Snap… crackle… pop… BOOM!!!

For those of us in the US of A, it is the day before the fourth.  All around we hear fireworks going off whether we’re in city limits or not.  It sounds like a small war zone outside right now with the faint haze of smoke hanging in the air.

I’m not complaining.  Far from it!  I love this holiday.  I celebrate it in the only ways I can afford, and that doesn’t always mean having enough fireworks to blow a hole in Cuba the size of Rhode Island.  This holiday is spent with family and friends if possible; sharing good food, memories, and each others company.  This is the only way I know how to give thanks to the people who made this country free as well as those who have fought to maintain this freedom.

I won’t go on a tangent where I rant and rave about everything our government has willfully taken away our rights and privileges over the years and how we are becoming a socialist republic one bill at a time.

No, this is the time to remember our troops where they may be.  It is the time to honor our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and brothers who are serving now, or have served in the past.  It is this day that belongs to them and the birth of our nation over two hundred years ago.  We should be celebrating these most basic of ideas that our freedom came at a very high price.

Tomorrow, I’ll be spending the day with my mom, David, and son, Colin.  We’ll be savoring slow cooked ribs (which are cooking now) with rich honey BBQ sauce, corn on the cob, potato salad (homemade naturally), and some mashed potatoes for those who don’t want the potato salad.  I’ll be stuffed into somnolence before it’s all done.  Then, to top it all off, I’m going to make what I call a Lemonade Cake.

It’s an experiment of sorts.  I take a basic white cake recipe and add in lemon juice or extract, a bit of mint to cut the tartness, some lemon zest and use milk thinned with water to get the flavors I want without all the fat.  The icing is a basic butter cream with half the required butter, lemon juice and enough confectioner’s sugar to choke an elephant.  I color the icing so it has that lemony look.  Last time I tried this, I had too much mint.  This time, I’m decreasing the mint and using fresh lemon juice to flavor.  It still sounds so delicious!

Today… well… tonight… I took the family out to dinner at the Pho Da Cao, a Vietinese place in the shopping center in front of my apartment complex.  If any Tulsans are reading this and you haven’t been there, go give them a try.  Their food is beyond good.  They are a bit pricey, but you are getting your money’s worth and the quality of the food is exceptional.  This is no buffet.  No, this is a normal restaurant setting; peaceful, quiet, and comforting with the staff paying close attention so no one’s glass is empty for long and they make sure your food is as perfect as it can be.

For those who want to know, Pho Da Cao is on 31st St before you cross the Mingo Creek bridge if you’re heading east.  It’s the end of the shopping center closest to the street next to the alley/street beside it.  I suggest the P10 for a good soup and don’t forget to try the spring rolls.


How is everyone celebrating their fourth?