Strike up the band; get out the flag; we have a busy weekend coming up. It’s time to celebrate America’s birthday. New England’s roadways will be packed as everyone heads to the lake, beach or mountains. The Fourth of July weekend is a wonderful opportunity to get together with family and friends
A small town in New Hampshire is the perfect place to spend the holiday weekend. Cynical city dwellers may disagree but a few days in the country can be packed full of fun and simple pleasures. There is lots to do and more to enjoy.
You can start the weekend wandering through a farmers’ market or lazing on the town common listening to a Dixieland band. On Saturday, parades will march down Main Street and cruise around the lake. If you want something a little more active, there are trails to walk, mountains to hike and fun runs to run. It is also a great weekend to get out on the water. Not just for a boat parade, but swimming, sailing and kayaking. The fun never stops
If your list of to-do’s for the weekend is anything like mine, I’m sure it is long. The super market and farm stand will be beehives of frantic activity. The pick-your-own strawberry field will be crawling with families in search of big, beautiful berries. As we head into the weekend, batches of brownies will be thrust into the oven and salads thrown together. Barbeque sauces will bubble and marinades will be hard at work doing their magic. By Friday afternoon, if not before, refrigerators will be packed to the bursting point, brimming with holiday treats.
With lots of activity, everyone is sure to work up a big appetite. A family weekend usually means lots of time around the table. And what could be better than starting each day with a long and lazy breakfast? My dad always treats the grandchildren to “Grampa’s Awful Waffles,” so named because they are awfully good. I’m not sure if it is actually the waffles that are so wonderful or my dad’s theatrical presentation. Maybe the maple syrup makes these a must-have treat. It is probably a combination of all three
High on sugar and carbs, it’s time to head out for an adventure or more likely a day at the beach. A cooler is packed with more summer treats; lunch of course, but also slices of watermelon and lemonade by the gallon. With lots of activity and fun in the sun, it may or may not last through the afternoon. In any case, the cooler will be loaded up again for an evening cookout. The Fourth wouldn’t be the Fourth without a cookout on the beach. It may be easier to eat at home but you miss half the fun.
Friends and neighbors relax and chat while the grill heats up and the kids squeeze in one more swim. There is bound to be a little good-natured ribbing and a bit of bragging as Barbeque Bob, Bill and Joe discuss their grill techniques and refuse to share their secret recipes. Eventually, children will be rounded up and everyone will settle down to the first big summer feast.
Before long, flares will be lit and children will dance around with sparklers. (So wear your sneakers! No matter how many warnings you give at least one hot sparkler will land in the sand!) Soon beach chairs will be moved into position and the evening’s entertainment will begin. The sky will be explode with color and sound. My favorite part of the Fourth of July will always be the fireworks over Pleasant Lake. They might not be as grand as the displays in New York or Boston or Washington but they are the perfect ending to a perfect Independence Day in the country
Hoisin Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin
3 pork tenderloins, 1 – 1 1/2 pounds each
Hoisin Marinade (recipe follows)
Garnish: chopped cilantro
Put the pork and marinade in a large re-sealable bag. Marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bag a couple of times, for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
Remove the tenderloin from the marinade; discard the marinade. Cook the pork with the grill cover down for 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 2 – 3 minutes to cook on all sides. The tenderloin is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
Remove the tenderloin from the grill and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice the pork, garnish with cilantro and serve.
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper or to taste
1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1-2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup dry white wine
Whisk the hoisin sauce and orange and lime juices together until smooth. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, ginger, spices, honey, soy sauce and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the white wine and combine.
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Feel free to visit my other, cleverly named blog, Susan Nye’s Other Blog, or website www.susannye.com. You can find more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010