Perhaps a better question is: why not???
I’m on an international flight home to the Houston area right now, daydreaming about sleeping in my own bed and what we’ll throw onto the grill tomorrow to celebrate Independence Day. There was no thought of doing anything but barbecue, because, well, it’s July 4 and that’s what you do. Right?
But why, I wondered…and a quick Google brought me to a Southern Living article that dished it out nicely:
Just after the Revolution, Americans marked Independence Day with public dinners, and in the South those dinners quickly grew into large outdoor barbecues. In 1808, for instance, the citizens of Oconee County, South Carolina, gathered in “an agreeable and natural arbor” where, as the local newspaper reported, they “partook of an elegant barbecue”. . . to celebrate the anniversary of our national existence.The Fourth of July Barbecue: an Old Southern Tradition, from Southern Living Magazine
That’s good to know! We’ll be barbecuing because, well, that’s what you do!
I’m not sure what the Grill-Meister will have in mind, but I’ve just done a quick tour of the “On the Grill” recipes here in the cookbook section of Glover Gardens (see the menus above) and have a few in mind.
Will it be the Sausage and Pepper Dogs for Two?
If the Grill-Meister wants to go easy-peasy because we’ve been traveling for two weeks, these dogs’ll do, with their glistening complement of grilled bell peppers and onions. Especially if we go for jalapeño sausage for a double-peppers whammy. Yum!
Or maybe something a little healthier, like a fish burger?
We’re getting more and more enamored with fish on the grill, and these two recipes that put something from the sea smack in the middle of a bun have made us happy a time or ten.
The Grilled Tuna Burger also incorporate grilled peppers, and its creamy remoulade is balanced with a big helping of what we call “Salad on a Sandwich”, a friendly little mixture of spinach, red onion, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bun is quite unnecessary, really; this collection of loveliness would be fantastic as a salad.
The Grilled Salmon Burgers stick with the theme of easy, and we also like to slather it with that same remoulade – hey, when you find a good thing, stick with it!
Or could poultry be the answer?
The Citrus and Tequila-Glazed Chicken thighs are looking mighty good to me after a couple of airline meals today. Those grilled pineapples alongside are calling my tropical-loving self.
Another properly summery choice is these Spicy Jerk Game Hens. As I said in the post about them, their tender, succulent bites pack a one-two flavor punch of spicy-sweet and an aroma redolent of the Caribbean.
Or should we just go whole hog?
Well, maybe not whole hog, what about just doing ribs? There are probably over a million racks of ribs being grilled to celebrate July 4 across America – why should we be any different? And these Honey-Chipotle Ribs are sooooo good with slaw, which also seems like a bedrock July 4 choice.
A consultation is required!
The Grill-Meister and I have some intense barbecue conferring to do before I head out to the grocery store. Maybe we’ll even buck tradition and go totally vegetarian this time…but probably not. With sincerest apologies to my many vegetarian friends, it doesn’t seem in keeping with the tradition. But I could be wrong!
So what’s on your plate?
What are YOU grilling for July 4, my fellow Americans? And for my international buddies, what’s on your plate? Anything we might want to appropriate for our tradition?