a. still alive.
b. still interested in writing here.
c. sharing something I feel some may enjoy.
Before I go any further, I must give thanks to those who fight and serve our country. Thanks to our military people as well as our first responders as well. I thought it would be the right thing to do is to start and end with something to give thanks for. I understand what sacrifices have been made for me to be free. It's not free. It comes at a price, often times the life and limbs of someone willing to fight for it. I took this poem which says it all (1).
|It's time for the ""|
And the "Fireworks" galore!
And the "Beer" and the "Friends"
And the "Burgers" for sure!
But most important
And I really must say
Is that "America" got
Its "Independence" today!
Yes in "1776"
The famous politician
Senator "John Hancock"
Had signed the petition
That stated that our country
Was "free" from all others!
And that we would "only be governed"
By our "American brothers"!
So while we are celebrating
This "great day of fun"
Let us always remember
What our forefathers had done!"
- Billy Nardozzi
|Washington & Armistead (2)|
Since I'm on the subject of freedom, this picture has been distorted over the years. Most people know who the man on the left is. That's obviously George Washington. What about the man on the right? Who is he? Is he Washington's "servant" or someone of the like? Not exactly. The man on the right is James Armistead (Lafeyette). He was a slave who served in the Continental Army, led by Maruis de Laffayette (French Military Officer). Armistead fed bad intelligence to to Lord (General) Cornwallis and General Benedict Arnold, who Armistead informed them that he was a runaway slave. Many consider him our firs Double Agent. His intelligence information that he gave to other US Spies was crucial in the Battle of Yorktown. Lord Cornwallis would eventually surrender.
Ok. So here's my dinner for Independence Day. From where the fork is stuck (going clockwise). Mac & cheese. My cousin made this. He did use a medium sharp cheddar and I thought it was very good. The prep is probably not much different that what you might do yourselves. He wasn't pleased with the outcome and then again, the cook is often the most critical of what they made. Mom made some baked beans. I REALLY was hoping to make them but time didn't allow me to. You can see the potato salad, which my cousin brought with him. Although store bought, it got the job done. My parents did the chicken and ribs (next to the potato salad). My Mom gave my Dad an electric smoker so they did the chicken on that. The ribs were done on the Weber kettle grill. He tends to play with spices a bit (as do I). So I know he used Kosher salt, black pepper, some cayenne (more for some color) I can say for sure. Remember to pull the membrane off the back of the ribs. He normally does 4-5 racks/session at about 3-4 hours for each session. You can see the spaghetti tucked in their as well. There was no meat but with all the meat we had on hand, it's wasn't needed. Finally, you can see the grilled hot dog. We have a flat surface which we cook certain items on. I think I'll need to do a tools post soon. It may provide some further insight on how I, along with my family, use our grills.
So I visited the local Ribfest a couple of days later (as I usually do). I go to them really more for some inspiration more than the eating (although the latter never hurts). So this is the winner of the Best Ribs (overall and Kid's selection). Over the years, I've really enjoyed their food. The sauce you see here is legit. VERY spicy. A chilehead's dream. The burn is immediate. I think I go some side pieces this time arounf
Now this caught my attention. Notice the mac & cheese? This is the first year the vendors (some of them anyway) sold that. This version was a touch smokey but good. I think the cheese was a mild cheddar but wasn't sure. The shake up was non-alcoholic but very good, made from oranges and lime. I'll need to make this one day. This could make a great mix with a tea.
I figured since I mentioned the importance of freedom and what this holiday means. I figured this song would be a good way to drive that point home. This version was done just after the 9-11 attacks. I've heard a few versions of this song but this was pretty moving. It was on October 28. 2001. Game 2 of the MLB World Series, which featured Arizona Diamondbacks playing host to the New York Yankees. The song, the soldiers draping the outfield with a giant American flag & the closing Air Force flyover was quite moving. At a time when people felt low, see quickly a song can lift the spirit. Ray Charles really let his heart flow. Although he sang the song many times over the years, how appropriate was him to be there in that moment. God Bless America!!!
1. Taken from http://www.theholidayspot.com/july4/poems.htm
2. Taken from: http://academicmuseum.lafayette.edu/special/specialexhibits/slaveryexhibit/onlineexhibit/james.htm
3. Taken from http://www.metrolyrics.com/america-the-beautiful-lyrics-ray-charles.html