Memorial Day, observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May, originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. Today, Memorial Day has extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars, a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Here at Respite Café it typically marks the start of the summer season, a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach.
Some people travel hundreds of miles to renew contacts with neighbors and community by opening up their cottage for the season, celebrating with “dinner on the ground”, the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass.
This brings us to the 27th annual Celebration fundraiser for Holland Hospice that took place on May 17, 2012. The event started at 6:30 p.m. with Champagne and donated appetizers by Respite Catering to graze on while the Ten-bid Action began. There was a Welcome Invocation, Dinner, followed by the Ten-bid Auction Awards and then the excitement escalated with the Vocal Auction.
The first item would go to the highest bid for eight people to attend a sold out Steve Miller Band concert at Meijer Gardens, to be held on June 17th. Respite Café is providing a picnic for the evening and of course they will arrive in style in a limo from Lily’s limo all donated by Lily’s Limo and Respite Cappuccino Court as well as underwritten by sponsors.
I began menu planning and came up with a Smörgåstårta – a Scandinavian dish that is popular in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. This salty cake is compositionally similar to a sandwich, but it has such a large amount of filling that is served cold and sliced like a dessert cake with garnished top. Ours will be filled with our “Fertility Special” as well as “rappin with a Chick”, frosted with our Cucumber Sauce and topped with slices of boiled egg, radishes, parsley, carrots, cucumber, tomato, and chicken breast. The sides will be Carrot Salad, Green Grapes, Spiced Almonds and Lingonberry filled sugar cookies.
I realize that this cannot compete with the feeling of vacation on the shore of Lake Michigan or the classic rock legend with more than 18 studio albums and 3 live albums but hopefully we can be the “frosting on the cake”!