First, let's change The American National Anthem. Then let's have dessert.
Nothing like combining politics and dessert.
With July Fourth coming up, properly patriotic cooks are looking for something red, white, and blue to serve up for the holiday. I’ve got it. But first you’ve got to read a little rant.
I figured, wrongly as usual, that by the time we hit the year two thousand, as a nation we’d have had enough of using a song from the War of 1812 as our national anthem. This song, inspired by one battle in one war that repeats the worthy refrain “land of the free and the home of the brave”, was written before The Emancipation Proclamation, before Women’s Suffrage, and before Civil Rights. We still do not have an Equal Rights Amendment in our Constitution and many civil rights battles are still being fought.
Congress voted to make The Star Spangled Banner our National Anthem in 1931, at the depths of The Depression. Perhaps reality and Prozac could be employed to send a message that it’s time to snap out of it. What about a Congressional reconsideration?
Enough with the “rocket’s red glare and bombs bursting in air”. It’s hard to defend the following excerpt from the last stanza: “Then conquer we must, when our cause is just” after living through the horrors and mistakes in Viet Nam, and other misguided efforts.
Plus, technically, the song is out of our range. Gosh, it’s hard to reach some of those notes.
What should a reasonable group of people be encouraged to sing about when we celebrate our continued growth as a remarkable ongoing experiment in democracy?
What about a better song to use for celebrations and ball games?
We’ve had musical high points with the Star Spangled Banner. Jimmy Hendricks comes to mind.
Really low points. Roseanne Barr Arnold Roseanne did a bad, bad thang.
But since I live in the state with THE greatest state song, “Georgia On My Mind” I could die happy if Ray Charles version of “America the Beautiful” would become our official national anthem. We’ve had a bloody past. “America the Beautiful” is a song most of us could sing proudly and with hope for the future. “Crown thy good, with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.” Now that’s a sentiment I can wrap myself around.
You’ve been patient. I thank you. Your reward is Cream of the Crop, a dessert to die for. This time of year it can be red, white, and blue.
Cream of the Crop
2 cups light cream or Half + Half
1 cup sugar
Combine 2 envelopes of gelatin
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons of real vanilla
2 cups of real sour cream
16 oz of berries (strawberries and blueberries)
*Use frozen if you prefer syrup; use fresh if you prefer garnish
Put cream and sugar in top of double boiler. Add the gelatin you’ve softened in the water, stirring until all ingredients are dissolved and very slightly bubbling.
(During stirring might be a good time to hum “America the Beautiful”)
Cool in the refrigerator until slightly thick. Fold in vanilla and the sour cream until even. ( I use a wire whisk)
Pour into your prettiest glass bowl and replace in refrigerator to solidify. Chill until firm. (approximately 3 hours) Just before serving, plop the berries on top. With fresh berries, it's good to mush some ahead of time to provide syrup. With frozen berries, thaw just until they half icy. Very refreshing. The stark white of the pudding will show off the colors of the berries on top.