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Friday, July 4, 2008

Foodie Friday - July 4th Patriotism Edition

What is patriotism?

My dear friend, Merriam-Webster, defines patriotism as love for or devotion to one's country, and patriot as one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.

In my personal opinion, in this country, it's fairly easy to be counted as a patriot. Although I do believe that there are plenty of people who live here that truly do not love and are not devoted to this great Nation of ours, being a "patriot" is very trivialized and easy to do without a lot of sacrifice on our part. But, just wearing red, white and blue doesn't cut it for me.

To me, patriotism is a deep belief that this Nation is the greatest on earth. That there is no better place to live. It is such a deep belief that one is willing to do whatever it takes to protect it and our way of life; even when that means putting our nation's interests above those of the rest of the world. (See also a link to an article I posted on patriotism here.)

To truly appreciate patriotism for me, I have to think about what this country is about. To me, it's a lot about freedom. And as I sit here and think back on our nation's rich history, I can see the story of freedom being told over and over again. It's why the first settlers came here. It's what the oppressed slaves of the south so desperately sought. It's what we fought for in two World Wars and what we continue to fight for today. Freedom. And that freedom is worth fighting for.

And I can see how God can use that story to show His ultimate freedom through Christ. Because freedom? It's not just an American thing. It's a God thing. A GOD THANG!

So as a patriot, with a deep love and appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America and as a Christian who is experiencing and yet still learning what freedom in Christ is truly about, I say to you, Happy Independence Day and Happy Freedom Day!

On to more important issues... the food, people, the FOOD!

What foods make us think, "4th of July", "Independence Day", or about "Patriotism"?

I don't know about your kneck of the woods, but here in the Lone Star State, it's all about the barbeque. And around here, barbeque isn't pork. It's beef brisket (or "biscuit" as my 3 year old little man calls it).

Now, the best brisket is smoked. And around here, there are some people that know a thing or two about smoking some meat. One of those people is my Uncle Bob. This is the smoker he built:

It's complete with a ferris wheel type contraption on the inside that keeps the various cuts of brisket, sausage, turkey or whathaveyou all rotating and getting the essence of that smokey goodness.

But, lacking that kind of equipment in my humble home kitchen, mine is baked. Or more accurately, braised. The process starts in the evening when I coat the brisket in a rub and let it marinate overnight. Then, after adding a little Shiner Bock, I bake it at a low temperature for hours upon hours until it is baked into submission as a tender, falling apart slab of beef.

Oh, it is a glorious thing. Yes, a good brisket is a mighty glorious thing.

That and some good old fashioned fireworks!

Happy 4th everyone!


Kay said...

Thanks for the note. I've run across that site before. Thanks for the concern too. : ) I am doing well. This thing recently has taken me back in some ways, yes. But it's moments. Just watching this up clse has made the moments longer than if I were just reading about a stranger and then closing out a blog, ya know? It's a peaceful memory for me as I've written a little bit about our experience and the beauty I found in it all, but then watching this up close is heart wrenching, even for those who haven't suffered a loss. The memory of all of that in our lives is double-edged.. the terribly sad with all the beautiful things God was at work in at the time. I ramble.. I hope that makes sense. lol

ps. your 'biscuit' looks gooood! Too cute!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

That is one cool looking smoker!
I bet that brisket was yummy!