Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fourth of July Celebrations

The Fourth of July was always a great time in my family. When I was young, every year we went to my aunt's home for a picnic. She lived in town and the parade went right by her house and with her big yard out front, we kids had plenty of room to run and play.

My aunt and uncle never had any children, so there weren't too many toys to play with, so we usually had to bring our own. Two things they did always have for us were a badminton set and lawn darts. My cousins and I loved lawn darts. Who knew back then how dangerous they were? We were lucky we didn't put an eye out.

Everyone usually arrived around noon to get things set up and wait for the parade, which never started on time. We knew when it was coming because the police car or fire truck that always lead the parade would blast its siren, then we could hear the band playing. We'd run to the end of the yard and get ready. Oh, but the best part was the candy. Almost every float would throw candy to those of us on the sidewalk. Of course, our parents panicked every time we ran out into the road to retrieve some.

After the parade, it was time to eat. Most of the people in town followed the parade to the fairgrounds where you could find just about any kind of carnival food you wanted. Instead of doing that, we all stayed at my aunt's and had a picnic.

That was 35 or 40 years ago and the small town no longer has a July 4th celebration. But, now that I have a family, we have our own celebration by inviting family and friends over and cooking out on the grill. My favorite is barbecue chicken and I have included my old family recipe for the sauce and also instructions for preparing corn on the cob for the grill.

Barbecue sauce

1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. catsup
1/2 C. lemon juice
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
Garlic power, to taste

Layer ingredients in a large measuring cup in the order above. Sprinkle garlic powder on top and mix well. About twenty minutes before chicken is done, apply sauce to each piece. This makes enough sauce for about two chickens.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

There are several ways to grill corn. Someone told me that they put husk and all on the grill andwhen it's done, they pulled the husk away and the silk is so crispy that it just crumbles. I have never tried that. I have heard of pulling the husks down and removing as much of the silk as possible and then putting the husks back up, soak them in water and place on the grill. I prefer to clean the corn of all silk and husks and rinse in cool water. Spread butter or margarine over the corn and sprinkle with salt. Roll each cob up in aluminum foil and place on the hot grill. Turn frequently and cook them for 15 minutes.

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