Friday, July 3, 2009

photo friday: independence day

Photo Friday: An opportunity to share some of what is beautiful and wonderful about life.

Okay... this isn't a photo, but they didn't exist back in 1776.

Our country celebrates it's birthday tomorrow. Most citizens, including me, enjoy the paid day off from work, the fireworks and the parties. That's the fun part, no doubt about it. However, it's important that each of us take a moment to acknowledge the greatness of our country and the men and women who gave their all to make it this way.

I love this country. I am not happy about the direction we are currently moving in, but I am still convinced that this is the greatness country on Earth.

"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
– George Washington

Thursday, July 2, 2009

red, white and booze

I am off from work today, ostensibly to supervise the laying of my new bedroom carpet (yay!). When it came up that someone (aka an adult) would need to be here today, I very quickly volunteered. I already have tomorrow off since it's the recognized observance of Independence Day this year, so I actually end-up with a sweet 4-day mini-break from work. In all fairness, I had planned to work around the house today and try to start reclaiming my downstairs from the kitchen floor project (which isn't quite done yet). However, the carpet project required us to empty out our bedroom and a lot of that stuff is now downstairs. What isn't downstairs is sitting in the pups bedrooms, the hall and bathroom. Every single room in my house is a wreck. I've found some solace on the front porch with my laptop and blackberry, listening to Radio Paradise and surfing the web.

Since we are on the cusp of a big holiday weekend, which also happens to coincide with Countrymouse's birthday (July 3rd), my thoughts naturally wander to the party side of things. EC sister will be here tonight for the weekend, so that just adds to the carnival atmosphere. I have no real food in the house, but I'm searching drink recipes instead of food recipes. All I think of is Joe King Carrasco...

Well, I think it'll be more of a backyard/barbecue/good tunes kinda weekend, but you get the picture.

My standard party/celebration libation is sangria. I make massive quantities and it's never the same twice, but it's aways good. In fact, ECS already put her request in for a batch. Sangria is an easy drink, which is partly why I enjoy it. We'll definitely be drinking some this weekend (probably tonight) but I have a hankering to make July 4th Cocktails.

With that in mind, I've been cruising the web in search of something that sounds yummy without an expensive trip to the liquor store. A lot of the recipes I've come across call for Blue Curacao. I don't think I've ever bought Curacao and would probably just substitute triple sec in a drink recipe to avoid buying a bottle of something I wouldn't use very often. Unfortunately, triple sec won't give you the desired blue patriotic looking drink we're shooting for here. Of course, there are always white and red drinks (I suppose my sangria counts then).

I did stumble upon a new (to me) website on my quest, Everyday Drinkers. I like their take on things. They even include How to Videos, and for someone like me, who usually makes drinks with 3 or fewer ingredients, that's a good thing.

They highlighted a drink in honor of Independence Day called the American Collins. It has the coveted blue without using Curacao and also give you some red and white to boot.

Here's the recipe:

American Collins

1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
4 Bing cherries (pitted)
8 blueberries
club soda
lemon wedge & cherry for garnish

Muddle the cherries and blueberries with the lemon juice and simple syrup in a Collins glass. Add gin and ice and stir briefly. Top with club soda and garnish.

The video features Blue Coat gin, of which I happen to have a bottle. It's a tasty organic gin distilled in Philly. I know ECS won't touch one because she has a vehement distaste for gin, and maybe not Countrymouse either (but because he likes his gin straight up in a martini). These intrigue me though so I think I may still make these over the weekend.

Whatever you do this weekend, have a good time but remember the blessings we enjoy because of the greatness of this country.

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." -- Samuel Adams