The people's voice of reason

Southern Cuisine - July

What did the people of the newly formed United States eat while celebrating the Fourth of July? Did they just decide to eat something different from their usual menu? When and where did the idea of a menu just for the Four of July start? Legend has it that on July 4, 1776, John Adams and his wife celebrated the country's independence with a meal of turtle soup, poached salmon with an egg sauce, green peas, boiled potatoes, and a desert of Indian pudding or apple Pandowdy. Turtle soup was a very popular summertime meal back then. A far cry from the usual meal associated with the holiday now.

As the years past, so did people tastes and what items that were available. By the 1800's meals were quite different from what they are today, but there was developing a meal that could be called the starting menu for Independence Day. Turtle soup was considered a delicacy and a symbol of patriotism. It was made with green turtle meat, vegetables, herbs and spices. Poached salmon with an egg sauce was easy to make back then. Salmon was abundant and fresh. Apples were used in a dessert called pandowdy and is the start of the apple cobbler. Also, any barbecued meats, such as pigs, chickens and turkeys.

The most searched for recipes now a day includes potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs, macaroni salad, smoked brisket, grilled corn and red, white and blue fruit pizza. Brisket is popular since July is National Barbecue month and the Fourth of July is National Barbeque Day. Besides just celebrating cooking, a favorite past time also celebrated this month is for Pina Coladas, Daiquiris, Tequila and Scotch.

Since hotdogs are popular for the Fourth of July, there are many options that can go on them. Such as Kim chi, fruit chutney and Mac and cheese. Your hotdog doesn't really need a hotdog in it. Try chicken tenders, slow cooked pulled pork with Alabama White Barbeque sauce. Or peanut butter or grilled pineapple. Let your imagination go wild! Instead of a charcuterie board with cold cuts and cheeses, try a hot dog board, with side's dips, and chips. Whatever you want.

And do not forget desserts, where you can let the red white and blue theme shine.

A popular food spread for modern day 4th of July meal will consist of these items.

Hot dogs, barbeque, ham burgers, apple pie, biscuits and gravy, grits, corn dogs, and buffalo chicken wings.

No menu will be complete without some sort of baked beans. This is a different take on the standard baked beans.


Serves 8-12

1-pound ground beef

2(1-lb) cans pork and beans

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 env. Dry onion soup mix

1 cup catsup

½ cup cold water

2 tsp. cider vinegar

4 bacon strips

Brown meat and drain

Stir in dry onion soup mix, water, catsup and cider vinegar.

Add the cans of pork & beans and the kidney beans that have drained. Mix well and pour inti a casserole sprayed with PAM. Top with bacon strips and bake at 375degrees until bacon is done about 35 minutes

Potato salad is very popular and is found on many bbq menus. After a dish of beans and potato salad, a somewhat lighter side dish is called for. Fresh crispy vegetables in the next dish is just the dish. Somewhat sour and sweet, a slaw is just the item.

This is Pam McCurdy's award-winning slaw recipe. If it has not won an award, it should.


1 large head of cabbage shredded

1 large green bell pepper chopped

1 large onion chopped

1 small jar chopped pimento

1 cup sugar

Place the cabbage in bowl; add bell pepper, onion and pimento on top. DO not stir. Sprinkle sugar on top of veggies.


½ cup oil

1 T dry mustard

1 T salt

1 T celery seeds

¾ cup white vinegar

Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Pour over top of veggies while hot. Do not stir. Refrigerate over night and stir before serving.

There are many cuts of meat that make a good bbq. Smoked, grilled, roasted or fried, a bbq sauce will add what ever flavor you want for your meat. There are many bbq sauces on the shelves in the grocery stores. But making your own sauce gives you the choice on what particular taste you want, either sweet or sour or mil or spicy hot, it's up to you how you like it. This sauce is a little different from the rest of the sauces. It can be spicy, acidic and buttery. It's your choice.


½ cup Lemon juice

3 T vinegar

¼ cup butter

2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon salt

1 medium onion chopped

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

3T Worcestershire sauce

Blend all ingredients in sauce pan and simmer until butter is melted


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