Monday, May 20, 2013

Red, White, & Basil Dip {And a Tribute to my Grandpa}

Tomatoes, feta cheese, basil, and Greek dressing - a quick, easy, and delicious summer dip, straight from the garden...and just in time for your Memorial Day celebrations!


Do you remember back in February when I shared my grandma's Banana Cake recipe? And I told you about my grandpa's love of sharing all his stories and memorabilia, including my grandma's old journals? Well, what I didn't tell you is that, aside from stories about my grandma, 90% of the stories my grandpa tells are about his time in the Army. My grandpa is a WWII veteran, and although he served some 70 years ago, when he tells his stories you'd think it was just yesterday.



My grandpa was drafted into the Army on April 28th, 1949 at the age of 21. His draft number was #817. He can still recite the speech given that day by the Army Sergeant: "Whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, you've been in the Army since 6:00 this morning and your pay is $21 a month." When I asked him whether or not he liked it, he simply told me he had been raised to accept whatever situation he found himself in. In other words, it didn't really matter what he thought!


He was sent from Milwaukee to Camp Livingston, Louisiana, where he was assigned to the 32nd Infantry Division. Because of his typing skills, his specific assignment was as clerk to the Provost Marshal, where he worked for a total of 17 months. He can still remember the exact date he was told, out of the blue, "Congratulations, Clarence. You've been promoted to Sergeant." And the date, 3 days later, he was told, "Congratulations, Clarence. You've been promoted to Master Sergeant." It was exactly 10 months after he had been drafted. He says that they never told him why he was promoted so quickly (he skipped a number of rankings) and he never asked....but what he does know is that he quickly became "the most hated man in the Army" for all his promotions.


He left the United States for England on the Queen Mary at 5:00 am. on May 11, 1942. It was the first time that more than 10,000 people had been on the boat at the same time. Once in England, he was transferred to the Claims Department and eventually promoted to Warrant Officer, and from there was transferred a dozen more times before finishing out his service in Paris. When I asked my grandpa to reflect on his time in the military, he said that so much of his experience was about being in the right place at the right time. It was about luck. At the age of 94, I think my grandpa feels very lucky, indeed. And you know what? We feel it right back. Lucky to have him in our lives. Lucky to be able to listen to his stories. Lucky to have the wonderful family that all started with my grandma and him. Lucky to be able to celebrate this Memorial Day with him.


This simple dip is one of our family's summertime favorites. Made with tomatoes, feta cheese, basil, and Greek dressing, it is light, refreshing, flavorful....and the perfect addition to a Memorial Day or 4th of July celebration.


Red, White & Basil Dip
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 c. Greek salad dressing (*I used the same recipe I used in my Quinoa Stuffed Peppers)  

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Serve with blue corn tortilla chips. 

Enjoy!



How will you be celebrating this Memorial Day weekend?



Thanks for taking a peek inside my Lemon Tree Dwelling....
I hope you feel right at home!
-Cathy









33 comments :

  1. Yum! This looks amazing! I would love for you to share this at what i am eating http://www.townsend-house.com/2013/05/what-i-am-eating_17.html

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  2. Cathy, I wish I knew your grandpa! Sounds like someone you could sit and listen to for hours! Feta and tomatoes are the perfect combo and the basil just makes it better! Happy Memorial Day!

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  3. Thanks for the tribute to Grandpa. He truly is an amazing man!

    This dip looks yummy. Love the red, white, and blue. ☺

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  4. Your Grandpa sounds like a wonderful man! I love that you are celebrating him - we need to do that for our relatives, it's so important. I had a very special grandpa too and I miss him very much.

    This dip looks so yummy - perfect for Memorial Day, thanks for sharing as always!

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  5. What a wonderful tribute! I love hearing their stories!

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  6. This looks amazing and what a story! Funny that our Grandpa's have the same name and we wrote about them almost on the same day!!

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  7. Fantastic recipe! I love that you used basil in this. Perfect! Pinned.

    Stopping by from Mop It Up Mondays. Have a great afternoon! :)

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  8. New fan coming over Mop it Up Monday. I would love for you to come share this post at our From the Farm Blog Hop. Hope to see you there!
    Lisa
    Fresh Eggs Daily
    http://www.fresh-eggs-daily.com/2013/05/from-farm-blog-hop-34.html

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  9. Yummy and perfect for the long weekend!

