Reflections on the 4th of July

Mom, country, and apple pie, right? At least a pie recipe.

1 1/2 cups applesauce (canned or home made) sweetened.
1/2 cup sugar
1 12 ounce can evaporated mik
2 eggs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
about 1 teaspoon and 1/2 cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl mix it as smooth as possible bearing in mind that the flour is going to be decidedly lumpy. This pie will be baked in single crust pie that comprises 1 cup flour, 3 heaping tablespoons of Crisco, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and trust me on this, no more than 3 tablespoons of cold water. Pie dough should be chilled for at least an hour before being rolled out and placed in a pie pan. And if you are real good at making decorative fluting, feel free. Once your 9 inch pie pan is ready, pour in custard mix and carefully place it in a 350° oven. Cook until custard is set.

Now for the fun part: Meringue. That is correct, a meringue topping. 2 egg whites from large or extra large eggs (nice when you have a neighbor who has a bunch of chickens). 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter, 2 tablespoons sugar.

Put egg whites in stand mixer fitted with a whip. Beat egg whites at high speed for about a minute or two as the eggs start getting foamy. Add cream of tarter, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Beat mixture until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Spread over cooked pie, spreading to the edges of the crust. Bake in 400° oven until meringue starts to brown, turn down heat to 350° to cook for a few minutes more until meringue is done. Final result: a pie with the thickness and texture reminiscent of the pumpkin pie recipe this is actually based on. But, with apple. Yummy, esp. with the meringue topping.

Having the 4th of July entirely off, I went to see the parade in downtown Coeur d’Alene, today.  Was there in plenty of time to watch the A10 Thunderbolts flown by Idaho’s Air National Guard herald the start of the parade…  The Red Hot Mamas are back, now as the “Blazen Divaz.”  Outrageous costumes like before and fun to watch as usual.  People running around passing out these little flags.  Someone handing me a flag said they were “Made in America.”  Then a guy drives around with an advertisement on his rig that the flags we now hold came courtesy of the GOP.  Last I heard, the GOP weren’t exactly all that hot on things made in America.  That was quite startling.  A few other startling items:  the local Democrats looking like the rag tag bunch that they are…  And the GOP flouting ostentatious displays of wealth and power.  Which won’t be very impressive to the unemployed and those “working” at less than poverty level.  Ha-huge GOP sign that informs people that the government doesn’t solve problems, it just subsidizes them.  I guess the GOP should know all about that after 8 years of GW.  And a couple of idiots in a red truck with a load of BS plastered all over it.  On prominent display:  “Stop socialism, vote GOP.”  Oh, come on guys, you know that even you love a whole lot of government.  And maybe you need to look in the mirror to see where the socialists are.

All in all, a fun afternoon.  The “Tea Party” went from a gaggle of goof balls walking the parade route to a gaggle of goof balls riding in a big rig that is blaring all sorts of patriotic music.  And, I am supposed to be impressed how?  Excuse me, but my primary source of income is starting to look suspiciously like recycling aluminum cans.  And I get what amounts to play money where I work.  I was more impressed by the marathon runners and the gymnastic and cheerleading groups that walked the parade route and gamely put on quite a show in about 80° weather.  From Fifteenth street up past the viewing stand in front of “The Shops,” that was particularly impressive.  Lots of things to see at the parade including the various veterans groups.  The parade dragged literally on for two hours.  And since I would be walking back to Dalton Gardens, mom having problems now with her leg and can’t stand for long or walk anywhere without assistance, it would take me two plus hours with a recycling sack to head back to the house, my pie that I intended to bake, and of course, the BBQ grill.  A quiet evening (despite all the war zone going on throughout the area) with a grilled dinner and some my style apple pie.  Now, I am blogging and hand knitting a cabled scarf for the Farmer’s Market.  Give me some time, a book, a set of circular needles; I can actually begin to master the art of hand knitting.  Not bad at the age of 57.  At least I don’t have to worry about buying yarn, I have tons of unused stuff lying around.

Today is America’s 235th birthday. As a democracy we seem to have survived just about anything, to include wars, civil wars, civil unrest, you name it.  Now, how about the sort of economic situation where “employers” under-employ, discriminate against older workers in favor of younger workers, or discriminate in favor of new hires versus those who have been with the company for a while.  End result?  Even the illegal aliens are paid better.  They have stable hours and wages.  That’s what ought to prove the most embarrassing of all.  The GOP flashing all this wealth and power, demanding that people vote for them if they don’t want to face “socialism.”  Yet the GOP in supporting big companies and corporations continue to forget that these companies and corporations are almost entirely staffed by ordinary American workers.  Who, by the way, continue to be shafted, regardless of GOP claims to the contrary.  Surviving this, whether this nation ultimately defaults on its debt and maybe screws up global trade besides (not exactly discussed by the news media, but why not?), the fringe lunacy politics between GOP and the Democrats, only the Gods know.  Let’s cross our fingers and hope that America can enjoy a great many birthdays to come.

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