Happy 4th of July!!

Today we celebrate the weeks of deliberation and ultimate unanimous adoption and subsequent signing of the Declaration of Independence that Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1776 which declared independence from Great Britain. Fireworks, barbecues, picnics, parades, concerts, ball games, family get togethers, etc... are the traditional means of celebrating one's patriotism.

So, how did we celebrate this year?

We attended the musical 1776 yesterday that featured some of our friends in the cast. After the performance, we all gathered at the Hades for salmon, tilapia, wine, ice cream, fireworks and fellowship. Much discussion of U.S. history and the months leading up to the signing of the document ensued. It was only a last minute effort that had Adams and Jefferson drop the paragraph about abolishing slavery that convinced the standouts from the south to vote "yay" to adopt the document. Of course, the issue of slavery resurfaced in the next century as Adams forecast, but I was not aware it was such a huge topic of discussion during the weeks and days leading up to July 4th.

Today, for celebration, we painted all day long in the basement while I had a turkey smoking out on the Green Egg (Ben Franklin's choice for the national bird over John Adams suggestion of the eagle). The turkey was so good, I think I outdid myself with this particular smoke. I soaked it for 48 hours in a special brine, made my own rub, steamed it on a can in the smoker, made gravy and wow - just wow is all we can say about it. My own self criticism would be that the next time I smoke a turkey, I will soak it in fresh water for 12 hours following the 2 day brine.

We will go and watch fireworks at the park later tonight after some more painting and the kids head off to a carnival in Urbandale.

Happy 4th to all - even to the Brits. '-]

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