I Heart the 4th
This was my absolute favorite holiday when I was growing up on the coast of Connecticut (OK, of the non-gift receiving type). Tall ship regattas, fireworks off the islands, traditional clambakes, decorating my bike for the parade from the town square to the beach, fife and drum corps, ringing of the town bell ... this is the 4th to me. Now, that I am in CA, I love BBQ’s, hand-cranked ice cream, pool parties and of course, from LA to SF - the traditional shooting of your handguns!?! Damn near had a heart attack my first year here.
In my hometown, the traditional fare was of the sea and we never veered - why would we? The day started with a trip in the Whaler out to lobster pots and then to the docks to meet the boat for Bluefish and clams. Then we were off to the Bower Brothers Farm - for their fresh picked corn and tart blueberries. I don't think I have ever felt more connected to the land and sea as I did in those days. It is my hope to get my family back to that - but I digress... My peeps were down. We were 'keepin' it real' ... and allthewhile doing so in our matching headband, belt, Bermuda bag sets ... sheesh.
Now, that I have been here in CA for 20+ years, I have to say that I embrace the melting pot version of this holiday. This week the plan includes a kicked up guacamole, Pacific West inspired shortribs, my Mom’s summertime crab coup and a steak sammie smothered in cheese and peppers.
Summer is in full swing and we are all relishing a weekend without commitments and we are enjoying the earth’s bounty. If you can, get some corn and tomatoes from the California’s Central Valley - Ah-may-zing! If you are back East - get some Jersey tomatoes and corn from Connecticut. They are amazing.
Lastly, let’s all cherish and remember that it’s what we all have in common that makes this country strong - beer and fireworks!
And John Phillip Sousa! And the Grateful Dead! It's gonna be a great day.