Authentic Compassion

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Our small town's courthouse square (which is actually a circle) decorated with flags for the holiday weekend.

Happy Independence Day - the quintessential (I love that word) American summer holiday. All about enjoying the warm season, cooking outdoors and remembering how immensely valuable is our unique form of government. Here on Buhlaland it was both a blessed SonDay and July 4th/Independence Day - we celebrated both with worship and relaxing. Hubby and I had a craving for real hot dogs - not the low fat low whatevers we eat most of the time but nice big juicy Hebrew National (we answer to a higher power) franks. In true American style - I made a run to WalMart - golly it was crowded apparently everyone waits until 9:30 in the morning to buy their supplies. Purchased salad makings, hot dogs and buns then hustled home to get pie made.
We had fun getting the grill cleaned up (what happens to that resolution we make each time we buy a nice new grill - "we'll clean it as soon as we take food off it so it'll be ready to use the next time" ? - hmmm), then timing the side dishes to coincide with the perfectly grilled franks and toasted buns (bread kind not burnt backsides!) Not too much extra on the hot dogs - mine was grainy mustard and chopped onions.
For a change I've included real recipes and pictures of the food. We like the cauliflower salad and change it up according to what is in our pantry. Used a shortbread crust for the pie and although it tastes out of this world delicious - didn't give recipe because it absolutely wouldn't release from the pan. Will try making it again and grease the pan - perhaps use a metal pie plate instead of my ceramic one and see if it will release. Picture of pie isn't perfection but taste was astounding! Hope each and every person gave thanks for the blessing of being in a free nation - we can all complain and point out flaws but we still have far more freedom than most people in the world. Please give thanks for those giving their services to keep us free -whether military or civilian service - God Bless them all and God Bless America. It is a time for gratitude on Buhlaland - hope it was for you also. Just realized the irony of juxtaposition of a blog post about eating lots for a holiday and our new widget about world hunger - it isn't right or fair we have so much and they have so little - and doesn't take much to help - click through on the widget and at least donate the cost of a package of hot dogs and buns - at our stores that was over $8 and would really help someone else. Back to our holiday blog post.

Cauliflower Salad

1 medium head of cauliflower - barely cooked (put into boiling water for maybe 4 minutes then removed and either dunk into ice water or spray cold water over it to stop cooking process) Break cauliflower into small florets/pieces.
While cauliflower is chilling make dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar or two packets splenda if you need to use artificial sweeteners
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon Morton's Nature's Seasons seasoning blend
Whisk together in a medium sized bowl (you'll add the cauliflower and other vegetables to the dressing so need room to mix it)
3 green onions, chopped finely
1 very finely minced fresh jalapeno pepper or 2 tablespoons sweet green pepper for less heat.
3 or 4 stalks of celery chopped
In the mixing bowl with dressing, add cooled and drained cauliflower, pepper, celery and onions. Stir thoroughly - tastes best if made a little ahead of time and chilled.
Optional changes - add chopped hard boiled eggs. Add a finely chopped can of water chestnuts. Add a small jar of diced pimento. For those with a sweeter preference - add some pickle relish or diced sweet pickles instead of the peppers.

Berry Pie

1 quart fresh strawberries
1/2 pint blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons pomegranate liqueur or pomegranate juice
- pour into 1/2 cup measure and then carefully fill rest of the half cup measure with water to get a total of 1/2 cup liquid
1 Baked and cooled 9 inch pie crust
Rinse berries and drain thoroughly. Remove stems and any blemished spots from strawberries. 1/4 of the quart of strawberries should be mashed up in a saucepan with the 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Place the other 3/4 quart strawberries and 1/2 pint blueberries into baked pie crust.
In a small bowl - whisk together cornstarch,1/2 cup liquid - set aside.
Bring the mashed berries and sugar to a boil stirring frequently. When they look a little like cooked up preserves - stir in the liquid and cornstarch. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir constantly 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Cool mixture for a few minutes and pour over berries in pie crust. Cover and set in refrigerator at least one hour. Serve with sweetened whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.
Tasted great on Buhlaland today and hope it does at your house also. Thank you all for the great suggestions on our trellis issue - still working on exactly how much work and money we are ready to expend but love the ideas!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a beautiful day. Thank you for the pictures and recipes. We had hot dogs tonight too and ate a whole pan of brownies!!!!! Your salad is unique and sounds very tasty and great for a hot summer day. Thanks.

limpingalong said...

Here's a suggestion about cauliflower. Cut a head into small florets and nuke until tender.
Stir in one or two tablespoons of Tostito brand Salsa con Queso. It is yummy on cauliflower -- like cauliflower au gratin with a little bite. We love it!