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July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth


This is the first time in a decade we've been here for the Fourth of July, and I'm not sure what to do with myself. I could clean my closets. (No kidding. That's one of the items on my list for this weekend.)

I don't even know what restaurants are open tonight, and I'm sure not cooking.

In past years we've spent the holiday in a small town in Tennessee, starting with a flag raising in the woods at 8 a.m. And then the fun just keeps coming: the dog and cat show, the cake contest, the cloggers and, of course, the parade. One year it had tanks, I'm not sure why.

For those more inured to crowds than I am (the population is, after all, 2,361), there are fireworks and a barbecue at the lake when it gets dark.

I'm very sad.

Or not. Wimbledon is on today, and for once I won't have to watch it on a screen the size of a postage stamp.


(Mauricio Rubio/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:33 AM | | Comments (20)


I'm eating a hotdog for breakfast. Mmmmm. Bacon and cheddar and pickles on multigrain. It's so good I wish I had eaten the same thing yesterday and the day before and the day before that. It's put me in a good, festive mood. I'm ready for the Fourth, the ensuing fireworks, perhaps some afternoon jaunting. At the same time, I think, "how odd ... hotdogs for breakfast. Maybe it's time to get my head examined?"
But then I read here that an otherwise normal, intelligent person is going to watch tennis. On TV. Willingly.
How liberating.
I believe I'll have another hotdog.

Well, actually, I'm not. Read the next post. I'm going to be watching it on my computer screen ( What's this health kick, BTW? Multi-grain hot dog bun? EL

jl, I see no reason to have your head examined. Hot dogs for breakfast...breakfast for's all food.

There was a point in Mrs. Bucky's career when she had to travel occasionally, leaving our pre-school age son and me to fend for ourselves.

The night before one trip she told Bucky Jr. that she would have to be gone for the rest of the week then paused, expecting, I guess, for him to ask, "Mom, do you have to?"

Bucky Jr.'s response: "WHOO-HOO!!! Pizza for breakfast!!!"

It may have been my proudest moment as a father.

You GO JL! It wouldn't be a holiday without Bacon.

1. Computer comshmuter. You're still watching tennis. Nobody does that. Tennis is for playing. Football is for watching.
2. I realize the multigrain is potentially reputation embarrassing. But in fact, I eat multigrain because I like the taste of it. Look at it as a culinary guideline: If, as in this case, a food happens to be "healthy" despite its pleasing flavor, eat it; your colon could probably use a break anyway.
3. Bucky, besides being a heartwarming reminder that there are still some American children being brought up in a proper, loving home, your pizza breakfast vignette brings up the question of what type of wine is best served with early morning pizza? For my purposes, assume toppings of pepperoni and sausage, and make adjustments from there. Personally, I like a big Chateau neuf du Pape, but I can stand a ripey Zin in a pinch. Or beer. Beer works. Might even be a bit easier on the little nipper's tum.
4. Bacon Girl I couldn't agree more. Bacon is the Benjamin Franklin of meat.

I am going to a pool party, where I can't swim because I just had surgery to take out my gallbladder. On the plus side my very generous co-workers gave me a gift certificate to Fogo De Chao as a get well and congratulations you can eat steak again without having a gallbladder attack. Oh and I made black olive dip for the party.

jl - I have to admit, I have no usable knowledge about wine and I wouldn't know a good beer if I drank one. (Remember, I'm from Colorado...)

Frankly, I've always thought of fermented spirits more as feedstock for distilleries.

Ms. Large, I am somewhat confused by all this tennis talk. This being the 4th of July, I would have guessed that any mention of sport in this space would have centered on the big Hot Dog eating contest to the north of y'all. I just saw "Breaking News" on ESPN--no, really, that's what they called it--that Chesnut defeated Kobayashi in extra dogs.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Breakfast at Wimbledon tomorrow, Bucky. EL

I was wondering when the big eat-off would hit this blog. I hate to think what eating that many hot dogs does to one's body ...

Mr. Bucky, again, you have fit into the Sandbox, so well, we forget you are a newbie, at least for history. Ms. Gailor Large (daughter of our Queen [another long story] was a tennis player of some repute, whilst at university. Tennis is certainly the family game (from comments made), so an unhealthy obsession with Messrs. Federer and Nadal can be excused.

JL and Bucky, if I recall my college days correctly, the proper combination is cold pizza and warm beer for breakfast. (and as we're talking about college here, good beer was out of the question) Though I guess we should cut Bucky Jr. a break on the cheap warm beer for at least a couple more years . . .

RtSO - I appreciate your filling me in. I Googled up the younger Ms. Large...she seems quite an impressive young woman.

Mr. Anonymous - again, I am from Colorado (and went to college in-state) so I've never had good beer. We drink Coors, instead. But, yes, now that I think about it, I believe the pizza for breakfast habit was, indeed, formed during my college years. I had never thought about that until you pointed it out.

Bucky, JL, Anonymous: I agree that pizza is perfectly acceptable for breakfast (not sure about the accompanying beer). When I was in graduate school, I rented a room from a wealthy couple who ate out often and they'd bring home a doggy bag for my 2 collies. [They owned a fair bit of land so they had room for both me and my dogs]. I would trim the leftovers and feed the "trimmings" to my dogs, and eat the rest myself.

Before you say EEEWWW in disgust, remember I was a poor student ('poor" as in not having much disposable income) and very happy to have something to eat that I didn't have to pay for. The bonus was, of course, supplementing my dogs' food.

To get back on the topic of beer (which is probably off the original topic anyway) I washed down the dogs' leftovers (which became mine) with Shaeffer's. It was the cheapest beer in NJ in the early 1990s.

Bucky - it's even worse than Coors Lite.

I went down to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, on the Mall (yay public transportation!). It was lots of fun, but more importantly, I had a very tasty Bhutanese dish. It had potatoes, chillies and cheese and was served with mixed red and white rice. Delicious.

For dinner, I went to the American Indian museum. I'm not so sure about the museum itself, but the restaurant is very good. They have different stations for different geographic regions. All kinds of stuff from quail to buffalo to frybread. Definitely worth a trip if you are down at the Smithsonian.

Made one of Mark Bittman's 101 Picnic recipes that was in the paper of record yesterday. Easy peasy: pasta, pesto and shrimp.

Oh, Lissa--we love the American Indian museum--give it another chance! On our first visit we spent hours and hours and could have spent many more there. Next time we will make time to try the restaurant.

Dahlink, it was way too visually busy, the artifacts weren't labeled and a lot of the overview material was so grossly oversimplified that I was shocked. They also did a horrible job of covering anything besides adult men. About the only thing that I liked was the inclusion of the Métis, although they only covered one community (did you know there were Métis in the US?).

Maybe it was the 4th of July crowds, but I didn't learn a thing.

Do try the restaurant, though. I could eat there every day for a month, happily, I bet.

Was introduced at a cookout yesterday to a beef cut that was new to me. Called tri tip. It's described as the lower piece of the sirloin. Very tender and tasty. Said to be inexpensive but found mostly on the West Coast. My host got it by special order at the butcher with the Italian name in Belvedere Square. A BBQ website says it's available at Costco, but that might still apply only on the West Coast.

Ceriello in Belvedere Square usually gets the tri tips on Fridays and sells out over the weekend. Current price $10.49 a pound.

I too love the cafeteria at the American Indian Museum. It is definitely a little pricier than the other museum cafeterias but the quality and variety are worth the price, at least in my humble opinion. Get there early. It gets crowded during the summer months.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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