Thursday, July 4, 2013

Living in the Promiseland

A girl at work wanted to trade me last minute for the 4th of July so I took the deal.  I lost time and a half but I gained a small get together with friends.  Everything was last minute so it made menu planning realistic. What could I really do on short notice?  I was going to do the traditional burgers, potato salad, baked beans type of meal but P fears the beer buzz gets squashed when the boys are allowed to sit and make a whole plate so he asked me to keep it to finger foods.  I like those best actually so I agreed.
Nothing was hugely impressive.  The heat was stifling that day so I had to try to prepare everything before they arrived to cool the apartment down in time.  I made green apple salsa and peach salsa with chips which sort of limped out in the heat. Tweren't as refreshing as they could have been.  I did fried pickles and pickled jalapenos in a ranch dipping sauce. Those are best straight out of the fryer but they were sitting out for a bit. Meh.  I had steak bites and bloody mary dipping sauce (pictured from a past event). Those were good especially because it was super cheap steak but I took the time to marinate overnight.  And tiny cheeseburger sliders. Surprised not to find slider buns so I just cut hot dog buns in half! Cool tip! The backstory was a back kitchen queso fundido fail.  Another example of my short attention span with following recipes.  I forgot to add the flour before mixing in the cheese to the roux type of sauce and so the cheese just became one big blob that kept hardening more and more.  I had it flavored so nicely with beer, garlic, pepperoni bits and three kinds of cheeses. I refused to give up on it but finally realized nothing could revive the rock hard mass. It was to be the wow dish too.  But you live and learn and sometimes you screw it up.
So after that, the wow factor instead became the 4th of July Strawberry Shortcake. I baked the shortcake the night before and it was light and fluffy, really good with the fresh whipped cream and berries.

And this was a first for me, making something red white and blue on the 4th.  We were able to talk about how we're failing as a country and what's going wrong, what are we doing right.  Where there is hope and what life has been for each of us.  For me and my personal recession, it was a little bit of a triumph that I could say no to time and a half for the day and enjoy a day off.  They say the prayer of everyman is to know how freedom feels.

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