My father’s birthday was the 4th of July, and I spent most of my early youth thinking that the entire country celebrated his birthday. Since all three of us girls adored our Dad, we thought it made perfect sense that Daddy Paul would be the honoree at everything from family picnics to small-town parades and fireworks. It wasn’t really a disappointment for me to learn otherwise; I just figured that it was the rest of the country who had lost out.
As you can imagine, the Fourth of July is still special for me, even though Daddy Paul is not longer around to celebrate with us. His side of our extended family still tries to get together every 4th, and we plan to spend the day in Rawley Springs this year where my grandparents had a huge split-log cabin for many years up above where the old hotel had sat before it burned to the ground — in the twenties or thirties I imagine. (I will ask about that on the 4th.) That’s also where the swimming hole in the river was known as Blue Hole — named for the color you turned when you hit the water. I did not spend much time in the water there, but my parents certainly did as teenagers. I have pictures of my Dad and his friends jumping off the rocks into the hole, which was quite deep.
But this year I would also like to ask you to consider planning and executing an all-local 4th of July. If we can pull off an all-local Thanksgiving, and many of you know by now that we can, then the 4th should be a breeze. And what better way to honor a country that can feed us perfectly well if we choose to buy from those we know.
We’ve got red meats and some “white” ones too, just about any cut of any meat that you would want for that grill. We have pasta and breads and sauces for that pasta — here again, we have the white and the red covered. And we have a wide selection of items for your summer pantry — herb and spice mixes and rubs to dress up salads and season your grilled specialities, pickles and relishes, jams and jellies and honey. And don’t forget the dairy products for those wonderful homemade baked goods you are going to make yourself. We have some great international foods to help expand your idea of what it means to be an American, and we even have gluten-free products at many of our markets to demonstrate that great American gift for coming up with what we need as well as what we want.
Looking back I see where we have the colors of the flag covered, but if you don’t like blueberries you can always jump into the cold, cold waters of a nearby swimming hole to make sure you have something blue at your celebration!
See you at the market!