soldiers…and please reflect on what it means to be lucky enough to live in the United States of America.