So I guess I've been running a little slower these days... and it was really confirmed to me just how slow when I suggested to my husband last week that we should have a big 4th of July party. He kind of "burst my bubble" when he told me that the 4th was the upcoming weekend and that most of our friends had already made their weekend plans!?! ... but we did manage to get together with some really close friends (the same friends that were at last years 4th party). You know, those really relaxed- you can literally put anything in front of them and they would be perfectly happy - kind of people?
So, as tradition would have it, what does one think to eat for one of the biggest picnic and barbecue days of the year?... burgers, right?... BUT with temperatures hovering in the high 90's and no air conditioning, (oh, just one of the joys of living in Europe!) I had no desire to heat up the kitchen any hotter than it already was. I guess as they say... "while in Rome, do as the Romans do"... "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"... you get my drift... so, what else would you serve a hungry group of Germans for dinner... sandwiches?!? (what, did you think I would say beer and bratwurst?!?)
I have often laughed about this with my German husband that many families eat sandwiches EVERY night for dinner, but I gotta admit when it is really hot outside it does make a whole lot of sense... of course I had to put an "American twist" on it. I even pulled out our "finest" picnic silverware for a light dinner with my Mom's recipe for chicken salad, fresh croissants from the bakery, veggies and dip, and chips... simple, light, and easy! As expected, we had American flags welcoming our guests in the driveway and as table decorations too. (yeah, I know, just the kind of thing that so many people find to be so "cheesy" about Americans, but yet it is still so fun to do)
I do however, have to say that this was the very first 4th that I have watched a World Cup soccer game.... EVER! Probably because soccer does not fall into America's most beloved sport... maybe there is too much "competition" from other sports or perhaps it's that our team never makes very far in the World Cup for many to even care. (you know, fair-weathered-fans) So I've traded in cheering for red, white and blue and switched to black, red, and gold. (Germany's colors... not to mention that cheering for the winning team is much more fun!) I think "my boys" were really into the game....
The evening was capped off by a fresh lime pie that my friend brought topped with fresh strawberries and listening to the sounds of one of my husband's favorite CD's. (check out the samples here) His aunt picked this up as a gift for us a year ago while she was on vacation... she was very excited to have found something so "American" for us.
I am finding that the traditions that I once knew are evolving and developing into new ones. I love introducing a small piece of what makes me who I am to my friends and family. I guess the challenge that I will always have is holding onto that while embracing what is a part of the culture that makes my husband who he is.