My love for Neil Diamond knows no bounds. In my younger, much cooler days, I used to be horrified by the musical selections of my father. He had a deep and abiding love for Irish folk music and James Taylor. And Dad – seriously, could you turn down the Carly Simon?!! Now that I fully embrace my dorkdom, I'm free to love whatever music entertains me. Which is why Neil Diamond's "America" will always have a place on my July 4th playlist, along with The Bruce's "Born in the USA" and 2 Live Crew's "Banned in the USA".
Unlike the merry band of corporate shills at The Center For "Consumer Freedom", I celebrated my freedom by eating my way through a day where as many foods as possible were produced by local food producers. We kicked off the day by heading to our local farmer's market where we stuffed ourselves with locally produced baked goods. I even convinced myself that the carrot cake I had for breakfast had to be healthy because it lacked cream cheese icing.
For lunch, we had leftovers from the day before – grilled local lamb and onions, flatbread made with my sourdough and tomato salad made from tomatoes and herbs in our back yard.
For a snack, we had grilled local corn. It was the first corn of the season. I think the splotches on the porch floor made by butter dripping off our elbows might wear off by summer's end.
We managed to make it to about 3pm before imbibing any booze and when I got a taste of the Basil Peach White Wine Sangria made with local peaches, I wish we had started drinking earlier. The basil we picked from our garden made this drink – it kept it from being too sweet and cloying.
For a late dinner, we made our traditional 4th meal – smoked turkey legs. For some medieval reason, I really love turkey legs. They really bring out the T-Rex in me. We served it with homemade baked beans made with local honey, local tomato sauce, frozen local shelley beans and local bacon. We served it with one of the best potato salads I've ever had(made with local potatoes and herbs from our garden of course!).
I don't hate potato salad but the majority of them are too heavy for me and I always feel like the potatoes in those salads are just the excuse for mainlining as much mayonnaise as possible. Smitten Kitchen's Horseradish Potato Salad is just what I've been looking for. The focus is on the potatoes but the sour cream dressing makes this dish sing. I've always been a fan of the sinus tingling properties of horseradish and when you combine it with the chives, dill and onion in this dish, well – I'm just glad no one but my husband saw me scraping the plate with my finger.
3 pounds small (2-inch) potatoes 1/4 cup red onion, chopped 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar 1 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Boil potatoes until they're fork tender. Cool them room temperature and quarter. Mix remaining ingredients and fold the potatoes into this mixture.
After we finished eating, we waddled upstairs onto our upper porch where we had one of the best views in Knoxville of the downtown fireworks. There are times where I wonder why we bought this ramshackle old house but every time we get to relax, away from crowds and get such a great view of the fireworks, my faith in our decision is restored.
I hope you all had a great 4th and you all got down with your bad old selves! Let Freedom (and 2 Live Crew) Reign!