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What are you planning for the holiday weekend?

Here in the U.S., we are coming up on the first holiday of the summer, Memorial Day, in about ten days. Some of us are lucky enough to get four days off.

I would love to know your plans for the holiday weekend. Will you be planning your first cook out of the season? What will you be serving? Do you serve the same foods each year as a tradition? Or do you tweak your menu each year?

We will probably be spending one day at the beach, and another day having a cook out. Another day may be spent hiking, then relaxing by the pool. I am looking for new ideas of what to make. What are you planning for the holiday weekend?

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  1. I will be heading to a small island in the Indian River and Rondesvouz with about 100 to 150 friends. We will pot luck, with some bringing perennial favorites. 30 lb turkey, briskets with caps, 30 to 40 lbs pulled pork, 50 baking potatoes, 50 ears of sweet corn. With everybody bringing a dish to share. Cooked over hardwood fires.

    A tradition from the late 80's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

      That sounds like fun! Do you do most of the cooking there or are things like the pulled pork made ahead and brought down?

      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

        Most is cooked on site either on our boats or in Causarina wood fires.

        Ten years ago, give or take, we spit roasted whole hogs, grilled steamship rounds, and indulged in adult sports such as fire walking. Amazing how cell phone cameras and Facebook has toned things down.

        Each is responsible for their own hydration. And the place has always been cleaner after us then when we arrived.

    2. Celebrating the baby's birthday with a barbecue.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Savour

        I'm going to a baby's 1st birthday w/ BBQ on Saturday. Looking forward to it as the parents are terrific cooks (and home brew wizards). Baby is pretty cute too!

      2. My birthday is on Friday the 24th. SO comes back to town that day so that dinner will be simple...I'm thinking either Popeye's Chicken or Carl's Jr... both favorites of mine that I pretty much never eat on a regular basis these days. I'll probably pick up a couple cupcakes too. I originally asked SO to make me a cake... box chocolate cake mix with funfetti frosting, but he looked at me like I was crazy and since he's just coming back to town that day, I think he's off the hook :) I think on Saturday we'll go downtown somewhere nicer, maybe round up some friends to go too. We didn't make it out for his birthday so it'll probably be a combined event sort of thing. My friend in the mountains is having a BBQ on Sunday, but I'm not sure what I'm bringing to that just yet, I'm awaiting her requests. SO will fly out on Monday so just relaxing that day.

        4 Replies
        1. re: juliejulez

          Happy Birthday a bit early! Sounds like a good plan! If you get a chance, let me know what you'll be making for your friends BBQ.

          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

            Thanks! Definitely will. She's a bit of a "last minuter" so hopefully she'll tell me what she wants before the day before!

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              Looks like I'm going to make this couscous salad: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/05/le...

              She asked for a salad because all the other dishes are more heavy, but I'm not real good at making lettuce type salads (not a fan of them anyway), so I ran this by her and she thought it looked good, and asparagus is so good this time of year.

              1. re: juliejulez

                That looks great! Light and refreshing to counter all the heavy BBQ meats! Great idea, thanks for sharing!

          2. My husband is going hunting, so I'm not planning much.

            4 Replies
            1. re: rasputina

              What does he hunt? And do you do anything with what he brings back?

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                They are going hog hunting this time. So hopefully a lot of pork dishes, like carnitas will be in our future. I also told him he better bring me the leaf lard lol.

                1. re: rasputina

                  Yum.... We love the pig..... Good luck to him, hope he bags a good one or two!

                  1. re: rasputina

                    Yum, I wish we had wild hogs around here so SO could go get me one. We did a pig roast at his folks place up in Wyoming last summer and that was some tasty pork. I even had some tongue (unknowingly, someone handed it to me and said "eat that" so I did), and even it was good.

              2. If I can get a mutton leg, I'm gonna barbecue it. If not, I'll do the same with the free turkey I got at Easter. Slaw to go with, as well as some fries.

                6 Replies
                1. re: MGZ

                  What makes you prefer mutton over lamb? And how do you prep it, any herbs, spices or flavorings?

