Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day

This Saturday is Independence Day here in the United States--a celebration of our adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring our independence from England.

Commemorated by parades, barbecues, picnics and--most of all--fireworks, it's an opportunity to gather with loved ones to enjoy a special holiday.

My favorite memory of a 4th of July was while we lived in Georgia. My husband's uncle and his family had a camp on Lake Allatoona, which is truly a gorgeous area. On that particular visit we enjoyed food and merriment, followed by an evening boat ride on the lake to watch fireworks from the water. It was a great day, followed by a beautiful fiery display in the sky.

I love fireworks. They make me feel like a little kid, giddy to see more, more, more! That's really my only requirement for every summer--we must see fireworks at least once over the course of the summer. I don't need a fancy vacation, a trip to the beach or any such things. Just fireworks.

This year we're not going to any parties, not hosting a bbq and not planning any get-together per se. You see, Mr.W and I will be helping some family members with a large housecleaning project this Saturday, which is sure to last all day long. It needs to be done, and hey, what's family for if not to help with the dirty jobs, eh? Fortunately it's scheduled to be a cool weekend.

I've never been much of a housekeeper, myself. Cleaning certainly isn't something I choose to do--I see it as a necessary evil. But sometimes it also feels rather therapeutic. There have been times when I've been angry or upset, or have a problem that needs to be sorted out--and really the way I worked through it was by getting into a cleaning project. It's a great time to think, to pray, and to work out aggression.

So I guess that'll be what I'm doing Saturday! Think of me as you enjoy whatever you're doing this weekend.

Which brings me to my next thought... what are you doing this 4th of July? A cookout? A picnic? A boatride at the beach? And what will you be eating there?

Instead of dazzling you with an array of cookout-themed recipes, today I just want to remind you that we're just in time for the very short fig season--and any cookout or picnic is the perfect time to enjoy one of those luscious little gems!

I bought two perfectly ripe specimens this past Wednesday and happily gobbled them right out-of-hand. But for company, I have two yummy fig recipes for you--a fig tart and simply sliced figs topped with mascarpone cheese, hazelnuts and a drizzle of agave nectar. So decadent and so refreshing.

As far as what we'll be eating, I need to come up with some easy-fix no-mess food to bring to our cleaning extravaganza so we can eat as necessary without leaving the job site or taking too much time off. I'm thinking something fruit and something one-bowl. It needs to be kept in a cooler outside. Do you have any suggestions?


Grace said...

so, not only have i never purchased fresh figs, i’ve never even tasted them! my experience with figs begins and ends with fig newtons. how sad is that? you’ve given me some great ideas for the day when i finally join the fig-lovers club.

Amanda said...

Hi, Grace. Don't worry--I only tried them last year for the first time! Look around farmer's stands for them NOW, as they'll be gone before you know it. I just know you'll love them--so very different from dried/pureed!

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