I do not make big deals out of holidays. There are a few, however, that I do honor more than others and the 4th of July is one of them. On Saturday, we will be celebrating our nation's independence and honoring those who fought, giving there lived for our freedom. We also celebrate those who serve to maintain our freedoms.
I still do get lavish about the 4th of July, but I do reflect on it significance. All the blessings we have are only possible because of our freedoms. I am very grateful for this. Our country is not perfect, by any means, but it still one of the best places to live. On this day, I take time to be grateful for living here and all the opportunities I have around me, that so many around the world do not have.
One of the popular traditions for the 4th of July are the fireworks. As I am writing this, the Schoolhouse Rock song “Fireworks” is going through my head. Yes, they are pretty, but do you know why we have them on the 4th of July? For more history of them you can go here. Fireworks have been apart of the celebration since the beginning. IN a letter to his wife, John Adams wrote,
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776, “Had a Declaration…” [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Not only are they symbolism of celebration they are also a symbolism of the rockets and bombs going off during the revolutionary war. They are a reminded of what those fighting for our freedoms had to and will endure.
Another favorite tradition is the food. Families and friends from all over gather together to have picnics or BBQ. This can be a time of great fun and conversation. For those who are gluten intolerant this can be a time where they accidentally get “glutened”. This can be avoided if we take time to plan ahead and be prepared. When I go to others parties, I always bring something I know is safe, just in case there is nothing else I can eat. It is just a part of my lifestyle now. I actually enjoy hosting, then I know that all the food I provide is safe for me. I still encourage others to bring things they like, but I can also share my gluten free foods and show others, it is just as delicious. For safe party tips and party recipes, check out this post Surviving Game Day Gluten Free . Some easy, naturally gluten free foods to serve include, hamburgers with gluten free buns or without buns, grilled chicken, Shish kabobs, corn on the cob (I love this grilled). Really there are so many options I could go on, and on.
Here are a couple of my favorite 4th of July recipes for you to enjoy.
I like to use this on grilled chicken.
½ C butter
2 C ketchup
½ C brown sugar
2 tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp cayenne
1 onion, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp season salt
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp prepared mustard
¼ C gluten free Worcestershire sauce
Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve or refrigerate for use later.
Keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Strawberry Short Cake
Heat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. With pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and eggs, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop by spoonful unto parchment lined pan. Bake at 375°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.
In a bowl slice strawberries and sprinkle with sugar. Let sit until ready to top shortcake.
Whip whip cream with 1 Tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form.
Split shortcake into 2 layers. Serve shortcake topped with strawberries and whipped cream.