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Dining In — Recipe of the Week: Meet Memorial Day challenges with friends


Like the other holidays on the calendar this year, this Memorial Day will present challenges we haven’t faced before.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good time with family and friends in limited numbers, even if our corner of Pennsylvania is still designated in the red phase and we have to be cautious about the size of gatherings and social distancing.

On a recent holiday I heard about a local family that found an inventive way of making sure their dinner menu would remain the same despite the pandemic. Each branch of the family made their traditional specialty, but instead of one large dish they divided their contribution into four containers – one for each branch. They swapped containers and held a Zoom online holiday dinner with everyone enjoying the same dishes they dine on every year.

Memorial Day has its own picnic traditions, with some relatives making the best potato salad or cole slaw and others whipping up terrific deviled eggs. And who doesn’t like the fresh-picked strawberries that are showing up at some local farms, ready to make into holiday desserts.

As the summer stretches ahead there will be more changes as we continue to adapt to living in a world where COVID-19 might be lurking in unexpected places. But we still can have a nice Memorial Day, whether there are two guests or 10, and whether it is online or in person.

Here is a recipe from for those who want to try their hand at barbecuing chicken this year.

Barbecued Picnic Chicken

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons butter

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup chili sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

½ teaspoon salt

2 dashes hot pepper sauce

2 broiler/fryer chickens (3½ to 4 pounds each), cut up

In a large saucepan, sauté garlic in butter until tender. Add the next 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; set aside.

On a lightly greased grill rack, grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Baste with sauce. Grill 15 minutes longer or until a thermometer reaches 170° F, basting and turning several times.

Test Kitchen Tips: This sauce is best when made a day or two in advance, giving the flavors time to come together. If you don’t have chili sauce on hand, you can use ¼ cup extra ketchup or ¼ cup cocktail sauce.

Nutrition: 1 piece: 296 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 79mg cholesterol, 761mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 1g fiber), 25g protein.

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