Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So un-American

 I once spent the Fourth of July in Vienna. You'll probably be shocked to hear that outside of the United States, most countries don't celebrate our Independence Day.  I know.  So in Vienna there were no parades and no fireworks.  My friends and I gathered in a Irish Pub and did Tequila shots all night.  Happy Birthday America!  It was probably my most international moment.

This year rivals that memory in terms of really celebrating the Fourth of July.  We barely left the house!  When I asked Thatboy what he wanted to do on our day off he had one request - "Can we sleep in?"

Well, honestly - we couldn't.  Thatbaby wanted to get up and greet the day.  But by not making plans, we could ensure Thatboy sneak in some naptime during the baby's naps.  And I could get a run in. 

When everyone was up and showered we headed out to Lake Miramar for a little walk.  There were flags there, so we were totally patriotic.

The plan was to meet up with the K's at a nearby burger joint, because, as Thatboy pointed out, "Hamburgers are very American."  Then we'd come back to the lake for fireworks.  But the lake was closed to car access long before the fireworks and the burger joint was closed for the holiday.  So we had to make spur of the moment new plans.
Thank goodness for smart phones
Instead, we met the Ks at a nearby Thai restaurant.  Which is slightly less American.  But definitely tasty.  Thatbaby loved his first experience with Thai food as he gobbled up satay, pad see-ew, and steak salad.  We loved getting to see the Ks and spend time with their newest and smallest addition.  He's so much more awake and alert now than when we last saw him.

And instead of watching fireworks from the lake, we watched them from the restaurant parking lot.  Which meant no fighting crowds, no getting their insanely early to get a good spot, and no lines of cars in and out of the parking lot.

Most of us watched the fireworks.  The littlest members of our group were either sleeping or eating.
 To continue with the less-than-patriotic theme of this thread I leave you with a Mexican dish.  (I know, we've gone from burgers to Thai, to tacos, but bear with me - this one is good.)  Rick Bayless practically introduced a new type of Mexican to Americans - one that wasn't all about ground beef, hard shells, and refried beans.  Using fresh ingredients with tastes you may not expect - like the combination of pineapple and pork.  I actually made these tacos several weeks ago, but as I was making up our menu for this week I knew I'd be adding these on and thought it would be cruel of me not to share.  It's another one of those crockpot meals I've been trying to do more of lately.  Which means it's tasty and easy.  And there's nothing more American than that!

Smoky Pork Tinga Tacos (from Rick Bayless)
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1″ pieces
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with chiles
3-4 chipotles in adobo, sliced
1 TBSP adobo sauce
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dried oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4″ thick

  1. Spread the potatoes over the bottom of a crockpot  and top with the pork.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, chipotles, adobo sauce, Worcestershire, oregano, garlic, onion, and about 1 1/2 tsp. salt.  Pour the mixture evenly over the meat and potatoes.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Serve with warm tortillas, cheese, and avocados for making soft tacos.

1 comment:

  1. I think sometimes the best way to "be American" is to be as un-American as possible. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!