If you ask a European which holiday they think of first when they think of the United States, I suspect they will tell you July 4th, Independence Day (or maybe Thanksgiving – I will let you know about that when I write again in November).
I can tell you that this year Independence Day lived up to the expectation as I enjoyed a “real” American 4th of July, surrounded by great friends. Given that most businesses are closed on July 4th, it is a time for Americans to join friends and family for some rest from work. This year I celebrated American Independence Day by spending the weekend at a friend’s house. We ate, swam, laughed but most importantly we barbequed. American 4th of July is synonymous with BBQ. Everything from Steak to burgers to hotdogs.
Sure, we have BBQ in Europe but one thing we don’t have is sweet yellow corn. What a treat, summer in the United States would not be the same without corn. Charred to perfection on the grill and served with salt and butter, corn is just amazing. Aside from the food, there is a great sense of pride felt during Independence. The American Flag is flown everywhere and it seems like one of the few times that Americans take time away from busy lives to truly enjoy food, family, friends and relaxation. If you want to know how to do 4th of July like an American, gather with some friends, light a BBQ, cook up some corn, have a cold beer or two, get yourself into some lawn games like horseshoes or frisbee and if you are lucky enough find yourself a hammock lay in under a tree in the afternoon. I can honestly say that this year, surrounding by American friends, I felt like a local for this weekend.