Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Happy Fourth of July! Tiny Playmobil Guy is asking you all(ya'll) to briefly lower your weapons and raise high your burgers and dogs in thanks to all our buddies in the military (past and present) who do so much for us. (I know I know - we're not all this heavily armed or thin. It's just that my Playmobil collection is still pretty limited, so this is the best pre-party reenactment you're going to get. Personally, I was just excited I had a little guy with a "4" on his shirt!)

Due to various scheduling conflicts, we won't be having a party today (the 4th) or tomorrow (the 5th) however on the 6th we'll finally get around to celebrating the fourth American-style! We're going to be having friends and a couple of Mr K's coworkers over for dinner and games. I have my menu picked out and about half my grocery shopping done. In the interest of keeping it a surprise for any locals who might be reading this, I'll wait to post the menu til Monday or so (not that anyone reading this cares - I saw the ZERO votes for food writing and recipes) but suffice to say I'll be spending almost all of tomorrow cooking - hurrah!

Back when I was an obnoxious little teenage (nothing personal against me - all teenagers are obnoxious at some point, right dad) Miz K living in Tennessee, the highlight of every Fourth of July was the neighborhood Pig Roast - a yearly tradition big enough to dictate tee-shirts be printed and distributed before the big event. The event centered around an entire pig (approximately obnoxious-teenager sized) slow-cooked for upwards of 24 hours in a humongous grill rented specially for the occasion. While all the men-folk were tending the pig (read: guzzling beer while sitting or standing near the pig), all the mamas in the neighborhood were busily putting together a mountain of side dishes: casseroles, salads, sauces, desserts.

One of the hardest parts of the Big Pig Roast was the wait for the now-cooked pig to be pulled apart and served (for those not in the know, you pull the pig apart, dress it with BBQ or just its own juice, and serve it on a bun). The kids, like small sticky vultures, would get as close to the growing mountain of pork as possible, snatching pieces of meat whenever we thought we could get away with it, and burning our mouths and fingers in the process, our eyes watering as we denied any porcine theft. Meanwhile, the neighborhood dogs were underfoot, fighting over the singed but still curly tail and crispy ears that had been cut off the pig especially for them.

Without fail, even after we gorged ourselves beyond reason (USA!USA!) there would still be a pile of pig left over in addition to multitude tins, pans and bowls still half-full of mac and cheese, baked beans, seven layer salad, ambrosia, and chunks of watermelon. The dogs would be passed out under the tables and chairs and most of the people would be in almost the same state.

I've never lived in a neighborhood quite as close-knit as that one since we left Tennessee (though my parents' current neighborhood sounds pretty close) but I hope someday to be able to organize that kind of feast on my own. What Fourth of July memories do you have?


Carl E said...

Nothing as exciting as a pig pull by the neighborhood, but since we lived so close to the High School where they lit off the fireworks, it was really just waiting until it got dark enough to make our way over there to watch them light up the sky. During the day, it would be a couple of neighbors in the sub-division and some close friends who all drank too much beer on a days in San Diego where it was obviously too hot to do anything else!! :-) I know, boring, but Happy 4th of July!!! :-)

Miz K said...

Nonsense - that isn't boring at all! I had completely forgotten about the fireworks aspect of the day. When we lived in Kentucky, the whole neighborhood would go hang out on this massive playground on top of a hill to watch the fireworks. I miss playing with sparklers!

Jürg said...

wait until 1st of August. then it's our national celebration day.

the fireworks won't be that big as you are probably used to (you know, USA = everything bigger, faster, etc.. :)) but everywhere are fireworks starting as soon as dusk hits in.
(well depending on where you are. some bigger cities do have extra events with organized (and bigger) fireworks)

oh and everyone is grilling.