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Comfort food and books for comfort

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Christina Stock Photo Chicken in mushroom sauce — serving suggestion.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Memorial Day

A recipe for chicken and author Shirley Raye Redmond

This year, it’s going to be a different kind of Memorial Day: There will be no live parades, or crowds honoring our fallen soldiers, but some virtual events will happen. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund organization will pay tribute to members of America’s armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam and in all conflicts. There will be a live webcast on Memorial Day at 1 p.m. Visit vvmd.org/alwaysremember for more information.

The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia will release two video ceremonies on Memorial Day and June 6 on its Facebook page @NationalDDAYMemorial. There are other organizations who are holding virtual runs, most are 21K. The number 21 is chosen because it represents the highest honor, a tradition that goes back to the days of sailing ships, their cannons and cannons on land protecting a harbor. Both would shoot their cannons — altogether 21 times — to render them incapacitated, meaning they came in peace and were accepted in peace.

Today, the U.S. and other countries still honor the president and other country’s leaders by firing off 21 shots. The number 21 is also a fundamental part in the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier whose guard marches 21 steps south down the 63-foot-long black mat laid out across the tomb. The guard then turns and faces east, toward the tomb, for 21 seconds; he turns and faces north, changes weapon to outside shoulder and waits 21 seconds before marching 21 steps down the mat, he turns and faces east for 21 seconds before turning and facing south, changing the weapon again to the outside shoulder, and waits 21 seconds. The guard repeats this until he gets relieved.

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If you have children, or just by yourself, how about researching 21 American fallen soldiers this year, before watching with your family at home on TV or online the virtual ceremonies? Or have 21 seconds of silent reflection at 21:00 military time, which is 9 p.m. our time?

Every family has its own traditions, and of course, it includes grilling or barbecuing.

I remember the first “real” Memorial Day I participated in with my husband who had served as a Marine. He would tell me on this day about all his classmates and friends he had lost who had sacrificed their lives in Vietnam. Then he would raise a beer in their honor before starting the grill. Sometimes we would join the celebrations at the local Elks Lodge having a barbecue at their pool, but most of the time we preferred to stay at home like an “old married couple.”

I have to admit, the first year, we only barbecued steaks and burgers — it is impossible to barbecue in Germany, where I lived most of my life before moving to Roswell, because of regulations and limited places where grilling was permitted, so my husband indulged my longing to make up for lost time. Then, one year, we found out a new love: Barbecued chicken thighs. We played with all kinds of recipes, marinades and learned to grill it to perfection. However, we would always grill too much. If this happens to you, I have today the recipe for you to use the next day:

Chicken and mushroom sauce

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb leftover grilled chicken breasts

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp coriander

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the mushroom sauce:

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

12 oz fresh large mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup chicken broth

3 green onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper

Parsley for garnish

Preparation:

Remove the skins of the grilled chicken and the bones. Cut into cubes or slices. Combine the oregano, paprika and coriander in a small bowl and toss the meat into it, turning it to coat all sides. In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil until it starts simmering, not smoking. Add the chicken for 5 minutes, stirring it once. Remove the chicken into a separate bowl. In the same skillet, add a little bit more olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for 10 minutes. Add broth, green onions, garlic and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

You can serve it by itself or add rice, couscous or pasta as a side.

Books for comfort:

Submitted Photo
New Mexico author Shirley Raye Redmond.

The New Mexico Book Co-op author Shirley Raye Redmond has a special connection to Roswell. She wrote in her email, “Our son Jordan is a NMMI graduate, so we frequently visited Roswell when he was in school there.”

An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker, Redmond is the author of 25 children’s books and six novels for women. “Lewis & Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President” (Random House) was a children’s book-of-the-month club selection. Redmond holds a master’s degree in literature and writes that she has been married to her college sweetheart Bill for 45 years. They live in Los Alamos where she serves as prayer chairman for her local Community Bible Study (CBS) group.

Redmond’s latest book, “Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God” is for children she wrote, ages 9 to 14. Illustrations are by Katya Longhi. The courageous women Redmond writes about come from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities and time periods in history. These women have one thing in common, each one has answered the Lord’s call in her life. Featured are Corrie ten Boom, Gabby Douglas, Tamika Catchings Smith, Florence Nightingale, Madeline L’Engle, Katherine Johnson, Sabina Wurmbrand and others. The book is available at online distributors and christianbook.com in hardcover.

For more information, visit shirleyrayeredmond.com or find her on her Facebook author page.