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Pause While You're Having Fun and Remember...

Fourth of July

Independence Day, 2010. Has a nice ring to it! Over 230 years of liberty, and (hopefully) many more to come. We don’t know what you have planned, but the Chile Underground isn’t doing a bit celebration this year. So much else going on in our lives that we’ll take a pause that refreshes. Oh, we won’t hide! After all, it’s Time to Grill!

Yep, we’ll grill at the very least. I’m marinating some chopped beef steaks, just to get ready. Chopped beef, you say? Yeah, it sounds mundane, but with the right ingredients worked into the meat (like french fried onions, onion and garlic powder, a bit of bouillon powder, some seasonings, some herbed breadcrumbs) it’s really good eating. I’ll make some nice mushroom or brown gravy to go with. Not on the grill, of course! On the side burner. I mean hey, I’ll already be out there, slaving away; might as well get the whole package done at once.

Which brings up the question of side dishes. Potato salad? A nice thought; maybe Granny has some left over from Friday’s feast. Barbeque beans? Always good with grilled steak, but my heart’s not into that dish today. Corn on the cob? Excellent idea! However, that would mean a trip into town, as we ate the last of that a while back. And the roadside stands are all on holiday too, today. (As they should be.) Green beans; now there’s a great Fourth of July side dish! I better get started on those, they take a while to braise properly in the bacon fat and broth. Naturally we’ll have plenty of home-growed tomatoes.

There are still some Fredericksburg peaches left for dessert, and putting a big helping of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream underneath them wouldn’t hurt anything.

Although we’re way out in the country, I expect to hear lots of firecrackers and see plenty of brilliant sparkles in the sky after dark. It’s the first time in several years that there hasn’t been a burn ban on in the county. We got over two inches of rain to start the weekend off right; the grass is green, the cows are fat, life is good. As good as it gets here in central Texas! Even the temperatures haven’t hit 90 recently (although the day is still young).

Then I’ll take the leftovers from the pitcher of hurricanes (yes, it’s still officially hurricane season here) and sit on the porch with the dogs, watching the free fireworks displays and preparing for another week of work. It’s a tough life, so I don’t ask you to join in. Unless you’re masochistic like me, then help yourself.

Iwo Jima

One other point: It matters not how you feel about the current political and military situation we find ourselves in. Since the founding of the United States (and, indeed, even before), hundreds of thousands of men and women have served our nation so we can enjoy today’s freedoms. All too many of them never made it home again. Honor their lives, remember their sacrifices, while you celebrate Our Day…

Enjoy the (Free to Grill) Heat!

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