Red, White & Light Recipes for a Fourth of July Picnic

Tres Leches Cake RecipeTime to get cooking! The Fourth of July is almost here which means it’s time to gather “Around the Table” to celebrate all things red, white and blue. Below you’ll find some “red, white and light” recipes for a family picnic or barbecue that are refreshing, cool and easy to make. Happy Fourth!

See also our reflection on America and our pictures of the U.S. from “sea to shining sea.”

Tres Leches

Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake) is a cake that is popular in the Latin American countries, predominantly Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guatemala.

According to some sources, its origins come from the British Trifle, the Italian Tiramisu and the Jamaican Rum Cake and so can be thought of as a melding of European, Latin and South American influences. Read more

La Vita È Bella – In America, That Is

Statue of LibertyIt can be surprisingly easy to neglect the history and symbolism of July 4th, otherwise known as Independence Day, when surrounded by family and friends, a picnic table full of delicious summer treats and an explosion of red, white and blue fireworks.

The rhythmic nature of our daily routines and habits does not lend itself to a full appreciation of the basic principles and values upon which our country was founded – including freedom, security and lawful order – particularly when we have never encountered an experience that denies us those very things.

It was an unexpected sequence of events in Italy several years ago that led me to this stark realization, where I not only gained a greater understanding of the cultural and societal norms of another country, but developed a newfound appreciation for “all things good” in America and was reminded of how much there is to be thankful for in this great “land of the free, home of the brave.” Read more

Happy Fourth of July!

Fourth of July celebrations

In celebration of the Fourth of July, we’re sharing the lyrics of two of America’s greatest songs below, together with pictures from across the country – from sea to shining sea!

See also our reflection on “all things good” in America and recipes for a July picnic.

America, The Beautiful

Written by Katharine Lee Bates (1913)

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea! Read more