Our Memorial Day picnics were always held at my maternal grandparent's home, more specifically, their backyard. My grandfather had built a brick barbeque just so he could cook the hot dogs and hamburgers, while my mother and grandmother made all the side dishes and desserts. These picnics were the first place I ever had (and probably allowed) soda and my choice was Cream Soda, although they made sure there was an assortment. The food was delicious, as usual and I loved to listen to the stories from my dad and grandfather about the military. One of my favorites, is that during WWII, my grandfather was asked to come back to the Marines and be the Pay Master (he fought in WWI) stationed in Washington, D.C. He told of evenings, playing poker with Vice President Harry S. Truman at the White House--they were both from Missouri and apparently both liked poker:-D
As much as we looked forward to these picnics, we never forgot it was a day to remember All the men and women who served in the military. In my family, this includes my great-grandfather, who was assigned to the U.S.S. Constitution (and received a medal that has been passed down to the "first son"), to both my grandfathers--one in the Navy, the other in the Marines, my Dad, my uncles, three of my brothers, and two nephews who have felt it was their duty and honor to serve our country. And, for that, I thankful and blessed.
|Seaman William Joseph Tierney Jr.|
|Me and My Day in Millington, Tennessee|
|Chris and his daughter--Photo shared from Eileen's Facebook entry|
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract + 2 Vanilla Beans, split and scraped
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
4 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 12oz pkg. Mini Chocolate Chips
Additional confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat oven 350F-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter thoroughly. Scrape down the sides and add the confectioners' sugar on low speed...you don't want to be wearing it.
Add the Vanilla extract and seeds and the salt and beat once more. Add the flour, half at a time, on low speed again. When all the flour has been combined, add the chocolate chips.
Measure about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Use a fork to make criss-cross marks and flatten the dough slightly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
Let cool a few minutes, then transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar to finish them. Makes 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.
On this Memorial Day weekend, while you're enjoying your picnics, set some time aside to remember all the men and women who have served, especially those who have given their lives, and all of their families--it is why we enjoy the freedoms we hold so dear. Enjoy!