with food, there’s always something new

Memorial Day

Some people think Memorial Day should be a somber time. Not Indiana. We’re patriotic and love our country, but we breath the smell of gasoline and yearn for the roar of engines. For us it’s about auto racing. The Indy 500.

We honor ambition, precision and anticipation. From the very beginning of this race in the early 20th century, we’ve opened Indy to the world and welcomed race teams from all continents, countries and cultures. That’s our way of remembering those who’ve sacrificed for us. We keep living, we forgive our enemies and make them our friends.

Food writer Marcia Adams described Indiana as “a study in contrasts.”

Economically, Indiana developed first as farmland, but rapid industrialization occurred when oil was discovered. Indiana was no longer a sleepy agarian state…

Indy 500 doesn’t have great food and drink traditions the Kentucky Derby has. We don’t have a Mint Julip, or Roast Beef with Henry Bain Sauce, Derby Pie or sandwiches with Benedictine’s spread.

Perhaps it’s the nature of the two races. Horses run for a few minutes, then there’s an hour of downtime. Time to bet, drink, strut and sup. The 500 is hours of sun, heat, gasoline, noise, hair-raising turns, twists and danger.

Food is for later.

Although we don’t have the great culinary traditions enjoyed by our southern neighbor, there was a time when Indy knew how to roll out the carpet. I lived here in the mid-eighties, and regulary attended 500 parties. Tables were covered with white linens and silver candelabras. Catering staff wore white jackets, white bowties and white gloves. The old supper-club crowd prevailed over parties in this town–it was cocktails and elegance.

Memorial Day is Indy’s collective hangover. Time to take the visitors to the airport, come home, unwind and fire up the grill.

For all of you enjoying a family cookout, I wish I could be with you. Today, though, is my holiday to work.

Written by Susan Gillie

May 26, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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