Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A parade lunch to love

By Chuck Martin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

This is part of an occasional series about how we celebrate special occasions with good things to eat. Tell us about your food traditions. Include a phone number and send to Food Traditions, Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 E-mail:

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There isn't a better place to watch the Park Hills Memorial Day parade than from Ronnie Mitchell's historic home on Amsterdam Road. From her porch, you can see the marching bands, the waving politicians and the kids wheeling their bikes.

It gets better. While you watch, Ronnie and her sisters, Ann and Nell Brandner, feed you. First there's coffee and pastries on the porch. Later, after the parade ends, the sisters put on a big lunch spread on the patio out back - beef barbecue, homemade buns, potato salad, corn pudding and lemon bundt cake. These sisters love to entertain, and they can cook.

Ronnie's Memorial Day picnic is a long-standing tradition for this Northern Kentucky family - almost as old and revered as their ritual of eating White Castle hamburgers and sipping bourbon the day before Thanksgiving. But that's a story for another season.

Fact is, the sisters don't need a parade to put on a Memorial Day picnic. We're guessing that if you called their 25-plus guests the day before and told them the parade had been cancelled for some reason, their next question would be: "So what time do we eat?"

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