Thursday, May 28, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

*information for this post was in part supplied by Hormel Foods through their Hormel Extended Family Blogger program. No compensation was received for this post.
Memorial Day weekend was always a weekend of parades, picnics, the top 500 on the radio (in honor of the Indy 500) and the indicator that school would soon be out. I can remember sitting at my stereo with my fingers ready on my tape deck in hopes of catching my favorite song and recording it - of course, there was always that risk that the dj would talk over part of the song...but at least I had the song captured. It really is funny to think about now. I can remember fast forwarding and rewinding through those random radio tapes to find the right song. Then, I got a new stereo that had two tape decks and then (wow!) I could make a mix tape of the best of what I captured from the radio. That way, I could take my walkman and listen to my tape while I was out and about. Ah, but I digress...

Memorial Day has changed for me over the years. Now I can choose to buy a song or an album online and not worry about 'catching' my favorite one on the radio, besides which the radio stations I listen to featured a flashback to the 80s weekend this year. We only go to the parade if the kids are marching in it with one of their teams or scouts. We always loved to host a picnic, but with a busy baseball tournament weekend, we can't 'commit' to a time for a picnic because the schedule comes out a few days ahead for pool play and the playoff brackets aren't determined until the night before play and you play until you lose (not necessarily consecutive games, but close enough that coming home isn't always an option). And, when we are invited to a picnic, there isn't as much time to plan.

As much as I have always been a fan of homemade, there are times like this where convenience rules.

Want to bring a quick and easy main dish? Simply prep a couple packs of hot dogs in water in a standard crock pot. Prepare a can of Hormel Chili No Beans in a small crock pot (I have one of those dip warmers that works perfect). Grab a couple bags of buns and some shredded cheese. Voila! You have tasty and easy, Coney Dogs. (you can find a 'recipe' for chili dogs and more on their webpage.)
For a quick bleacher snack, grab a Hormel Gatherings Party Tray. We always bring a cooler with us to the game and the snack pack size gives us an option for a snack that is more than just chips or candy (which seems to be what my kids want to buy at the concession stand) and one that is easy to share with fellow fans. When ready to enjoy and share, open the crackers, cheese and pepperoni and place into the tray and serve. You can even keep the lid in place to help prevent the baseball field from becoming part of your snack - have you seen the amount of dust that the kids kick up when they slide into the plate? Of course, the Hormel Gatherings Party Tray is also great for an impromptu post game gathering to celebrate too. When the kids are done playing, they are usually hungry and a quick picnic or evening gathering is a high potential.

Of course, if you have time for a traditional picnic, that doesn't mean that you want to spend your time in the kitchen prepping, so I still recommend a coney dogs and cheese trays.

We had fun at our tournament this year. We went 1-1-1 in the tournament; even though we should have done better, the boys still enjoyed it. My daughter had a soccer game and the team won. We even found time to picnic at a friend's house on Monday.

How did you spend your Memorial Day?

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some product and some of the information for this post.