Wednesday, July 4, 2007

as american as ... ?

How American is apple pie, anyway? Oh, I know, I know, it's a cultural construct, part of the ethos of American identity, but doesn't anyone find it funny that these Donna Reed types were all baking apple pies in the 50s, with America deeply embroiled in a Cold War with the nation that is actually the native birthplace of the apple?

Food for thought. Actually, I do love apple pie. However, Cassidy doesn't. For some strange reason, he can't brook apples and cinnamon together. Seriously! So I haven't made one in a long time. Don't fret, I still have a tendency to bake myself an apple for breakfast of a wintry morning, or to stew a large pot of applesauce (just ripe with cinnamon and nutmeg!) on an autumnal afternoon. These are food rituals of my family, and cherished ones.

For the Fourth, however, though I don't consider myself the most ardent patriot, especially in these troubled times, I can't help but want to bake a pie. Maybe that's some measure of the American identity in myself. For all that it's so chic and urbane to be a cynic, I always choke up at the national anthem, I still salute the flag - even if not outwardly, there's definitely that kind of reverence in me that I can't locate or contradict, and I still want to make something picnicky for the Fourth of July.

So. Hopefully photos of the rest of the spread later, as the watermelon gazpacho I threw together is a picture of adorableness, but for now, I've made us an American pie. Not apple, no, but blueberry - a native fruit of this country. The crust really gave me hell last night, something I've not struggled with for years - perhaps it's this new climate? - but eventually I got it, and to boot, this is my first non-runny pie in years. We've already sent a slice, along with other food goodies, to a sick colleague this morning, so I can vouch that the filling I licked off the knife is very tasty!

Happy Fourth, everyone! Cassidy made espresso drinks and sourdough waffles for us for breakfast (my starter is really kicking into gear, now that it's 10 days old), which we topped with berries and cream for a suitably patriotic-looking breakfast with some friends. We're shipping off to have a swim in the ocean for a couple hours, and then we're going to churn some fresh vanilla ice cream for the pie this afternoon and make real, meat burgers (we haven't done this in a while) before we hunt for a good viewpoint for the fireworks show off the pier tonight. How lucky we are to live in such a prosperous country where young people like us can have such a day together. Here's to you, ol' red, white, and blue!

check back tomorrow for pics of my newest sweater project!


ellen said...

Yummy looking food for the fourth! I don't like the way many things are going in this country, but I do love it and appreciate all that we have. I cry too, and can quite embarrass myself when a band gets on the field and plays.
Hope you had a lovely day.

jennifer said...

hi! i surfed over from tricia's blog (surfed? who am i?).

cute coverlet!