Here’s what the 4th of July looks, smells and sounds like in my neck of the woods:
Wall-to-wall people camped out at the beach from early morning on in order to have a good spot to watch the fireworks over Elliott Bay and Queen Anne.
Traffic backed up from the bridge all the way to and from the beach all day and until the very early morning hours.
The twin smells of barbecue and wood fires, combined later with sulpher from the fireworks themselves.
Boom boxes blaring, kids running around laughing, squealing, adults talking over too much beer and sun…but all having a pretty good holiday.
And food. Chips, hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza, take-out chicken, store-bought cherry pie…a cornucopia of processed american food.
Which brings me to the Slow Food, an international organization with over 80,000 members started in 1986 as a reaction to McDonald’s and other american fast food enterprises. They focus on the intersection of community, farming, food production, taste, health, and the pure enjoyment of real, unprocessed food. Their mission statement:
We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. Our movement is founded upon this concept of eco-gastronomy – a recognition of the strong connections between plate and planet.
Anyone who gets their food at a local farmer’s market is part of the slow food movement, whether they realize it or not. Anyone who takes the time to prepare their meals, who cares about what goes in their body, or who enjoys real, unprocessed food, or prefers restaurants that use local fresh and organic produce is part of the slow food movement. Because in our culture, it is much easier to just buy a bag of chips, pick up some hot dogs or burgers, grab a mass-produced pizza and knock back a six pack of fast-brewed beer.
We have come to expect so little from our food. In a fast food world, it’s all about quantity, not quality. In a slow food world, those values are reversed.
So, anyway, I spent the day with pals (so great to hang with your girl gang, Di!) and had lunch at the Pike Place Market. Later I rode home to spend the evening with some more friends; we had slow cooked spicy black beans, rice, guacamole, corn tortillas, salad, and a fresh fruit crisp with cherries from our own pie-cherry tree in the backyard…and man, was it good! How was your 4th?
Daily stats: (Wednesday)
Bike: 15 miles
Bus: 1.5 miles
Water taxi: 2 miles
Ped: approx 2 miles