Fabulous Fourth Weekend

We are lucky to live in the same state as both our parents. We don’t make it a habit to try to see both sides of the family for every holiday (that would be a lot of driving – we usually alternate holidays), but sometimes, like this past weekend, we do just that.

Before any of our family gatherings, our little family of four visited the aquarium at Mall of America on Saturday. I’ve mentioned it before, but it has been under renovation and has changed ownership. This was our first time to see the new Sea Life with all the changes complete. It was nice. We also went swimming, which is fun of course.

On Saturday evening, we attended a dinner and banquet that was part of an Army reunion for my father-in-law. I am so glad that we could be there. There were thirty-some guys who had served together over forty years ago. Hearing their stories and seeing what they meant to each other after all these years was very special.

On Sunday, we headed up to my hometown for a family picnic. The whole family couldn’t be there, but it was great visiting with all the family members who were able to come. Some of them, I literally hadn’t seen for years. You know how I feel about potlucks, and this was no exception. We had really good burgers, corn on the cob and a wide variety of salads. (I’ll include the recipe for my salad at the end.)

We pitched a tent on my parents’ property for our overnight accomodations. That’s easy camping, when you really don’t need any gear because you can go to the house for food prep and a bathroom. 😉

We went to the 4th of July parade on Monday and went swimming again before we headed back home. My children enjoyed playing and swimming with their cousins over the weekend, and I enjoyed gabbing with my family. Of the ‘kids’ in my family, I am the farthest from home. It means a lot to me when we can gather together for a nice visit like that.

Tuesday was work, laundry, work, laundry, play with my kids, repeat. We were all a little tired.

And for anyone who likes to find out about new recipes (who doesn’t?), here is the salad I made for our picnic.

Napa Cabbage and Grape Slaw, from The Accidental Hedonist
•2 Tbsp. soy sauce
•2 Tbsp. lemon juice
•1/4 cup olive oil
•1 teaspoon sesame oil
•1 teaspoon grated ginger
•1 teaspoon sugar
•1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
•2 teaspoons hot water
•1 lb. Napa Cabbage, finely shredded
•1 red onion, sliced
•1 carrot, shredded
•2 cups seedless green grapes, halved
•2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
In a medium glass mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, sesame oils, ginger, sugar, pepper and water. Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

In a large glass bowl, mix together the cabbage, onion, carrot, and grapes. Pour over the soy sauce mixture and toss.

When you serve the slaw, top with sesame seeds.

I hope you had a great holiday!


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