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From the NFH Team

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”Erma BombeckJohn Adams, our second president and an author of the Declaration of Independence, said in a letter to his wife about the Fourth of July: “I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.” And that we do.The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on that date in 1776. It was two days earlier on July 2, 1776, that Congress declared its independence from England, as the British fleet arrived in New York.The first actual celebration was held on July 8, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was read aloud publicly with bands playing and city bells ringing in Philadelphia. Although the holiday had been celebrated in many places once the war ended in 1783, it surprisingly didn’t become a federal holiday until 1941.When I think of celebrating the Fourth of July, I think of parades, fireworks and lots and lots of food. The holiday conjures up that mom and apple pie image. Some of the favorite foods across the country are hot dogs and hamburgers, apple pie, coleslaw, corn on the cob, potato salad, baked beans, watermelon, ice cream and even clam bakes if you live on the East Coast. There’s also fried chicken in the South and Louisiana crawfish boils. Wherever you go in this wonderful country, there is some great all-American food to enjoy.If you’re going for some authentic Fourth of July food, try something from the 1700s, one of George Washington’s favorites – cranberry pudding. The recipe is printed in the Mount Vernon Cookbook and looks easy if you have a rice steamer.Take 2 beaten eggs and combine with 2 tablespoons sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/2 cup of molasses. In a separate bowl, put 2 teaspoons of baking soda in 1/3 cup of boiling water and then add it to the egg mixture. Stir in 11/2 cups sifted flour and 11/2 cups halved cranberries. Steam in a buttered rice steamer for about 11/2 hours. Serve warm with a cooked sauce made of 2 sticks butter, 2 cups sugar and 1 cup half and half. (No wonder George Washington liked it – who wouldn’t?)However you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July, we hope you visit the Falcon Festival and stop by the NFH booth to say hello. We look forward to seeing you.Happy Birthday, America!– Deb, Michelle and the NFH Team

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