Today has been such an odd day. It's my first Fourth of July away from home, not being in the USA. Last summer I made a three week trip to the States from June into July, so I got to celebrate as usual with fireworks, friends, and family. Today has been pretty anti-climactic all day as it's just been another day here in Sweden.
In the late afternoon I decided to make something of it and go to the store to get some cookout/grill food! On my way walking to the local food store, I walked by a man whom I felt I immediately knew was another American - I just had a feeling. When we got up close and passed one another I saw his shirt was red, white and blue and had "USA" embroidered on the left side of his chest. I nearly opened my mouth in passing to ask if he was another American, as wearing that shirt couldn't have been coincidence. After nearly two years in Sweden, though, I kept my mouth shut out of habit. It put a smile on my face the rest of the way to the store, though, knowing that in all likelihood I'd passed another countryman out to celebrate (he had a bag full of food, as well, no doubt for cooking out).
Here is evidence of my 4th of July "feast," as J dubbed it. We'll definitely be having leftovers tomorrow for lunch and/or dinner.
I decided to make a new recipe for the baked beans. It included 2 cans of Heinz baked beans (I was glad to find some cans of them!), ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper. I also fried some bacon, crumbled it, and mixed it in. They turned out great! I ended up buying an engångsgrill (one time grill) since the only one we have is electric and we can't really use it anymore. It's really just for balconies. As you can probably guess, you use it just once and then throw it out. It worked well for our burgers and hot dogs. J complimented me on our fine dinner! I enjoy sharing American culture whenever I can, which I feel happens all too rarely.
Later I may even convince J to come outside with me and light some sparklers. We have some leftover from the New Years celebrations this past year (Swedes use sparklers then, not in the summer!). Since I don't get to view any fireworks, at least we can play with some sparklers, right?
Happy Fourth of July to everyone! Happy Birthday, America!