Independence Day in America has been all about celebrating this unique form of government, "of the people, by the people, for the people," since the Declaration of Independence was first read. For this Texas family celebrating includes BBQ and hand cranked ice cream. Today, however, rain deluged us after we put the spareribs on the grill for a long 4 hour smoking process with mesquite wood chips. That made keeping the temperature up to 275-300 quite an adventure!
When the showers abated it was time to hand crank some almond chocolate ice cream! Because we could tell more rain was on the way, my husband laid plastic out on the deck so we could hand crank the ice cream under the deck. By the time we set up the hand cranking station, the rain started falling again, and the wind blew some of it under the deck!
Can you see the downpour? It got heavier and heavier.
We are more used to cranking ice cream in 100 degree sunny heat in Texas. This 70 degree downpour was quite the novelty!
Don't you just love our antique hand crank ice cream maker? It was a wedding present from a friend of my mother-in-laws. Hand crank ice cream was very important to her family. In fact when I attended a family reunion in New York, we hand cranked ice cream and everyone was very particular to each and every detail. One of the family rules was that if you want to eat ice cream, you have to help crank it. That was not a chore for anyone, because we all knew good things were coming. We have pulled out this antique for many of my family members who were visiting and it has always been fun and unexpected for them. My kids have been hand cranking ice cream since they have learned how to stand!
Finally the rain stopped...
...and the sun dared to peak through the clouds.
One of the treats of hand crank ice cream is getting more than the allotted scoop(s) from the store bought carton. Once this paddle comes out and all the ice cream is scraped off...and then scooped out of the canister...it seems such a shame to merely rinse it all off in the sink and let all the goodness go down the drain. Oh that never happens here. Once I clean off the paddle into the container for the freezer, the family whisks it away on a plate and scoops off the goodness to taste from their spoons. That is okay, I get the goodness from my scoop and from what's left in the container! Yum!
Grilled ribs and sweet corn. Perfection! I also baked zucchini bread this morning and made Tex Mex cole slaw for dinner. But first my husband removed the plastic from the deck, removed the soaked cushions from the chairs, and squeegeed the table and chairs so we could eat on the deck. He wasn't going to but I asked him to because eating on the porch/deck is part of the Independence Day celebration! We wanted to keep smelling that great mesquite coming from the grill and see all the dewy greenness that abounded around us! What a treat!
Meanwhile I am collecting American items. This is a place mat set I just love.
My flag quilt is nearly done. It is full of mistakes but at least I am learning. I forgot about a few things I have packed away. I hope to make more Americana items.
After dinner, the fog started rolling in!
There were a few fireworks in the distance. Perplexed, my daughter asked if this was gunpowder. lol My daughter has far more experience with gunpowder and cannons than with fog and fireworks.
That evening I sat in the dewy chill and watched fireworks over the distant treetops that were covered with mist. I'm not at all used to this from Texas. This is a northeastern experience from me. I know we are technically still in the south, but practically I'm reliving my girlhood summer days in Pennsylvania which was so unlike Texas, yet so much like Virginia!
Meanwhile lightening bugs lit up around me as neighbors played with sparklers. What a good old-fashioned 4th of July this was.
I love celebrating Independence Day that was hard fought against tyranny by our Founding Fathers and the soldiers of the American Revolution. Despite what we think of Washington DC politics, our flag and Independence Day is not about that, but about the government our Founding Fathers established "of the people, by the people, for the people." To paraphrase Patrick Henry, if we want to keep it we must practice virtue and diligence. I am currently reading his biography right now and it is excellent. It is so good to get the true and solid facts of our past, rather than water-downed versions today. A Son of Thunder by Henry Mayer is an excellent read!