The United States and Canada share the world’s longest stretch of unguarded border. They’re our largest trading partner, our closest neighbour, and a major influence on our entertainment, economy, and tourism. Some of my closest friends are American.
But I had never celebrated Independence Day.
So this year when invited up to our American friends in another UAE emirate, I was extremely excited to learn that our gallivanting northward would fall on the FOURTH OF JULY!!!
I didn’t know how to brace myself. So I did what any Canadian going to a fourth of July party would do and scrummaged through my closet for red, white, and blue…
Outfit in check, and with Ken by my side, we made our way to our friends’. I’ll be honest, I had some expectations. Firstly, I dreamed that there would be plenty of USA paraphernalia.
My second expectation consisted of me hoping for PIE! My vision of the 4th of July includes some sort of pie, typically apple I assumed, so I was crossing my fingers… (what delight when I found out that I was to bring gluten-free pie crust!!!!
And my third expectation was that it would be an amazingly good time because Americans like to celebrate their country and Americans are known for their hospitality!
Indeed, my first dream was made true!!!! Little Uncle Sams (I learned who he is and he isn’t actually real!), a red-white-blue fake bouquet, and ‘stars and stripes’ plates adorned the table. Our friend sizzled up some amazing BBQ steaks…but beforehand there were weiners, Devilled eggs, guacamole (though my husband’s contribution so may or may not be ‘authentic’), AND I had my first pork knuckles!!! And let’s not forget the beautiful Californian wine!
My expectation of pie was also fulfilled…with Stef as the baker extraordinaire, we cut up what seemed like a mountainous assembly of Granny Smiths…
I don’t take ANY credit for how beautiful this crust looks, ALL Stef. She uses about 1 kg of Granny Smith apples and since these pies were PERFECT that’s what I’d recommend in future.
So the pies turned out amazingly well, and of course we did little slits and designs
a) because it’s necessary for even baking, and b) because you HAVE to celebrate the 4th of July with stars and stripes (flags on the left pie, a star in the middle of the right)…voila the gluten-free and glutenous versions…
If you’re already salivating, imagine when I tell you that THIS actually happened as well…That’s right…RED, WHITE, and BLUE homemade ice cream!!!!!! (I had nothing to do with this – again, all Stef’s culinary genius)
So basically we served up (well, Stef served up and I took credit for my apple peeling…) the most scrumptious of scrumptious apple pies with absolutely lovely homemade ice cream. AND we did in true patriotic American style 🙂
THIS WAS THE VERY BEST APPLE PIE AND ICE CREAM I’VE EVER TASTED! EVER. THE END.
But what about my last expectation? that “it would be an amazingly good time because Americans like to celebrate their country”. YES, YES, and YES!!!! Of course any time you’re with great friends you have a great time, but I did have an inner sense of warmth and cheer knowing that I was able to celebrate this very special day alongside two of my dearest friends.
Americans have a lot to be proud of. They’re such a diverse country, geographically, culturally, beautifully…It was such a privilege to celebrate the fourth of July and to finally taste true blue (and red and white) authentic American apple pie! I’m going to celebrate next year, me thinks 🙂
So this week…bake a pie and let the American culinary experience inspire your baking art! (yours won’t be as good as Stef’s, but you can try!)
Thank you to my friends for letting these Canadians crash your national holiday – we loved it!!!!