Monday, May 31, 2010

Crab, Guacamole, Black Bean Salad atop Fried Polenta and a Pop-Pop's Gift from WW II

For my Memorial Day post, I wanted to share with you something I wrote in my personal journal a few months back. I felt it was appropriate for the day. (I'll share with you the basics of this simple Polenta, Crab, Guacamole & Black Bean dish at the end, so if you don't want to read - just skip to the bottom!)

These Ebony and Ivory Elephant Bookends near the top of the list - of items I'd try to save - if God for bid a fire. My Pop-Pop (a Captain in the infantry in the India, China, Burma Theatre of WWII) brought them back from India. My mom recalls 'the pair' sitting in a dark, hallway closet for most of their lives. It wasn't until she was faced with going through her parent's belongings (to prepare for the selling of her childhood home) that the pachyderms reemerged ~ I was the lucky recipient!

When I look at the elephants, I can't help but think about all of the men my Pop-Pop served with who never returned home - yet these unique bookends (from that same time and place) made their way into mine. Today, we proudly display them on a shelf in our living room, aside old photographs of my late grandparents. I wish I knew more about the elephants...exactly how old they were, who made them and the circumstances - that led my Pop-Pop to think enough of them - to secure them in his bag for the long journey home. (I've imagined countless scenarios!) What I do know about the bookends...I love... and though they're probably not worth much me... they are priceless!

I have so many memories of my Pop-Pop I can't wait to share! He loved food...he loved crabs
(and so one of my earliest crab memories)...he loved my Grandmother...and this Memorial Day...I remember and honor him with this post. XO&MISS!

Pop-Pop & Mom-Mom (Jack & Catherine-aka "Chick")

Food Shown Above:- Scoop of Black Bean, Corn, Tomato, Red Onion, Jalapeno & Cilantro Salad with salt, pepper and lime juice

- Scoop of Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Lemon Juice and Chili powder

-Scoop of Fresh Homemade Guacamole (click here and scroll down for a simple guac recipe) all sitting atop on pan fried polenta (tube purchased at Trader Joe's) with melted cotija (Mexican cheese)...a delicious, refreshing start... to a wonderful Memorial Day meal!

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