In just a few short weeks, final school bells will ring, nights will be warmer, days will be longer, and—with any luck—work hours will be shorter. Sun-soaked good times are right around the corner, and there’s no better way to mark the changing of seasons than to celebrate over Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.


Whether you’ll use the weekend to make memories, pay your respects, take a quick trip or just take it easy, a little celebration does wonders to set the tone for the rest of the summer. It’s the perfect time to gather with friends and family, try out a new recipe, or dine outside and enjoy the weather. No matter how you choose to celebrate, great food is a must because—well, of course, it is. And what better way to kick off the season of outdoor dinner parties, laid-back gatherings, and fresh produce than with a serveware refresh? Luckily for you, we have plenty of recommendations for both.

Fried Chicken Recipe

Here at Mary Jurek Design, we’ll be honoring the occasion with one of our all-time favorite dishes for Memorial Day: fried chicken. If you care to join us, check out Alton Brown’s simple yet tasty recipe here.

  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups low fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable shortening, for frying
  1. Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/3-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
  3. Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  4. Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breasts and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come halfway up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)
  5. Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don’t drain by setting the chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding it in a warm oven, especially if it’s a gas oven.


For a gorgeous presentation this Memorial Day Celebration to get your guests’ mouths watering, try serving your dish on the versatile Blossom Free Form Round Tray, handcrafted in beautiful hammered stainless steel.  Measuring 14 inches, it’s big enough to serve any size crowd, and its high sides ensure not a single delicious morsel will spill over as your guests help themselves. Plus, it’s easy to clean, allowing you more time to relax and enjoy.

Fried chicken (or any entrée, really) would surely be lonely without side dishes. One of our favorites is mashed potatoes—add Greek yogurt and a bit of horseradish for a satisfying kick. Whether you’re in the mood to keep to the classics or try something new, the 6 ½” Paloma Round Bowls make the ideal serving dish. Designed in stainless steel that never needs a polish, these timeless serving bowls blend well with any design style, from the ultra-modern to the traditional.

If the thought of summertime gets you excited for fresh, seasonal vegetables, you’re not alone. We’re planning our Memorial Day meal with seasonal produce in mind. Served in the Luna Stainless Round Bowl, a fresh summer salad or grilled vegetables make the perfect addition to a warm-weather gathering. The Luna’s stainless-steel finish is sure to make the colors of your vibrant veggies pop, and its organic look makes it the perfect vessel for the farm-fresh fare. Pair with the equally elegant and functional El Dorado Vegetable Serving Spoon for a truly stunning presentation that will get even the pickiest eaters excited to dig in.

Author Dani Cramer

Dani Cramer is a writer and editor based in Southern California. When she isn't perfecting clients' masterpieces or working on her own, you can find her trying new recipes, hosting at her apartment, or bingeing the latest bestseller.