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May 26, 2017Blog

Variations on a Holiday Weekend

Across country, friends and family plan to spend more time with each other as they observe Memorial Day weekend. Surely there will be barbecues and outdoor parties—grilled burgers, potato salad, and perhaps even fireworks are par for the course on such holidays. As you prepare for your gathering, there are a number of ways to put different spins on the long weekend.


Change Up the Menu
People expect to nosh on certain foods, such as hot dogs, chips, and salsa, at the average party. This is a great opportunity to introduce everyone to alternative takes on some classics. Swapping a select ingredient in a recipe can wake up their taste buds. For instance, when boiling rice or pasta, consider using low-sodium broth instead of water. As the broth is absorbed, the dish will be infused with flavor in a subtle way that enhances the meal without the need for additional seasoning.

When dessert time comes around, there are more chances to surprise guests. Fans of s’mores will quickly grab marshmallows and graham crackers. How about offering them an assortment of miniature chocolate candies along with the traditional chocolate bars? That allows them to pick flavors they enjoy to create this summer staple.

A more elaborate dessert such as crème brûlée requires a fair amount of advanced preparation, however this dish can also be spiced up. The specifics of each recipe varies, but often times whisking in ingredients such as cooled espresso or pouring the cream through a sieve  loaded with the pulp of a fruit will marry that flavor to the final product.


Uncork Local Vino
It can be very tricky to appease the palates of wine lovers; each person has distinct tastes they favor. While the common practice is to grab a bottle or two from famous wine regions in France, Argentina, or domestically from California, many wineries exist outside of those celebrated places.

A quick search on the Web can turn up lists of wineries that may be within driving distance of your home. There might even be a local food and wine festival planned, perhaps at fairground or at a winery, for the holiday weekend. These festivals bring together multiple wineries that can be sampled during the course of a day.

Wine is a temperamental beverage; climate and soil play significant roles in the quality of what winds up in the bottle. That is why some parts of the world are more conducive for producing the most sought after vintages. This does not mean they are the only sources of enjoyable wine. Local wineries offer you a chance to discover potential new favorites, such as blueberry wine to pair with that crème brûlée you made.


Arts, Science, and Entertainment
Patrons are obviously vital to museums, galleries, and science centers and they often look for new ways to attract visitors. Check their calendar listings for unique events set outside standard operating hours. There may be special exhibits held only at night or limited to members and their guests. Music, food, and beverage, which are normally not allowed on the premises, might be offered up to attendees on those occasions.

Special events serve a dual purpose for these venues—they can add a bit more revenue to their coffers and it may encourage visitors to return during regular hours. For the patron, an evening at an aquarium or science center might be as colorful as a night of fireworks.

No matter how you spend your holiday weekend, make it safe and memorable.


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