Thursday, July 4, 2013

It’s Independence Day!

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On July 4th we in the United States celebrate our independence and freedom in many ways, but it’s typically a day for food, family and fireworks. Do we ever think about those who paved the way so we can enjoy our freedoms? Of the hardships they endured? Of the fear of reprisal? They all must have been very brave men to voice the desire for an independent nation, and fearful of how to proceed.

In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies (the Continental Congress) debated whether - and how - to state formally their independence from Great Britain. They voted in favor of a written document on July 2, and signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4. From that date until the 1790s it was widely considered a joint work by the Continental Congress, but became known that Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the document.

Since then Independence Day has been celebrated, but was not an official federal holiday until 1941.
About 200 copies of the document were printed on the evening it was signed, but it is said that just 25 original copies still exist – 20 owned by America, 3 by Great Britain and 2 by individual owners.

Here you will find a copy that you can read and print. We hear about the document often, but how long has it been since we read it?


The second sentence has been used widely over many years to state basic human rights:
“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.”
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“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of The United States
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It's raining today, so we're having a "cook-in" rather than a cookout. We’ll have pulled pork, chicken wings, macaroni salad and chocolate pound cake, along with various snacks, salads, and fruit. All of it is extremely easy to put together - because I deserve a holiday, too! Here is the cake recipe:
CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE
1 box (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix
1 package (3.4 oz.) chocolate instant pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray a Bundt or tube pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. 

Place ingredients in large mixing bowl. Blend 1 minute, scrape bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 

Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes, then remove to finish cooling.

(Recipe adapted from The Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn)

Note: I use sugar-free cake and pudding mixes. The cake will rise normally, but fall a bit when cooling, and will still taste great with a nice texture.

The cake is in the oven and smelling so good!
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A July 4th Centerpiece:
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These were actually made for my Dad’s 90th birthday bash, but would be perfect for today. He is a WWII veteran and just about the most patriotic person I know, so we had to go with the red, white and blue theme! To make the centerpieces, paint clay pots white, then fill them with red and blue tissue paper and shiny frills from the dollar store. Those balloon weights work well. Stick a small flag in each one. Cut curling ribbon into 12-18” pieces, tie around thin dowel rods or wrapped floral wire, then curl and add to center.
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I wish you all a very Happy 4th of July! Please stop by again - and be sure to check out the “Holidays” page. Also, my website is http://www.thecottagepantry.com, where you get direct access to Amazon.com – I’m an affiliate.
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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