The 4th of July Holiday has always been one of my favorites, and like most everyone else, I have been busy planning on how I can take in every parade, festival, and fireworks show I can!
The twists and turns of history are really quite fascinating (and sometimes scary) when you think about the challenges that faced the country back in 1776. It was Ben Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson that were given assignment of creating a document that would clearly outline “in no uncertain terms” the case for American Independence from British rule. The eloquent words of Thomas Jefferson (with input from Franklin and Adams) were subjected to over 80 changes and much debate before the document called The Declaration Of Independence was finally adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4th.
The commitment and resolve for American Independence could not have burned stronger in both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Ironically, both men went on to serve as elected Presidents of the democracy they helped create and both men died on exactly the same day -July 4th, 1826 exactly 50 years after the adoption of the Declaration Of Independence. One little known fact was that Ben Franklin wanted to select the turkey as the national symbol for America but it was Adams and Jefferson that over ruled him in favor of the eagle.
As you are getting ready to celebrate your own 4th of July traditions, here are a few tips for you to help ensure your holiday is safe and fun:
- Watch your food temperatures. Summertime heat and outdoor picnics can easily lead to food poisoning without proper precautions. Bacteria do not take off for the holidays. Perishable foods must be kept refrigerated or chilled and not left sitting out and exposed to the heat for extended periods of time. I use screened covers for the foods that are setup for serving outside. This keeps pesky flies and other insects from invading my dishes. I know they don’t eat much but who wants to share their food with a dirty fly!
- Cook and grill your meats to temperature. Use a thermometer to ensure your grilling creations are both delicious and safe to eat. Remember to use separate plates, dishes, and utensils for raw and cooked meats. Don’t cross contaminate. You can find a nice chart for cooking temperatures at: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html
- Remember to make Taste Of Home your source for the holidays. We have all the recipes and ideas to help you make your holiday celebration delicious and memorable. One of my favorite dessert recipes for the 4th of July is a Red Velvet Crepe Cake, that when cut, resembles the stripes of the flag. You can top it with blueberries and add a couple of sparklers when serving for a perfect American birthday cake. http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Red-Velvet-Crepe-Cakes.
Enjoy and I hope to see you at one of our Cooking Schools this Fall.