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We celebrate the Fourth in many ways

Hi Barb,

I'm writing to you from Philadelphia - where the Declaration of Independence was written and signed! That document asserted (in its famous preamble) that:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

This reminds me that we are not subjects *under* government, but citizens *behind* government. It is our creature and derives its power from us (while we derive our rights and power of self-governance from our Creator). I'd remind people to read this document in its entirety (too few people do) and consider how similar the "long train of abuses and usurpations" laid against King George III resemble the daily actions of our own ever-encroaching and expensive Federal Government. Perhaps it's time to rise up at the ballot box and "provide new Guards for [our] future security"!

Now from "food for the body politic" to "food for the body", here's a recipe for the barbecue grill:

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Tandoori Chicken Tikka

1) Chicken (couple of pounds) - preferable skinless boneless breasts or thighs

2) Plain yogurt

3) Tandoori paste (from Lamb's or New Season's or the local Indian store off Route 99 in Tigard near the fabric store); you can make this from scratch, but there are about a dozen spices not to mention other ingredients most American kitchens don't use often.

4) Hot grill, of course!

Steps

1) Strip skin and fat and either make deep gashes (if you want to serve big pieces) or cut into chunks (if you want to use skewers)

2) Mix tandoori paste and plain yogurt (about 1 jar to 1 quart works)

3) Mix chicken and tandoori/yogurt mix and put in a covered dish and refrigerate overnight.

4) Grill over high heat until cooked.

5) Serve with flatbread and green salad. (Sweet and spicy chutneys are also nice.)

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If you must have red meat on the Fourth, here a burgerish alternative:

Ingredients

1. Ground lamb (or lean beef if you prefer): 2 Pounds

2. Finely Chopped onions: ¼ cup

3. Minced Garlic: ¼ cup

4. Finely chopped ginger: ¼ cup

5. Finely chopped Serrano: 2 peppers

6. Ground Cumin Powder: 1 Tablespoon

7. Ground Coriander: 1 Tablespoon

8. Ground Cloves: ½ teaspoon

9. Ground Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon

10. Ground Cayenne Powder: 1 teaspoon

11. Salt: 1½ teaspoon

12. Lime Juice: 1 Tablespoon

13. Plain Yogurt: 2 Tablespoons

14. Chickpea flour: ¼ cup

Skewers: 10

Method

Mix all the ingredients except Chickpea flour.

Sprinkle chickpea flour a tablespoon at a time to knead the mixture like dough. Adjust amount for dough like consistency.

Let it rest for two hours.

Pinch about 4 ounces off the mixture.

Cover the skewer with the mixture about ¼" thick along the length.

The meat will look like a sausage-shaped hamburger which has been pierced length wise by the skewer.

Grill over high heat until done.

Take care,

Doug

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Subject: What does the Fourth of July mean to you?

From: Barb Randall < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

To:

Hey friends -- as part of my column for the June 30 issue I am talking about the fourt of July and what that means to you -- care to share a paragraph or two with me and our readers?

I will also include recipes for unique burgers -- but if you have a family favorite recipe you would like to share please send it and we'll include it too.

All the best to you all -- please don't stress over this long and hard. Just a few sentences of the holiday's meaning for you and your family and a recipe if you've got one you'd like to share!

Happy Fourth!

Hi Barb,

Hope it's not too late for a reply but this is the first chance I've had to send non-work related email.

To me the Fourth of July means - strawberry shortcake. When I was a young girl, my hometown celebrated the 4th by holding a Strawberry Festival. My family and I would go to the town park where there would be raffles. games, and an old-fashioned band complete with a banjo and a barbershop quartet. But my favorite part was the delicious strawberry shortcake - a slightly sweet flaky biscuit topped with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream. So to me, the Fourth of July represents nostalgia. These days, my dessert of choice is usually chocolate mousse, but on the Fourth of July I have to have strawberry shortcake.

Susan Stein