Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Dorcas Annette Walker
The fourth of July brings lots of excitement. Picnics with family and friends, bands and parades, flags whipping in the breeze all topped off by fireworks. Here in Tennessee tents appear overnight practically at every corner selling fireworks. There is excitement in the air as plans are made and shopping is done in preparation for the yearly Fourth of July weekend. Whether a planned, elaborate celebration or a simple thrown-together, last-minute outing, us Americans pause in our frantic pace of life to remember the birthday of our nation’s freedom. For a short span of time we are united together in a common cause that over-rides party prejudices. So let’s pull out the festive bunting and salute the American flag. Long live the United States of America!
Independence Day is a federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence declaring independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. In 1777 thirteen guns were fired in Bristol, Rhode Island celebrating the first anniversary of freedom. Rhode Island is noted today for having the oldest and most continuous Fourth of July celebration in the United States. In 1781 Massachusetts was the first state to recognize the Fourth of July. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (two founding fathers of the U.S. and presidents) died on July 4, 1826- the United States 50th anniversary. In 1870 the U.S. Congress made Independence Day a federal holiday. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States was born on July 4, 1872. Similar to other summer events, Fourth of July celebrations take place outdoors. Parades are often held in the morning with baseball games played in the afternoon and firework displays in the evening. Fireworks are often accompanied by orchestras playing traditional patriotic music. Most fireworks in the United States end in an intense finale of fireworks. Outdoor picnics, held in parks or at the beach, while waiting for the fireworks at night generally involve hamburgers and hot dogs. Each year on the capitol lawn in Washington, D.C. a free concert precedes fireworks that attracts over half a million people annually.
Our family usually celebrates the fourth of July with a home cookout up here in the mountains of Tennessee. In the evening we go to the nearby fairgrounds to watch the local fireworks, listening as they echo off the mountain. It is a time of laugher and visiting with neighbors and friends; making memories to cherish. Remembering yesteryears of seeing the excitement on our small children’s faces as they played with sparklers on the front lawn, our teenage daughter standing in the shadow of the night with her boyfriend holding hands, and trying to connect with our teenage son after the demolition derby. The ribbon of memories that tie it all together is the numerous holiday cookouts we shared. Since I drew a line at coloring my deviled eggs red, white, and blue I experimented until I came up with a dessert that was patriotic. My Fourth-of-July Cake is easy to make, delicious with a cool summer taste, and can be made ahead of time. Preparation time is about an hour and my Fourth-of-July Cake serves sixteen.
Take one white cake mix and prepare according to directions. Divide the batter into two greased 9 x 12 baking dishes. Bake ate 350º for 25 minutes. Cover and cool.
For filling mix together:
1 (8 oz) cool whip
1 c blueberries
1 c strawberries (cut into pieces)
Spread on first layer of cake.
Put the second layer of cake on top of fruit filling and frost with another 1 (8 oz ) container of cool whip. To garnish make a square of blueberries in top corner for the stars and slice large strawberries lengthwise, laying in them in rows for the stripes!
Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.