Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thoughts on the 4th of July

I had originally intended to post on a different topic before leaving for a friend's annual Fourth Of July Barbecue.

However, the 4th of July party was so remarkable that I have decided to share thoughts on it instead.

As we parked on the street near our friend's house, the air was fragrant with the aroma of charcoal and mesquite coming from not one but TWO immense grills manned by our host and his next-door neighbor, who celebrated the occasion with a huge red-white-and-blue "Grand Master of Barbecue" apron wrapped around his ample midsection.

After greeting our hosts, we then sought out a place for our contributions to the feast among three large tables already groaning with BBQ Ribs, Chicken, three varieties of smoked links,as well as Macaroni and Cheese, buckets of Cole Slaw, more potato and macaroni salad and other goodies too numerous to mention.

But it was the non-traditional contributions of the foreign-born guests that really stood out. Carnitas , lamb and chicken kebabs, Shrimp Pad Thai, and tandoori chicken were also to be had in great abundance. Which just goes to show that everybody embraces that great American tradition, the 4th of July party, no matter your ethnic background.

The liquid refreshments showed this too... besides the usual Bud, Millers and Coors, there was Corona, Heineken, Molson's (from Canada), Caguama (from El Salvador), Brahma (from Brazil), and even some Guinness Stout to round out the refreshment lineup. The non-alcoholic lineup showed a similar variety as well, with soft drinks from Mexico and the Phillipines sharing space with good ol' USA Coke, Pepsi and 7-up.

Even better than the food and drink was the interaction with the other guests. It seemed that no matter what your background, status or occupation, we all had the same concerns: the economy, two perpetual wars, and the virtual collapse of effective politics and government here in Nevada.

Food for Thought as well as Food for Eating .... could it get any better?

After the sun set, it was time to clear away the remainder of the feast (most of us came prepared with Tupperware to take home leftovers), and pull out the lawn chairs and blankets to watch the fireworks. Our friends happen to be blessed with a hillside view ... so we could easily see the fireworks coming from the Las Vegas Strip some ten miles away.

In sum .. Great Time, Great Food, Great Party - and important food for thought.

I hope your Fourth was equally blessed.

- Mike The Thinker

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