“It’s a grand old flag” and aren’t you glad you can see it waving all over Longview now and until after Flag Day, thanks to the Rotary Club of Longview? It all began here in 2001 when 10 Rotarians met and discussed the possibility of starting a flag program for Longview, learning that one was already begun by the Gilmer Rotary Club.
My friend, Shirley Griffin, who is truly one of Longview’s movers and shakers (and is a terrific cook, too) was elected the salesperson for the project. A nominal fee is charged to have a Rotarian set a flag (or flags) at your home or business for national holidays. The funds raised from this wonderful project were at first used for scholarships for students at Longview High School. Because the project has exploded from 100 flags the first year to over 1,800 now, the project is able to help local and international projects.
William Wordsworth wrote the immortal words, “My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky.” Borrowing his words, I say, “My heart leaps up when I behold our flag waving high.”
Let’s look at a few recipes that use our flag colors and are easy and fun to make. You will need to start looking for flag-colored M&M’s. I have not looked for any this year because a year or so ago, my friend Emma Osburg and her Pops (Paul Folzenlogen) went on a search for these candies and bought enough for me to make lots of flag cookies. I keep them frozen (don’t try to eat them frozen). First you need a child or grandchild to take over the separating of the colors into three bowls. Now, bear in mind, when you acquire this help, you will yield 50% of the M&M’s for the Flag Cookie because — well, you know why!
1 tube or package sugar cookie dough, softened to room temperature
Canned white frosting or homemade (better)
Using either a 9-by-13-inch jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with sides) or a 10-by-15-inch pan, bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown, and firm to touch, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then turn out onto a serving tray. Let cool and spread white frosting over cookies. Use M&M’s and make the flag pattern.
Some years I made a red, white, blue cake, using a white cake mix, Cool Whip or whipping cream, whipped, and sweetened with sugar and strawberries and blueberries. As with the cookie, make the flag pattern with the berries.
The advantage to this recipe is that it can be made sugar-free, or low-sugar, by using a sugar-free white or yellow cake mix, and frozen whipped topping. The berries need no sweetening (in my opinion). Chill after preparing.
I suppose the next recipe is one of my favorite fruit salads. Not only is it pretty (and patriotic) but is easy to make. Felicia Moore shared this recipe with me several years ago. I agree with someone who said, the longer it is refrigerated, the better it is.
Felicia’s Berry Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
4 cups fresh strawberries, halved or quartered
3 cups fresh blueberries
3 Granny Smith apples, cut into small bite-size chunks
1/3 cup lime juice (fresh is best)
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint (or 1/2 teaspoon mint extract)
In a large bowl (glass is best), combine fruits and berries. In a smaller bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey and mint. Pour over berries and fruit and gently mix. Refrigerate. Makes 12-14 servings.