    I am your newest follower from the linkup. www.captivatingcorner.com

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  10. I love that this is so festive and in honor of your grandpa. I think it's great that you could honor him in such a wonderful way.

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  11. Yum- this looks so good! I love chips and dip!

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  12. Oh! This is right up my ally! Looks so yummy. Visiting from I Should be Mopping the Floor.
    Karen

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  13. Cathy, This looks so delicious, PINNED IT! I hope you're sharing it tomorrow for Tuesday Trivia.
    Hugs,
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

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  14. This sounds sooooooo good. Thanks for the recipe. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party at - -http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/05/166th-inspire-me-tuesday.html. Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty

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  15. This dip sounds wonderful! I am pinning for later!

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  16. Yummy totally pinning this for later! Thanks

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  17. Yum! This sounds delicious!
    I'm visiting you today from Lil Luna. I co-host a Linky Party Tuesday (open thru Sat) and I'd love for you to link up! I hope you get a chance to stop by, link up and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Join me each Tuesday for Brag About It Link Up Party

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  18. OK! This looks great! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  19. I am crazy about every ingredient in this dip so it is a must make for me! Pinned it to my "mouthwatering" board on Pinterest and following you via GFC! Found you on Tuesday Trivia!

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  20. I loved reading about your grandfather! I love listening to my grandmother tell stories of a different time. I also feel blessed to still have her here to share our lives. It's how they lived and it's how we got were we are today and unfortunately, I don't think many people these days are interested in such things. I think it's just wonderful:) This dip looks absolutely amazing! I can't wait to make this- Yum!
    Shannon@CozyCountryLiving

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  21. I featured you this week on Blissful & Domestic. Stop by and check it out!

    Danielle @ Blissful & Domestic
    www.blissfulanddomestic.com

    http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/2013/05/weekly-recipe-roundup-2.html

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  22. This looks delicious!! Pinned it!!

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  23. Your grandpa sounds like a great man! This dip looks amazing! Hope you had a great Memorial Day with him.

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  24. Oh my goodness, Cathy! I am in tears reading this!! What an incredible man your Grandpa is! Thankful for his service to our country, and that you are still enjoying hearing those priceless stories!! Pinned your yummy dip recipe ... thanks for sharing it and your beautiful tribute to your Grandpa!!

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  25. Looks delicious…Discovered your blog on Ducks 'n a row linkup!!

    Thanks,
    Roxanne @The ROXX Box
    www.theroxxbox.com

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  26. Your grandfather sounds like a very interesting man. You are invited to share this with Show Your Stuff:
    http://juliejewels1.blogspot.com/2013/05/peanut-butter-flax-seed-cookies-show.html

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  27. What a wonderful story. I think your Grandfather is a very special man. My father served in the Army and was in England also, but much later!
    Thank you for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party! I look forward to seeing what you bring next week!

    Cynthia at http://FeedingBIg.com

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  28. Great post and tribute to your grandpa! Your dip sounds amazing! Thanks so much for sharing at last week's All My Bloggy Friends! I can't wait to see what you share this week :)

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  29. What a great story!! And the dip sounds SO amazingly good.

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  30. That is so awesome that he has such vivid memories and can relay all of that to you. What a life! And what an incredible dip - looks amazing!

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  31. Yum! This looks amazing, and the story behind it is so sweet! Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects.

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  32. My Grandfather lived to be 104 years, 2 months and 2 days of age. During that time, he got to see the majority of his Great Grandchildren grow up. I was always thankful in hindsight looking back at sitting down and talking with him just one on one, listening to his stories as a kid! The best and funniest story I heard from him was when his Dad - my Great Grandfather took him hunting. He said, "Son, when I tell you drop to the ground, you drop, unless you want to get shot!" It was such a valuable story and lesson - that sometimes folks don't have time to tell you full instructions, that's it's always best to listen and not talk so much! You will be surprised what you learn. Hearing the story about the Trials about the Union Presidents was an eye opener. My Grandfather was the oldest member of any Union to date and the most respected. It showed the day before his funeral, all the admiration and deep gratitude that the Union Members had for him. You will be surprised how people make a mark in their lifetime with others. Thanks for the awesome story.

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  33. G'morning, Cathy! Your Grandpa came to mind this Veterans Day morning, so I couldn't resist stopping back by this post to let you know it. ;) Thanks again for sharing his story. Please pass along my continued gratitude for his service to our great Nation! Much love to you and your family! XO!

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