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    For a slow cook, I prefer the extra funk of older sheep. I think American, "baby" lamb has almost no flavor.

                    I rub the leg with my usual mix of turbinado sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, and ground chiles. Same as I use for my ribs or pork shoulders.

                    I use mostly cherry wood for the cook.

                    I forgot to pre order the mutton, so the butcher told me, "We'll see?"

                    1. re: MGZ

                      I agree, I love lamb but find it's mild and always want that mutton flavor. Your rub sounds great.

                      1. re: MGZ

                        Sounds good, I use a similar rub for my pork, never thought to try it on lamb, will have to try that.....

                        Do you grill it bone in or boneless? Love grilled lamb leg..... I think my Mom had us trying mutton years ago, but all lamb back then was gamey. I agree though, it has to have some flavor or you might as well be eating beef.....

                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                          I prefer bone in. I don't grill the leg though, its' a indirect cook at about 250. I guess most folks would call that smoking nowadays, but I still call it barbecue.

                          I do like a deboned leg of lamb cooked over coals too. I just use salt and pepper for that.

                          1. re: MGZ

                            Oh yum, a bone in leg cooked low and slow is definitely barbecue, and it sounds delicious!

                  2. I like to hit up a good restaurant, they tend to be very slow, as most folks are cooking out etc, and are anxious to serve and provide a great meal.

                    1 Reply
                    1. Headed north to VT to camp in our camper.
                      Wil hit up the farmers markets and make some fine meals for old friends that are coming over.
                      ALso will hike, and flea market, and enjoy all the new spring green.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: windward

                        Awesome, I'm jealous..... We love to RV..... Afraid we won't be getting to do it this year.....

                      2. Another birthday girl here. Mine's actually the 30th, but we always celebrate over Memorial Day. And I plan on seafood and lots of it! King crab legs and jumbo shrimp. Whatever whole fish looks good at the fish counter grilled with tons of herbs. A bottle of Grey Goose should make it a party.
                        And plenty of pool time for entertainment.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: alliegator

                          You're killing me! Lots of seafood & GREY GOOSE ?! Sounds awesome! If you can, let me know how you do your whole fish on the grill, haven't done that yet.... Have a great birthday, too!

                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                            Thanks for the compliment. Seafood is my favorite treat! I generally choose a nice snapper if available and do it in a style similar to this:
                            http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaireci...

                            1. re: alliegator

                              Thanks for the link, looks great, I almost picked up some snapper yesterday. Maybe will get the whole fish and try that....

                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                I grabbed a whole red snapper last night which I steamed Cantonese style...fantastic! I hope you find your snapper!

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Yum, I like to prepare fish in that manner.

                                  You know, fldhkybnva, I thought of you this morning on my drive to work when a car with the license plate ROCF5H passed me.

                                  1. re: tcamp

                                    Aww, thanks for the chuckle on this rough day I've been having. I love it, very unique personalized tag.

                          2. re: alliegator

                            Birthday twin with my husband! He usually has a holiday around his birthday the lucky thing, in the UK it's Whitsun. I'd been a bit grumpy about missing the UK bank holidays around Easter and May Day and this one has taken me by surprise, bonus!

                            Your seafood and vodka plans sound brilliant!

                          3. Memorial Day is very big in our town, which starts with a parade in which the kids get to ride their bicycles. After, there is a fair on the school grounds. For us, Memorial Day almost always means burgers and dogs, but I never know what my husband has up his sleeve...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: roxlet

                              Very cool, we have similar things here in my town. Yes, that's right, I remember you have a Galloping Gourmet of a hubby! Lucky stiff! Come back when you know what he's planning! I'd love to hear about it!

                            2. We will be at the beach. I'll most likely smoke chicken wingettes the day before. We will warm them as well as crisp up skin on the grill at the beach. I'll prob be asked to bring a tray of Mac and cheese, too. We shall see. (Other food will most likely include clams, shrimp, fish, burgers, sausage, hot dogs, potato and pasta salads, etc.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                Oh, it all sounds so very good! Do you serve a dip with this smoked wings? They sound great!

