“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased
at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not course others may take, but as for me,
give me liberty or give me death!”
– Founding father Patrick Henry
While riding in the KSCO Radio car in the Boulder Creek 4th of July parade, I was suddenly struck by ‘what it means to be an American’ in the year 2022.
Rosie Chalmers was walking in front of the car along with her dog Hula and proudly wearing her red, white and blue dress that she had worn seven years prior when she was proudly proclaimed a United States citizen. I, personally, have known many people from foreign soils who have studied and taken the test, and finally, the Oath to become what we so, fortunately, have been born into, but none that are as proud as Rosie has become. I am so fortunate to be Rosie’s friend.
A few days ago I read an email that I was copied on that stated in part. I am afraid I have lost my enthusiasm I may have had to march in a July 4th parade. I’m not feeling very American these days and I’m seriously conflicted.
This struck me in such a way that even though this email was not directed to me, I had to respond by writing, “You may have become somewhat jaded, but you need to remain undaunted. You have the privilege of being an American.”
Riding in the car yesterday I was more than amazed by how many fellow citizens of our beautiful valley were dressed in beautiful red, white and blue.
The brave and much-loved volunteer firemen from our valley were riding in those trucks responsible for saving so many people and homes during the CZU fires and people were lined up seven people deep, to cheer and throw kisses their way.
Dogs dressed up to represent our wonderful America, little kids waving flags, elderly gentlemen walking their dogs as well, all wanting to be a part of celebrating what America is all about: our Independence from tyranny.
In the 1940s, after watching the 4th of July parade, my family would return home to a meatloaf that had been slowly baking in the oven while we were gone. There was always coleslaw for salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits and a warm apple pie. Barbecued food such as hotdogs and hamburgers didn’t come along until the ’50s. Ice cream was homemade, that is if you were lucky and had a cow or could afford to buy cream. Remember, refrigeration even as late as the ’40s was a block of ice kept in an ‘icebox.’
Tonight, as I sit down to my 1940s Meatloaf dinner (made ahead, of course), I shall give thanks to the Almighty who made it possible for me to be an American and live in this beautiful patriotic Valley.
Aunt Betty’s Meatloaf (read carefully before making)
- 1 pound 90% ground beef
- 1 pound sage ground pork (I use Jimmy Deans)
- 2 slices of white bread (crusts removed), pulled into small pieces
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup finely minced onion
- ½ cup minced carrots
- ½ cup minced celery
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- In a small bowl soak together for 15 minutes the white bread and ¼ cup whole milk.
- In a frying pan sauté together the minced onion, carrots, celery and garlic until very soft.
- Add all ingredients together along with the eggs, salt and pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Mix well and pack into a 9-by-5-inch Loaf Pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cover meatloaf with a sheet of aluminum foil that is 5 inches larger than each side and ends of the pan and crimp foil onto pan edges to seal.
- TURN MEATLOAF UPSIDEDOWN ON A BAKING SHEET PAN.
- Bake 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and remove meatloaf pan, exposing meatloaf.
- Raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
- Return loaf to oven and bake 20 min.
- Remove from oven and baste with sauce and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Do this twice.
Ingredients (Heat in a pan prior to basting)
- 1 cup Catsup
- 3 Tbsp. Frenches Mustard
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
Colly Gruczelak, a Ben Lomond resident, loves people and loves to cook. Contact her at [email protected].