Happy 4th of July! What This Day Tasted Like in 1902…

Happy 4th of July! It has been super quiet around here on the blog since mid-May and I must say, I have missed you all terribly.  There was a family tragedy and a family illness that took me unexpectedly far away from the Vintage Kitchen for most of June. But I’m happy to write that I’m back and ready to dive into a plethora of new kitchen stories starting this week.

Exciting things coming up in July include an interview with a creative artist who will make you look at your refrigerator in an absolutely new and enchanting way; we will travel back in time to a hotel in 20th century Minnesota and share a few recipes that made them famous around the world; we’ll learn about a guy who invented one of the most addictive foods ever known to eaters; we’ll celebrate three national food recognition days and we’ll host a giveaway that is guaranteed to add a little sparkle to your life. So stay tuned on that front. July is full of fun!

In the meantime, since it’s a holiday today and you are out and about celebrating with friends and family, we’ll keep this post short – a litle dollap of history pertaining to patriotism and how Americans ate their way through Independence Day in 1902.

In that year, this guy was president…

Theodore Roosevelt – the 26th President of the United States.

And patriotic family gatherings looked something like this…

A fourth of July family picnic in St. Augustine, Florida in 1902. Photo courtesy of FilsonHistorical.org

Decorations were simple…bunting, flags, flowers and the natural settings of the great outdoors. There were parades and town concerts and special events planned throughout the day.

July 4th, 1902 in King’s River, California. Photo courtesy of the Sierra Club.

Conversations were full of pride, in the general achievements of the country. Unlike today, where the political terrain is quite rocky and American morale is at an all-time low, in 1902, patriotism was a bit more revered. President Roosevelt prepared a speech saying nothing but thank you to the American military for continuing to extend and uphold the open arm ideals of the United States and pledged to continue to promote peace and tolerance throughout the world.

In American households during the early 20th century, the 4th of July was the one day where political affiliations were set aside. What was celebrated in conversation was not that someone was a Democrat or a Republican but instead an American. And topics led more towards incredible examples of what had been achieved in the past as a unified country as opposed to criticisms about the work that still needed to be accomplished individually.

Eating occurred on a large all-day scale with a full breakfast, lunch and dinner… each incorporating the colors of the American flag. Here’s a suggested menu from Woman’s Favorite Cook Book published in 1902…

Woman’s Favorite Cook Book, 4th of July Menu, 1902

You’ll notice, even back then, the holiday has always been about cooking and spending time together. The kitchen would have been a hotbed of activity (just like it still is today) preparing all the staples we still enjoy eating on the Fourth – ice cream, salads, garden vegetables, fresh berries, cake. Our national pride might be much more diluted now than it was 116 years ago but our bellies are traditionally still enjoying the same types of food. That is a comfort at least.

Theodore Roosevelt once said…“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

Teddy would have appreciated all the new voices coming forth this year (no pun intended!) in our fights for democracy and fairness and freedom for every person in America. He would have admired all the political bravery that exists today and marveled at all that we have accomplished so far.  Americans of the early 20th century would have lauded our collective efforts too, noting how far we have come on the food scene as far as innovations and improvements and equipment while still managing to keep the culinary traditions of our ancestors alive.

So it is with that in mind that we say cheers to the holiday, to the progress we have made, and to the traditions we still hold dear. However you choose to celebrate the 4th of July – whether you are partying it up at a fish fry, a barbeque, a picnic, a seafood boil or a campfire roast – I hope your holiday is filled with fun, family, and friends. May it be peaceful and light. And may all those fireworks be bright. Cheers to a happy holiday! We’ll see you back in the Kitchen shortly.

An Indie Celebration!

fireworks3

Fireworks flew high this weekend all over the place in celebration of the 4th. But in the Ology household the Jeannie’s were celebrating Independence day for a whole extra reason. Can you guess what it is dear readers? Here’s a little hint…

indie1

This past weekend of the 4th marked the year of the 1st…

hat1

The first year of Indie!

Exactly 365 days ago incredible Indie appeared like some sort of mythical, magical creature  – a gift of fate and of such good fortune Ms. Jeannie could hardly stand it.

First photo!
First photo – July 5th, 2014

Since that firecracker day, Indie’s bounded through the year like a champ.

She’s been a devoted roadtripper alongside Ms. Jeannie…

roadtrip

A constant cat cuddler…

pals

An expert mover…

box3

And an ever so enthusiastic blog baker

indie.9_2

She graduated from being a book chewer…

book6

to being a *book lover…

read5

She’s figured out the best thunderstorm bunker is the laundry room…

laundry

and the best water dish is the front yard bird bath…

birdbath

She’s run with the wild ones at the dog park…

indie1

And enjoyed the quiet contemplation of a summer morning*…

read2

There have been wild wonder field trips… canine to cat conversations… and pretty photo-ops…

collage1

A deliciously decadent year of all things dog. Of course, Ms. Jeannie had to ring in the year with a treat – a celebratory cake just for Indie made with peanut butter and apples and frosted with greek yogurt…

animatedcake

Party approved! And most very importantly – puppy approved – 365 days over:) Happy first homecoming to Indie, Miss Independant, Indiana Bones and all the other little nicknames bestowed upon this one free spirit;)

*If you are curious as to what types of books Indie enjoys reading, click here.