Monday, July 4, 2011

As American as Cherry Pie

"As American as cherry pie."  I had to look this up.  Did Americans actually invent the cherry or apple pie?  Not exactly.  Pies have been around since the ancient Egyptians.  The English credit Queen Elizabeth I with baking the first cherry pie, but none of us really believe The Queen was sweating away in the kitchen by a hot oven.  Most of the original pies were meat pies (eww!).  When the settlers came to America, they brought with them the mincemeat pies with the crusts so hard they were inedible.  It is believed that fruit pies, as we know them, were created by the Pennsylvania Dutch; and that the Revolution men from other colonies went home and spoke about the pie they had in America.  So why are the apple and cherry pie icons of America?  Because we are the ones who embraced them and made them memorable!

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.  I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more." - John Adams

He almost had it right.  They say the Declaration wasn't signed in July at all, but started in August with John Hancock's signature and finished sometime in November.  Nonetheless, we still recognize the signing of it, very close to John Adams foretelling, on the fourth of July.  Americans celebrate the day with parades, fireworks, barbeques, fairs, picnics, baseball games, and Old Glory of course.  Family and friends gather for pitch-ins, outdoor activities, and patriotic decorations. 

At our house, it's a little fishing in the pond in the afternoon; burgers, hotdogs, and sweetcorn on the grill for dinner; fireworks in the evening; and lots of red, white, and blue!  It's a time for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich picnic on the front lawn and a homemade cherry pie.  It's a time for family and friends; it's the peak of summertime; it's the squeals of two little boys chasing each other around the front yard; it's fireworks on the front lawn in the evening; it's Zack giving Shawn a thumbs up after one of the fountains (it was so cute!); it's the boys holding a sparkler for the first time.  It's The Fourth of July!

Happy Birthday America!

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