                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  I actually don't. I did the first few times I served them to guests but everyone was so focused on how delicious the wings were that they either forgot the sauce or decided that they didn't need it.

                                  There's nothing like living at the Shore. Even after the hell of the past 6 months, the beach, ocean, and sun are still there and we will be returning to our favorite beach in the world. (IBSP) My husband was just there this morning and brought home a 30 inch striped bass for dinner. Yum!

                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                    What a great catch! Your wings sound fab, makes sense to not need a dip with them! Yes, I agree and have been very fortunate to live by the shore my whole life, grew up on the Sound. Spent many a day and night on the beach!

                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                        Hey chicaa, it was kinda cool to see Seaside Boardwalk open again, huh?

                                  2. It's Victoria day here on Monday, and normally I would be working but I have got it off. My SO will have to work unless the weather is bad. So I'm thinking I'll re-tidy the guest room so I have a room to sleep in when the snoring is just too much. I'm also going to knock out a couple batches of cookies, one will be some kind of oatmeal cookie. I'll likely make a couple loaves of bread too.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Musie

                                      Baking is such a nice relaxing way to spend time off! And it makes the house smell divine! Enjoy your baking time!

                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                        Who needs an air freshener when you can bake :)

                                    2. I've been considering going vegetarian, at least temporarily, since I feel like my diet is too meat heavy. Will be interesting with the holiday coming up to see if I can stick to it. I thought about doing an all vegetarian party as a theme, just for the challenge of it.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Atomic76

                                        I hear ya! I want to do more fish & shellfish, but my husband is just not as big a fan of the shellfish as I am, and fish is so expensive where we live, to feed my two growing boys plus us takes a lot of cash these days...... So fish is still a special treat, and shellfish, I usually just buy for me when my DH is out of town.

                                        What do you think you'll make as mains for a vegetarian party? Always looking for good veg recipes.....

                                        1. re: Atomic76

                                          You could use it as an excuse to have a play with vegetarian proteins to switch places with animal protein. As an example, instead of serving big juicy beef burgers, you could serve tasty protein rich bean burgers.

                                        2. May 25 (Saturday of the holiday weekend) is also Weber Smoke Day for The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board folks, so I'll be smoking the lamb shanks I didn't get a chance to braise this winter. Haven't done this before and I'm finding mixed reviews online. But experimenting and trying new things is all part of the fun of cooking! I might smoke for a couple of hours, then foil and add some liquid. On the actual holiday, I'll probably grill something, but I'm not sure what.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: nofunlatte

                                            Sounds good to me! Would love to hear how they come out! Used to have a smoker back about 20 years ago.... Had some fun parties with it.

                                            1. re: nofunlatte

                                              As I posted above, I'm a big fan of lamb barbecue, though my preference is for whole mutton legs. The rub I use is up there too. I don't use the type of appliance you do, but I'm sure there are notes we can compare.

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                MGZ, I'd appreciate any tips you'd be able to share with me about smoking lamb shanks. Might try a leg of lamb sometime too!

                                                Until now, I've mostly done pork shoulder, pork loins, turkey, and chickens (so both low-and-slow and high-heat smoking). But it is time for me to move onto something new! After, this is season 3 with my WSM.

                                                1. re: nofunlatte

                                                  Sorry that I didn't see your post sooner, nofunlatte. Don't know how I missed it.

                                                  I generally barbecue mutton legs on the offset for close to ten hours at roughly 225 to 250. But, as you know, 'cue is done when 'cue is done. I've never done shanks, but I can't imagine they'd take more that four or five hours. I like a pretty simple rub and I herbs, or garlic and onion powder as they find they make a bitter crust. Also, I tend to use a bit more sugar than on my pork.

                                                  I prefer to use lighter fruit woods - apple or cherry. I have mixed in some walnut with solid results.

                                                  I guess that's a good start?

                                            2. OK, now I'm thinking I will try to baptize my smoker with some brisket. Any ideas of a non beef dish I can make at the same time?

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Savour

                                                Pork butt
                                                Whole chicken
                                                Turkey wings
                                                Whole fish, or large filets like salmon

                                                Obviously, you'd have to pull the fish out after only a few hours. Good luck, let me know what you decide!! Jealous!

