I was driving home from the grocery store last night feeling like I was dodging cannonballs from the Redcoats. Everyone in SmallTown decided to set off their fireworks, some of which were very close to the road and to my Honda packed with provisions. Is this what it was like for Paul Revere while he was trying to make it home with his Diet Coke?
Growing up, we had only sparklers. The rest were illegal in Georgia. Living in Florida, most of the fireworks were legal and we always enjoyed our neighbors' fireworks across the beaver pond.
However, living in SmallTown, some of these rockets are a little too close for comfort. Either that, or I've turned into the neighborhood old lady who runs outside swinging my cane and yelling something about getting off my lawn or I'll go get my shotgun.
Not that I have a cane.
While I was at the grocery store, I ran into a friend who asked me how we were going to celebrate the 4th.
Without hesitation I answered, "Eat."
That's pretty much how we celebrate everything, isn't it? Even a funeral, which is not a celebration, of course, but requires lots of food.
Hubs' birthday is also coming up, and Daughter and I will be out of town. So we thought we'd celebrate this weekend. My idea is to celebrate his birth with the birth of the country, because that would be festive and easy and, let's face it, the two are close in age.
Oh, I kid. Our country is still young.
For Hubs' birthday I ordered Corky's BBQ. Hubs loves ribs. Good ribs. He is a rib snob. I don't judge him. I feel the same way about coffee. We are big fans of the Memphis-style BBQ. Kansas may run a close second, Texas third, and poor East Carolina trails in at the end.
I just can't get past the vinegar based meat and the idea of eating corn fritters with my BBQ. I need ketchup and brown sugar and buttered BBQ bread, or even a loaf of light bread on the table.
(Note: Light bread is just a plain loaf of sandwich bread, perfect for sopping up sauce that managed to drip off your fingers. There is nothing light about it.)
You may wonder why I'd pay an arm and a leg to have the FedEx man deliver ribs to Hubs. We have BBQ restaurants in SmallTown, but nothing compares to Corky's. The only thing better would be to take Hubs to the restaurant itself, which, looking back may have cost just as much as shipping on dry ice.
In the ribs package were beans, pulled pork (for me!) and a fudge pie. The fudge pie wasn't necessarily a required menu item, but for the small amount of extra money, I couldn't resist. All I have to do today is make some potato salad.
Potato salad is a required BBQ menu item. And, of course, I am using BBQ as a noun here.
Come to think of it, potato salad shows up on the table for a lot of meals.
When you ask a woman, "What are you taking to the cook-out?" she will answer in one of two ways.
"The men are cooking the meat, so I'm taking potato salad," or "I don't know what to bring, so I think I'll bake a cake."
For those of us who don't bake cakes, we bring that chocolate pudding dessert which has about a million names to include words like "delight" and "death."
Which brings me back to potato salad.
It also makes an appearance at funerals. Something about mourning the beloved calls out for a Tupperware or an heirloom glass bowl of potatoes smothered in Hellman's mayonnaise. What else do you eat with the bucket of fried chicken?
I have no idea how my post on Hubs' birthday turned into a tangent of side dishes, except for the fact that pretty much everything in a Southerner's life revolves around food.
Apparently, the same food.
You could call potato salad the Southerner's fruit cake. It has a long history of showing up at important events.
You know, they say some Loyalist never returned that Tupperware dish of potato salad and that's what really started the Revolution.
Have a Happy 4th!
(Just be sure to return the Tupperware.)