Over the years, I've experienced a lot of different Independence Day celebrations, from small town gatherings in the northwoods of Wisconsin with cake walks and bobber races to the all-out gala of the fireworks on the promenade with the Boston Pops. From large to small, in every one of these celebrations the best part is seeing people coming together to celebrate their American pride.
This year, my sister and her family invited me to join them for their town's July 4th Parade. The celebration in Delavan, Wisconsin was filled with delightful small town charm.. Flags and flowers decorated each streetlamp along the brick-paved downtown street. Children dressed in red, white and blue filled bags with candy as it was tossed from floats. Fire engines, classic cars, tractors and floats were followed by parades, horses, bikes and bands.
One of the most touching moments came when members of the town's Hispanic community marched jubilantly down the street. Their pride in being part of this country radiated from every one of them. As the came to the center of town, they released the red, white and balloons they were carrying into the sky. If was a fitting tribute to their soaring spirits.
The entire afternoon reminded me how blessed I am...to be part of this great country and to have a wonderful family to spend special moments with.
Tonight's venture into making something healthy and delicious from what I've got in the freezer and refrigerator led me to a pairing of pork chops and peaches. I marinated the pork chops to keep them nice and juicy. Then I sautéed them with some chopped peaches, red peppers, and onions. A splash of white wine in the pan brought everything together. I served it all on abed of rice. Delicious!
2 large or 4 small pork chops
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper
2 peaches, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
Marinate the pork chops for a few hours in the soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and sauté them in a large pan. When they're just browned on each side, add the peaches, pepper and onion to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan and let everything simmer until the sauce starts to thicken a bit and the peppers and onions are tender. Serve over rice.