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11:01 PM July 14th, 2017

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By: Aissa A. Dela Cruz, July 14th, 2017 11:01 PM

Grilled onions, asparagus, peppers and zucchini

THE FOURTH of July or Independence Day is an annual federal holiday in the United States of America commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The second US President John Adams envisioned fireworks as part of the festivities of “Pomp & Parade.”

Independence Day means BBQ, fireworks, parades, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, family reunions and, of course, political speeches and ceremonies.

July 4th this year fell on a Tuesday, which meant a long weekend for Americans. My daughter Patricia carefully planned our Independence Day weekend. We were celebrating the 4th of July in Lake George in Warren County at the base of the Adirondack Mountains, in the northeastern part of New York.

Lake George is a summer colony, a term often used in USA and Canada to describe well-known resorts and upper class enclaves located near oceans or mountains or great lakes with New England historic communities. The road trip is approximately four hours, and it’s a nice leisurely drive with scenic views along the way. We had to cross the Hudson River passing through the old Iconic Tappan Zee Bridge where a new $4 billion was finishing completion. Tappan means an Indian tribe while Zee is a Dutch term for sea.

Our weekend accommodations, Brookside Motel & Cabins, are beautifully located amidst lush trees where a brook with clear waters ripples behind the rooms. A swimming pool is located on one side of the sprawling property.

Tables and BBQ grills are available for picnickers. Most of the hotels, motels and inns were fully booked for the long weekend.

Like most summer destinations, the owner explains that his property is closed for the winter. As soon as we were settled, my grandkids Silvian and Sabrina jumped into the pool while I marveled at the rippling brook and simply listened to the sounds of nature.

Late afternoon, we chose a grill beside the rippling brook where a fire pit with piles of logs was close by Patricia’s husband George, whom we call Barbecue Master since he is an expert in grilling, prepared the grill while Silvian set up logs on the fire pit.

Evenly sliced onions, zucchini, bell peppers and asparagus were lined up on the grill as soon as the charcoal briquettes were red hot. Grilling vegetable is one of the best ways to enjoy veggies – smoky, sweet, drizzled with balsamic, olive oil salt and pepper.

Mititei or Mici, a traditional Romanian grilled sausage made of ground mixture of beef, lamb and pork with spices such as garlic, black pepper, coriander, thyme and savory (aromatic satureja related to rosemary and thyme native to North Africa) and Karnati or Romanian sausage sizzled on the grill.

Lamb chops and Rib Eye steak completed the barbecue menu.

Eating from the grill to the plate is one of the best ways to enjoy meats and veggies! I skipped the steak and ate several tender succulent lamb chops after enjoying the Romanian sausages, which I washed down with chilled white wine.

Meanwhile, the fire pit was ablaze, giving the evening a magical, relaxed mood.

Sabrina, the Smores expert, started roasting skewered marshmallows over the blaze with Silvians’ help.

As soon as the marshmallows were gooey, she sandwiched these between graham crackers layered with two thin blocks of Hershey’s milk chocolate.

She gently presses the sandwich and presto! … warm Smores for dessert. They were scrumptious! Dinner under the stars amist nature was simply unforgettable!

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TAGS: 4th, bbq, George, july, Lake, village
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