6 July 2010

4th of July

Two days ago it was the fourth of July, just a normal Sunday in London. In the US, it was the anniversary of the beginning of the country and generally the most patriotic day of the year. I don't know any other country that really celebrates the country, the foundation, the ideals and the current citizens as much as the US, especially through the emblem of the flag. Is there another country that places such meaning in and reveres such an object? From the outside I have been able to appreciate the core meaning of Independence day more than I was able to while in the country. My fiance and I listened to a reading of the Declaration of Independence, the reason for the celebration, and discussed (briefly) the pros and cons of the US in the world. We also indulged in the typical American fourth of July: enjoyed the sunshine, ate hamburgers and great American summer food, and reveled in the day off of work. A few fireworks, maybe a parade and some march songs and it could have been a day in the US.

That's a bit unjust of me. The fourth also has a great feeling of community and pride in your country. People are generally happy, kind and get into the spirit of the celebration, which of course was lacking in the UK as we were some of the few people celebrating anything.

Although the fourth, more than any other American holiday, should be associated with the US, it has never been a huge holiday for me (unlike, say, Thanksgiving). I worked for the past 6 or so summers I was in the states so I missed a lot of the festivities. When I was younger we would have firework shows in the backyard and a cookout and maybe go to a local parade, but I don't really have great feelings towards this holiday. Well, I miss spending the day with my family, and fireworks. But I can now appreciate the ideals of the day from the outside and reflect on the birth of the US. And maybe next year I will have fireworks.

In keeping with the American theme of the day, I made rice krispy treats which to me is a classic American dessert. It turns out though that in the UK, they are called rice krispy cakes and made with chocolate, not marshmallows. Scandalous! I obviously had to show my fiance the correct way of making rice krispy treats, which is shamefully easy to make but I will include instructions in case any British comrades would like to try it.

Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter and a package and a bit of marshmallows in the microwave (told you it was shamefully easy).

The marshmallows come in white and pink here, hence the weird pinkish color when melted. Also, note the penguins diving into the marshmallows!

Stir in about 6 cups of rice krispies....

Until they are coated in sticky loveliness.

Press them into a rectangular pan and wait until they are cool.

Cut into squares.

Decorate as you see fit. I didn't have any blue icing, so we decorated with fireworks and a star.

Happy belated fourth of July!

1 comment:

  1. Nice decorations there! We would usually celebrate with burgers and a bbq too, although this year we were in Denmark for a festival, so we had some typically Danish hot dogs (pølse). Oh and we saw Prince, who is clearly an American legend. Woop woop and yum. God Bless America.