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Christina’s Corner: May 26, 2023

Whether you are jetting out of town for Memorial Day weekend or staying put, summer and vacation are in the air. In New Jersey, it’s the opening of the Jersey Shore with families flocking to the beach with their umbrellas and beach chairs. Others might be planning hikes or time on a lake. Even those staying put might be taking advantage of the longer weekend for a staycation.

I feel obligated to remind us that Memorial Day, with its BBQs and its lounging on beach towels, was originally founded in the United States to remember those who have served in our armed forces and lost their lives while in military service. I’m admittedly a pacifist on nearly all military matters, but I still grow solemn remembering those who died while in service: almost always so young and in a complicated political landscape far more complex than one side. I hope your weekend is balanced between recollection and remembrance and enjoying the more casual parts of the weekend. I’ll be tending to my garden and planting my tomatoes next to the pickling cucumbers, my own little modern Victory garden. 

Eat: As a vegetarian, I always appreciate a burger alternative being on hand at cookouts. My favorite? Take portobello mushroom caps and marinate them in equal parts olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce or coconut aminos. I don’t typically measure, but for three caps I’ve used an eighth cup for each ingredient.  You can get crafty if you like and throw more into it, like garlic powder or minced garlic. Throw them on the grill or if you don’t want to heat up the whole kitchen, the toaster oven until it’s hot and bubbly. You can serve it as is on a hamburger bun, but I like it with pickled red onion and either feta or goat cheese crumbles. It will suit even the meat eaters among you, so have a few extra on hand. 

See: Some of my favorite summer memories were made while seeing outdoor movies. When I lived in New York City, there was a rush on the Bryant Park series. Watching Roman Holiday (my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie, if anyone was curious), I brought my insulated picnic basket and staked out space to enjoy cold drinks with my friends. (New Yorkers, their line up this summer includes Roman Holiday again and other outstanding choices.)  Another time, friends and I picked up a full pizza to eat outside on a pier while watching Bridesmaids. See if your county or local municipality hosts an outdoor summer movie series- and if they don’t, see if you can talk your friend with a bit of backyard space to host. 

Do: I am a podcast fiend. For this reason, when I recommend a podcast, it means it stands out among the rest. It is with the fullest endorsement that I suggest you check out Normal Gossip. Each episode offers you a juicy story from people that you’ll never know – it’s a really gripping story, gossip without any of the moral quandary. My favorite episodes are Season 1 Episode 8 (Spot the Scammer), Season 1 Episode 3 (Can I Say Something Bitchy?) and I Love All Corgis from Season 2. Listen – and enjoy that piping hot tea. 

Have a veggie-filled, cinematic, and safe gossip weekend,