A patriotic holiday is here! We celebrate the freedom of our country, thanks to the sacrifice of some brave men and women. I’m so proud of and thankful for my Nephew who is currently in active service and my Dad and Brother-in-law who have both done their part. Three generations of our family have fought the good fight; literally and figuratively. Thank you for all you have done for our Country! I’m so glad that I live in the United States and I’m so glad that we have men and women such as yourselves that are willing to sacrifice so much for our nation.
Festive Food –
I don’t know about you but my holiday celebrations are usually centered on sharing a meal with family or friends. There’s a distinct tradition about the preparation of some signature dishes along with some new finds.
I was thinking about Daniel and his abstinence from the rich food on the King’s table (see Daniel 1) helping keep him strong and powerful. It is a good reminder to not take the celebrations overboard. As I was looking through scripture for an appropriate message about feasting, I came across a gem in Proverbs.
“All the days of the oppressed are miserable, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15
The attitude of your heart colors your thoughts and actions. One has the ability to choose between an attitude of downtroddenness or an attitude of cheerfulness.
There’s a simple idea that keeps resonating with me. Thoughts drive actions. You have to think something before it can be.
If thoughts drive actions, what could we accomplish in a day if we made the simple choice to have a cheerful heart? We could have a daily feast!
As you celebrate with family and friends today, consider choosing to have a cheerful heart. Chose to have a continual feast today, and tomorrow, and the next day……
You’re on my mind today sweet things! Happy Fourth!
Fourths and Fifths –
On my table today will be the following:
Red- Watermelon Salad
1 red onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings
10 leaves of fresh mint, cut into thin slices (chiffonade)
6 ounces sheep milk feta, crumbled
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Dash of sea salt
Dash of freshly ground pepper
Place the watermelon, onion, mint, and feta in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk until combined. Pour over the watermelon mix and toss gently to combine.
White – Lemon Potato Salad
1 cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup olive oil
Grated rind of 2 lemons
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Cook potatoes in boiling water until for tender but don’t cook until mushy! Drain and allow potatoes to cool enough that you don’t burn yourself when handling them. Peel skin off and discard, cut potato into small 1” cubes and place in a large bowl. Add in red onion slices and parsley. In a smaller bowl place olive oil, grated lemon rind (take care not to get too much of the white pith of the lemon since it tends to add a bitter flavor), fresh lemon juice, sea salt, and ground pepper. Whisk with a fork until somewhat combined. Pour dressing over potatoes and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate.
Blueberry – Fresh Blueberry Pie
2 frozen deep dish pie crusts (you can make your own if you have the time & inclination)
6 six ounce containers of fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
½ cup all purpose organic flour
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon salted butter cut into little pieces
1 Tablespoon raw sugar
Preheat oven to 400*. In a large bowl, place the blueberries, flour, granulated sugar and butter. Toss gently until well combined. Place in one of the pie crusts.
Here’s where the cheating happens! Take the 2nd crust out of the tin and place on a slick surface or cutting board. Cut shapes out of the pastry. I chose a star cookie cutter for this patriotic holiday, but normally, I would cut out leaf shapes or something along those lines. Place the shapes on top of the blueberry mix to create a sort of lattice work top, allowing some of the berries to show through.
Cover the pie loosely with foil. Place on a baking sheet. Turn the oven temperature down to 375*F just before placing the pie in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of raw sugar. Return pie to oven and bake for about 10 minutes more, watching carefully so that pastry does not burn. Remove pie and allow it to cool before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
“A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit.” –Proverbs 15:13
May your face be cheerful today! Now the only question remaining…..what’s your feast? Post and let us know what will be on your table today…..