                                                1. re: Savour

                                                  Turkey breast is one of my favorites. Pork shoulder/butt is great in the smoker too.

                                                2. I am planning a low key holiday weekend but would love tos pend a few relaxing days cooking. This past weekend I "tried" my first soft shelled crabs. Based on my nibbles, the flavor was outstanding but I don't think my mind was yet open to chomping into it or the sensation. I continued to take bites and didn't hate it, thought it was quite tasty but I think I was so confused by the texture that I didn't give myself a good chance to like it. I was going to abandon them altogether but I think it's worth another go and just bite the bullet...or crab, in this case. Memorial Day weekend will be a great time as there are plenty of soft shells around and if it's nice outside we can have a nice surf and turf outside with the grill.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    Love the surf & turf idea! I've gotta say, I'm an old New England girl and love all seafood and always have, but.....I feel exactly how you describe about soft shell crabs! I love crab, and I love the flavor, but I can't get over the texture and sensation of the shell. It's almost like soft plastic, and I just don't enjoy it very much. Guess I should turn in my nautical badge now..... 8(

                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                      Yea, I didn't really dive in...I nibbled on the legs. The whole time I guess I was trying to figure out if the mass of material in my mouth reminiscent of shrimp tail was supposed to be that way. I'll give it another shot and just bring myself to eat the body, I know there's nothing in there so not sure what I'm so afraid of and clean out hard shell crabs like a mad woman. If the texture is still bothersome I'll just be a hard shell fan...that's more hardcore anyway right?

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        Perfect description! Reminiscent of a shrimp tail! I will have to remember that now! And yes, we're more hardcore, I like the way you think!

                                                  2. I am not planning anything but will be gardening. 5/10 was my mom's 90th birthday. She and my step-dad are now living in KC, Mo. I wish she's stayed in Atlanta we always planned a trip to Frank Stitt's Highland Grill on our way down or on our way back. I digress. For her birthday most of the family (19 of us) went to KC. Mo. I cooked all of my family favorites. Fried chicken, our special potato salad, slaw to go with takeout BBQ.etc. and a birthday cake. If i had not done all of that cooking I probably do that same menu with the fried chicken and potato salad.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                      Oh that all sounds so good!! Literally drooling about it..... I can understand why you don't want to cook a huge deal again! Best birthday wishes to your Mom, God Bless her!

                                                    2. Totally at the mercy of Mother Nature. The forecast now is for 60's and possible thunderstorms but hope that changes because a good friend is having a big party outside where he plans on spit roasting a kid.

                                                      Regardless of the weather it will be nice to spend the time with friends and drinking some very good wine while keeping in mind the meaning of the holiday and giving thanks for the sacrifices that were made for our freedom.

                                                      1. Most of our company arrives Thurs so I'm still tweaking ideas but for now I'm going with....

                                                        Some of the new ideas we're attempting this year include beer infusions. Serious Eats has posted a step by step line up of beers infused using a simple French press:
                                                        http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/05...

                                                        Our backyard bbq always includes ribs 2 ways (TexMex & Asian); sausages (chicken, veg & beef), hot dogs and 3 types burgers (mac n cheese beef burgers, black bean lime burgers and lamb mint burgers).

                                                        Salads I'm thinking Greek salad, Chopped veg salad and fruit spears.

                                                        The big ta da is the addition of an exciting dessert cheese plate thanks to the Cheese board enthusiasts.

                                                        I anticipate company is bringing quite a bit in the sides dept. and I enjoy food surprises so I have no idea what's coming.

                                                        A very happy holiday weekend to all!

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          Sounds good! But I have to ask: what's Mac & cheese beef burgers?

                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                            In advance of grilling I make a 8x8 tray of elbow mac n cheese, chill it and cut the batch into 1/2 inch square slabs. Instead of slices of cheese topping the burger we enjoy a square of mac and cheese. The m&c melts over the burger as it grills on the flip side. Quite tasty.

                                                            With explanation, would you consider giving it a go?

