Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom, Fun and the Fourth of July

Food and Family Mark Independence Day

by Lynne Brandon

Today should remind us all of the great freedoms we enjoy in the United States; something we take for granted but many other countries don’t have.

Independence Day is marked by family reunions, cook outs, parades, and of course, fireworks. It is a day of relaxation, seeing old friends, making new ones, hanging out at the pool and enjoying a day off from the office. Being outdoors is paramount on July 4. Sunny beaches and blue skies mark this day for many where coolers with iced down sodas and food show up across the South and our nation.

Whether at home or vacation, Americans remembers our independence each year with spirit, fun and with food at the center of its celebrations. Rarely are sophisticated foods on the menu; but the tried and true Southern favorites we expect on this holiday: baked beans, potato salad, barbecue, and the headliners, hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.

Garden fresh produce also find a place on the menu and the grill. Yellow squash, zucchini and corn are all great seared and charred with butter and seasonings. Everyone’s favorite vegetable, the tomato is the top accompaniment to burgers and green salads.

July 4th starts kicks off summer with the special holiday that sets the tone for a great summer of travel, relaxing with family and friends, and being thankful for the great life we enjoy. Most of all, today is a day for remembering how good we have in the best country in the world, the United States of America.