Thursday, June 28, 2012

photo by Betty Crocker
Vicki (sister-in-law extraordinaire) and I had a discussion on the trend of red, white and blue food for the 4th of July. Conclusion? We think it is sort of yucky. I have determined, by reading the food blogs this week, American Flag colored food has a firm grip on Food Bloggers.

For me, the Flag of the United States of America, the true Red, White and Blue, will be fluttering in the Kansas breeze. My flag was presented to Arch by an organization that was very special to him. The flag had been flown above our nation’s Capitol in his honor in 1999. Old Glory will be present for my celebration of Independence Day!

photo from the cooking channel
I have absolutely nothing against food for the 4th! The more, the merrier. Maybe it is my Kansas City upbringing, but I think of barbecue for the 4th, and I am not aware of any blue meat from the smoker or grill…..thank goodness.

Here, in Mid-America, we generally think of ribs and/or brisket from the smoker, or from one of the wonderful barbecue joints that Kansas City is famous for. Maybe we have hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. After all, the 4th means barbecues, picnics, parades and patriotic concerts in the park. We celebrate the honor of being American.

I Googled “how many pounds of baked beans are consumed on the 4th of July?” and I found some amazing facts. I will tell you that On July 4th alone, the biggest hot dog day of the year, over 155 million hot dogs will be consumed. That is enough hot dogs to stretch from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., more than five times! However, I still have no idea how many pounds of baked beans will be eaten.
So, here we are, the 4th is fast approaching. Farmer’s Markets are swelling with fresh, homegrown juicy red tomatoes, crisp sweet ears of corn and big round, thirst quenching melons. The butcher’s cases will be bulging with long meaty racks of pork ribs and beautiful red, well trimmed briskets of beef. Your mailbox will be loaded with colorful ads from grocery stores, advertising hundreds of special deals.

Make your plans for the holiday, fill out your shopping lists, and when the time comes, go ahead and make that Red. White and Blue cake. Personally, I think
All-American Apple Pie is the dessert of the day…..
If you are having a large crowd, make it an
Apple Slab Pie!
photograph from Pillsbury

1 recipe for a double pie crust
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
9 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (9 medium)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare your favorite pie crust for a two crust pie. Do not divide, but gather all of the dough and roll out to a 17x12 inch rectangle. Fit crust into your 15x10x1-inch  pan, pressing into corners. Fold extra pastry crust under, even with edges of pan. Crimp edges.

2. Mix granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Stir in apples to coat. Spoon apple mixture into crust-lined pan.
3. Bake 33 to 38 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool on rack 45 minutes.
4. Mix powdered sugar and milk until well blended. Drizzle over pie. Allow glaze to set before serving, about 30 minutes.
If you absolutely insist on having a flag dessert....
tint you drizzle, 1/3 red, 1/3 blue, leaving the final third untinted.

I'll get back to you on that baked bean question!

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