                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              Sounds tasty! Sure I would, and I'm thinking if I make pulled pork, that may be the topping instead of the usual cole slaw! Thanks for the idea!

                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                Oh I bet that would be darn tasty on pulled pork. If you go that direction, I hope you'll let us know what you thought of the combo.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  Will definitely let you know if I do!

                                                        2. We're going to spend the weekend in our new place and cook out on our small gas weber and basically camp out in our yet to be moved into house. The barbecue and cooking utensils are there but meals will eaten on paper plates. I'm firmly part of the food magazine generation and the new Food and Wine is all about grilling and it's coming with us. I'm looking at a jerk vegetable recipe for the grill that will yield leftovers for sandwiches and for the picky I will do some with just olive oil s&p. Stuffed cheeseburgers keep coming up in the conversation so they may be the test the grill meal Saturday with a salad and grilled veg and a ham steak on Sunday. There is a parade on Monday but don't know if anything is open on Memorial Day in this small town.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                            Well, congrats on the new home, sounds like you will be christening it I style with some good food! Enjoy it!

                                                          2. Making summer rolls with my son, for one. On Memorial Day, hiking Old Rag with other son and a bunch of people from my Outdoor Club.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                              Ooo, summer rolls, that's a nice idea.....

                                                            2. We're going to toss some charcoal in the ole Weber and have a grilled feast! Steaks, burgers, chicken, corn on the cob, bratwurst, pineapple, and veggie skewers. Oh, and some beer to wash it all down with!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. I am still working my way through the Jerusalem cookbook, but we will have visitors to our cabin, which feels traditionally cookout-y. So I will grill a variety of sausages and serve them with Jerusalem side dishes. Probably corn on the cob and gazpacho, which I would love to have been harissa gazpacho, but there isn't harissa out here and I don't want to make my own.

                                                                1. Planning a couple days of grilling. Menu 1: jerk marinated burgers, grilled pineapple, grilled asparagus, watermelon feta salad and corn.

                                                                  Menu 2: ribs (done lw and slow in the oven, then finished on the grill), baked beans with molasses and bacon, niman ranch hot dogs, tater tots, corn, green beans.

                                                                  Desserts will likely be brownies and strawberry short cakes.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. Well, one could consider traditional Mexican dishes for the Dia de Los Muertos - it's that Americans remember our (especially war) dead on the other side of the year.

                                                                    1. Well, after much thought here's what I think I'm going to do.....

                                                                      Last night I was supposed to make grilled red snapper & baked stuffed shrimp, but a sinus headache + four middle school boys running around the house got in the way, so that will be for tonight.

                                                                      I'm starting a pasta salad this morning, with a sun dried tomato pesto dressing, olives, peperoncini, feta and fresh herbs.

                                                                      Pulled pork sandwiches are for lunch, as I have pork carnitas already done in the fridge.

                                                                      Tomorrow we'll do hot dogs and bacon wrapped, cheese stuffed knockwurst for lunch. For dinner will be a grilled flat iron steak, with chimichurri sauce and a iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing.

                                                                      Monday will be stuffed cheese burgers on the grill. Cheddar & bacon for the kids, blue cheese and caramelized onions for the adults. And whatever leftovers are left......

                                                                      Still contemplating dessert, but may make mini lemon cakes with fresh strawberries..... And my youngest has requested Jell-O. Maybe a pan of brownies for sundaes too.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                        Wow, that sounds wonderful! Have fun!

                                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                          Sounds great all around and I would love to hear the details of that pasta salad. I hope you plan for a martini or two at sometime as well.

                                                                          Have a fun time, Dirtywextraolives!

                                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                                            Thank you all! And Fowler, I like how you think!

                                                                            The pasta salad was made with rotini. I put some sun dried tomato pesto in the bottom of the bowl, then added quartered black olives, sliced peperoncini, two chopped scallions, and some minced fresh parsley and chopped fresh basil. Added some pasta water to loosen the pesto up, and also added some bottled Italian vinaigrette. It's all chilling in the fridge now. Before serving I'll add some crumbled seasoned feta.