There is something a little perverse about Memorial Day. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against parades or cook-outs or furniture sales, but it all seems misplaced on a day when we are supposed to honor our fallen dead. I think with all the flag waving and burger flipping we sometimes forget that this is day about the incalculable loss of war. That is, of course, except for mothers.
His over-sized feet are still waiting for the rest of his body to catch up, but it won't be long. I can't imagine my terror if those same sweet feet that used to kick the inside of my belly should one day walk right into a recruiter's office.
I wonder about my grandmother who watched her own skinny boy leave home at 17 for the promise of a uniform. And were she still alive I know that she would be thankful to salute her son on Veteran's Day and not on Memorial Day. But this weekend, I am mindful of the mothers who are not so fortunate. So this Memorial Day, when you honor those who did not make it home, save some space in your hearts for the unspeakable suffering of their mothers.
U.S. Army Creamed Beef on Toast
Adapted from the Mess Hall Cook, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 1950
1. Brown one pound of lean ground beef in a large skillet.
2. Add 2 cups of skim milk.
3. Stir 4 heaping Tbsp of flour into 2 cups of cold water. Stir vigorously until all the lumps are removed.
4. Slowly pour into the beef/milk mixture, stirring constantly.
5. Add two beef bouillon cubes.
6. Add garlic salt, pepper, and a dash or two of Worcester sauce to taste.
7. Simmer for 30 minutes until thick and creamy. Serve over toast.