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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

Growing up, the 4th of July truly was the real start of summer vacation for us city kids who attended school all the way to the end of June. Back in those prehistoric days, before video recorders, cable, or DVDs, we had something in NY called Million Dollar Movie, which played on a local station. Each week's Million Dollar Movie played 4 times a day for the entire week. And during the week of the 4th of July, the movie was Yankee Doodle Dandy starring James Cagney. It was a movie we knew by heart as year after year, we'd wait for Yankee Doodle Dandy to start playing. So, along with burgers, dogs, corn, watermelon and other indicators of Summer, Yankee Doodle Dandy signals the start of summer for me.

I'll be watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, but what traditions make it feel like the 4th to you?

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  1. Potato salad, corn on the cob and watermelon are things I associate with the fourth. This year I am making a roasted potato salad with garlic aioli, roasted red peppers and capers. For corn the Serious Eats version of Elote but cut off the cob for easier eating. Watermelon with feta and mint rounds out my contributions to a BBQ 4th party.

    1. My husband's birthday is The Fourth of July and our traditional celebratory meal is salmon, peas, corn on the cob, potato salad, a shortcake with whipped cream/strawberries/blueberries in the shape of a flag but not arranged as such. That's his favorite dessert.

      WFD: Finally I decided to make a concocted Lo Mein with green beans, fresh peas that need to be shelled, a baby bok choy, garlic scapes, scallion, and jullienned carrots. The noodles will be angel hair tossed with oyster sauce, light soy sauce, a bit of fish sauce, and dark sesame oil. The vegetables will be stir-fried with peanut oil, the scapes, ginger, and chili garlic sauce. More cucumber, radish, onion salad.

      6 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          What a nice day for a birthday- parades and fireworks every year!
          And of course a day off from work too!

          1. re: Berheenia

            He says that when he was a little boy he thought the fireworks were for him.

            1. re: Gio

              We thought our son might be born on the fourth and it struck me as a wonderful day to be born. So festive and fun and casual.
              My son turned out to be a summer solstice baby instead, but I like the idea of celebrating bdays on the fourth with fireworks. And, I'm sure they were meant for your husband!

              1. re: Gio

                Lol! That's what James Cagney says in his narration as George M. Cohan.

                1. re: Gio

                  My sister also thought the fireworks were for her birthday. They had her celebration at the park and of course random strangers would see her in her birthday hat and wish her a happy birthday. She just thought it was a big party for her. So cute.

            2. Tonight we are digging into our leftovers from this weekend. Will take the potatoes and the grilled spring onion and chop up to saute in a little olive oil. Gently re-heat the ribeye, fry a couple of over easy eggs and enjoy with the rest of the house made bread, goat cheese butter and tomato conserva. A gourmet BFD!

              1 Reply
              1. re: iowagirl

                wow! look at the time! if i get started now, i can probably make it to Iowa by monday... think you can hold supper for me? CAUSE MAN THAT SOUNDS GOOD!!!

              2. Got to see "1776" with William Daniels, Howard DaSilva, Ken Howard, John Cullum, and Blythe Danner. It's been a ritual for me since it first hit HBO ages ago. I was lucky enough to see the original musical on B'way all those decades ago.

                TCM is airing both "1776" AND "Yankee Doodle Dandy" on the 4th, and I'll be watching.

                Now, unlike one of Founding Fathers, I can and did tell a lie, right here on Chow. On the Trader Joe's Yay/Nay thread, I talked about buying shaved steak and how it would make three sandwiches, so I couldn't complain about the price; instead, it made two sandwiches and then tonight, I made beef and broccoli in Hoisin sauce. I used the same 3–2-1 mixture of hoisin, soy sauce, and rice vinegar that I used on pork a couple of months back and talked about on this very thread.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mcsheridan

                  That means you get 3 lashes with a wet noodle.

                2. It was a stunning day on the Sou'west Shore. Maybe a top 10 day.

                  My bride finished work very early so we drove up High Ridge Road to the Inn at Pound Ridge. It's a pleasant roadside place, the latest outpost of Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

                  The room is both rustic (wide board floors, exposed beams, reclaimed wood) and modern (high ceilings, neutral colors, sharp angles).

                  A glass of Billecart Salmon for starters as we settled in. Deb and I shared an app of "crackling calamari" that had a lovely/frothy yuzu dipping sauce. It was tasty. Quality sea salt was thoughtfully provided and gave the calamari that tiny push that it needed.

                  Deb opted for a ricotta ravioli for her main, I went with the grilled hanger steak sandwich. I ordered a decent Barbaresco to wash it all down.

                  Deb liked her house-made ravioli and declared the sauce as good as her own: high praise. My sandwich was an assemblage of perfectly-cooked steak, goat cheese, thick-cut tomato slices, horseradish sauce, all cosseted in house-made flat bread. It could have fed two but I didn't want to share. I ignored the fries, not because they were bad but because I simply didn't need them.

                  Deb and I talked for hours about old stuff and stuff on the horizon. At the end of the day, a successful meal should put you in a wonderful frame of mind. Both food and service in this pleasant roadhouse did just that.

                  14 Replies
                      1. re: steve h.

                        How blessed is Deb! MY DH and I met 29 years ago in August. Got married 1 year from that date. He has brought me flowers on EVERY 17th of every month since the day we met. Even if I traveled, he would send them to me. Like Deb, my DH is a keeper just like you!

                        PS: When are you coming to Oregon and moving next door?

                        1. re: boyzoma

                          Boyzoma, that is really special that your husband does that. What a lovely, romantic gesture!

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Is that a Chinese curse (only kidding)?

                              1. re: steve h.

                                I'm mostly Irish, so no - it's not a Chinese curse. :-P

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Me too. Norwegian on my mother's side.

                                  1. re: steve h.

                                    My grandmother was Norwegian as well. Otherwise, I'm an amalgamation of Irish, Polish, German, and English. In other words, a mutt American. :-)

                          1. re: steve h.

                            you two make it look easy. i know it isn't always, but it's nice to see how wonderful you two are with each other.

                            1. re: steve h.

                              And nothing beats finding a sauce 'as good as her own' IMHO :)

                              1. re: steve h.

                                What a delightful day! Love to read about the wonderful meals and fun adventures that you and Deb have together! You're an inspiration!