Happy 4th of July!

Laraine Bennett

What is the 4th of July without a bar-b-que? In my family, I am the grill master, the official bar-b-que-er. Though my husband comes from a huge family of ardent grillers, he did not inherit the grilling gene. So he married me. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night…like the Pony Express, we grill in all weather.

For most people, however, the summer is prime grilling season, with a special emphasis on the 4th of July. I will spare you a Bennett family traditional favorite—salt-broiled steak—to protect your arteries. For the upcoming holiday, I recommend the tried and true burger. A recipe we particularly enjoy is as follows:

Serves 4

* 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
* 3-4 tablespoons horseradish (we use the cream-style)
* 2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 4 slices cheddar cheese

Heat grill to medium-high. In a bowl, gently combine the beef, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. Form meat into 4 equal sized patties, approximately 4 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Grill 4-7 minutes per side for medium rare, placing cheese on top of the burger during the last couple of minutes, until it begins to melt. Serve on hamburger buns or on toasted English muffins and top with your choice of lettuce, tomatoes, and condiments.

As a counterpoint to the juicy burgers, I suggest a delicious salad of arugula, fresh goat cheese, sliced red onions and cherry tomatoes, tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette.

For several years, in an effort to re-create the old-fashioned neighborhood block party, we rented a snow cone machine on the 4th of July, and passed out raspberry and blueberry snow cones to all the neighborhood kids. These days, however, I would prefer something simple, such as a red, white, and blue parfait.

Even better, everyone can make their own!

Provide tall plastic glasses and a large tub of vanilla yogurt (or frozen custard), fresh blueberries and strawberries or raspberries, and frozen whipped topping (thawed). Let your creative kids layer the fruit and yogurt in their individual glasses!

Happy Fourth!

Topics: Culture , Family , Food

Laraine Bennett co-authored, with her husband Art, The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse and The Temperament God Gave You, published by Sophia Institute Press. Their new book, The Emotions God Gave You, is due Spring 2011. Please visit their website at http://temperaments.sophiainstitute.com/.

View all articles by Laraine Bennett

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