Little Known Facts for Holiday Conversation, Woo-hoo Red White & Blue

The Statue of Liberty was not a gift from France to America.
We have all heard the shorthand that implies that the statue was exchanged government to government. In fact, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a mid-career statue maker, decided to pitch a country he had never visited before on his vision to build a massive lighthouse in the shape of a woman. In his diaries and letters, he described his journey to all corners of America, from Niagara Falls to Washington, D.C., from Chicago to Los Angeles, to explore this exotic land and drum up support.

When no significant government funding emerged, he contrived every possible fundraising strategy himself. He put on spectacles of wonder in Paris, charged visitors admission to watch the statue’s construction in a dusty workshop, sold souvenirs, and petitioned the French government to let him run a national lottery.

In the end it was Joseph Pulitzer, the American newspaper magnate, who helped him finish the job by printing the names of every person who donated even a penny to the cause. This strategy rapidly boosted the circulation of Pulitzer’s newspaper when readers bought a copy simply to see their names in the paper—a brilliant marketing strategy.

Tarragon Chicken 2

 Our 4th of July dinner was a little a touch and go as far as the storms threatening which finally passed us by so we could use the grill rotisserie for a bistro style roasted chicken seasoned with fresh tarragon, thyme, fresh lemon, salt and pepper.  I placed a drip pan below the chicken to catch-all of the juices for a lighter version of tarragon sauce rather than one with lots of cream.  Add a rough chopped shallot to the pan along with fresh several sprigs of tarragon, thyme and about 3/4 cup white wine.  Later, for the sauce remove herbs and shallot heat remaining pan juices and when hot melt in 2 tablespoons butter, serve over juicy chicken…I didn’t have much fat in the pan juices, but if you do feel free to defat.  All in all, I had about 1/2 cup pan sauce plenty for a small 3 pound chicken.  Season and stuff the cavity of a cleaned and dried small chicken with salt, pepper 1/2 lemon, several sprigs of fresh tarragon and thyme.  You can use dried herbs as well…make a butter rub with a couple of tablespoons of butter and chopped herbs to tuck ender the chicken skin or simply season the exterior with good amounts of herbs and butter.

Since I love Roquefort cheese I dug out one of my favorite simple salad recipes with a light dressing, additions of toasted walnuts and a good amount of cheese…the dressing 1 tablespoon walnut oil,1 tablespoon wine or champagne vinegar, a touch of Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and about another two tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil.  Whisk the dressing until emulsified, drizzle a little around the edges of the bowl, add your chosen lettuce mix (wild arugula,romaine, and a few leaves if assorted artisan lettuces), toss add walnuts and cheese toss and add more dressing to taste (I don’t like my salad swimming in dressing.

Serve dinner with a nice bottle f Rosé and a loaf of rustic bread

Finally dessert a fresh summer peach galette…Gallette Summer Peach