Friday, July 4, 2008

4th July

Happy Independence Day to all my American readers. I do hope you have a wonderful day. We used to have a great time when we lived in North Carolina spending the day with all our friends. One thing we often did was to take the boat a few miles up the Sound to Swansboro where they had a firework display on an island off shore. We would anchor and watch it from the water. There were at least two boats in our party and we used to have great fun. I remember one year, on our way home, we rescued some people in the water, their boat had sunk because they had too many on board (drinking) they were a bit difficult to deal with. Luckily some of them had made it to an island so we just had one guy to take ashore for help, he was in the water by their boat, think he was trying to swim for it or something. Drunk sailing doesn't work any better than drunk driving. A heck of a lot of Americans will be eating Hamburgers and Hot Dogs today - I can't offer any assistance for any of that I'm afraid. Not something we eat very often and even when we do, I prefer mine without the bun. Wieners, to me, should be eaten on a plate with sauerkraut. Of course when we were celebrating the 4th with friends we ate the same as anyone else. We would all take a dish to someone's home so we would have plenty of food. We always had potato salad and baked beans. We had one friend who made the best burgers I have ever tasted, he didn't do much with them, but they were always delicious. His wife made the best cole slaw too (I have that recipe, quite a simple one) unfortunately neither of them are with us any more. I often took my recipe from Jambalaya, not an authentic one, but I got it out of a local newspaper here in Canada. It was very popular in North Carolina and usually a friend would give me a load of shrimp to use in it. He had a shrimp boat. He would then have the leftovers for breakfast and lunch the next day apparently. It was one of his favourite meals. Here is my recipe for Jambalaya. Jambalaya Cambridge Reporter 2-1/2 c water 1 c converted rice * 1 tsp salt 3 tsp red pepper sce (hot) 1/4 c vegetable oil 1 garlic clove, crushed 1/2 lb cooked shrimp (I usually use more) 1 c diced ham 1/2 med green pepper cut in 1 x 1/4 in strips 4 green onions, with tops, sliced 2 med tomatoes, roughly chopped Bring water to boil, add rice, 1 tsp salt and red pepper sauce. Simmer 20 mins. covered. Remove from heat, let stand approximately five mins til liquid has disappeared. Put in a large bowl. Combine garlic, oil, remaining salt with rice. Add rest of ingredients except tomatoes. Chill a minimum of 3 hours. Stir in tomatoes to serve. *These days I would use Basmati rice which I think has a better flavour, but it has to be cooked slightly differently. You can follow the directions on the packet merely adding the hot sauce. You can increase the quantities of this recipe without any problem. Have a great day.


  1. It used to amaze and bemuse me, when I lived in America, the fuss they made over their national day! I know of no other country that takes itself so seriously:-)In England, 23 April goes by almost without notice - although I was heartened to see, when I was there last year, that some households were flying St George's cross. This is unusual in the UK, where, as here in Oz, civilians seldom fly flags of any kind on their houses.

    Over the last few years, too, we have had a few more Australia Day celebrations. Civic authorities have always flown the flag and even turned on public events such as fireworks displays, but again, it's considered a civic celebration, not a family one. However, there has been some movement towards making the fireworks displays and civic BBQs into family events and some people are starting to get into the spirit of it.

    A good thing, I reckon, as long as national pride doesn't degenerate into jingoism.

  2. One thing you can say about Americans, they are not short of National Pride. Some countries, Canada for one, could do with a bit more of it and as you say, in Britain April 23 (St. George's Day if anyone doesn't know) slides by without anyone noticing although the Scots do celebrate St. Andrew's Day as the Welsh do St. David's.

  3. I think in France the national day - July 14 - is a much bigger event.

  4. Very true Marilyn, I had temporarily forgotten the 14th.

  5. And the Irish have St. Patrick's Day (usually March 17th).

    Notice the pattern - the Scots, Welsh and Irish celebrate, but the English (supposedly their tyrranous oppressors) do not. The French celebrate the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, the beginning of the French Revolution. Iceland celebrate becoming an independent republic on June 17th. And of course the Americans declared their independence on July 4th and like boisterous rebellious teenagers have been raising the finger of scorn at the rest of the world ever since (but hey, I do love the Americans really).

    The English don't have an act of independence to commemorate. Our patron saint also got downgraded by the Roman Catholic church to an optional memorial feast day. And nationalism has sadly become confused with racism by the 'politically correct' (Tolkien observed half a century ago that everyone seemed to be allowed an ethnic identity except the Anglo-Saxons). One might almost say that these days we are discouraged from anything resembling national pride, or remembering that we are anything more than a whipping boy of the beastly EU. :\

  6. Is St. Patrick's celebrated much in Ireland? It seems it is a much bigger thing over here, especially in the States. I don't remember them making much of it when I lived in the UK. But I agree with your comments ru, over here you never hear of white history month or white universities, etc. it would be considered racist.