Declaration of Independence. Contrary to popular belief, the declaration wasn't signed by all of the delegates on July 4, 1776. Instead, it was initially approved on July 2, 1776. The delegates then continued debating and slightly revised it the following day and formally adopted it on the Fourth of July. Most historians agree that the Declaration wasn’t signed by all the delegates (with a few holdouts) until nearly a month later, on August 2, 1776.
July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife Abigail, describing
these momentous events. This, in part, is what he wrote:
second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of
America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding
generations as the great anniversary festival...It ought to be solemnized with
pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and
illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time
forward forever more.
no one knows what the delegates ate on those momentous days, biographers say that Adams was fond of Green Sea Turtle Soup, Indian Pudding and other simple foods of his New England youth. Gooseberry Fool, a traditional eighteenth century British and early American dish, was another Adams family favorite.
As an example of how national foodways change over time,
gooseberries were abundant in John's day, but aren't widely available in the
United States today. So, if you can't find gooseberries in your local grocery store, you can use blueberries or raspberries. Either way, this delicious, nutritious, and refreshingly sweet little treat would make a great addition to your Fourth of July festivities this week!
If you'd like to whip up some Gooseberry Fool today, here's a simple and simply delicious recipe to try from epicurious.com
cups pink or green gooseberries (or blueberries)
cup granulated sugar
cup well-chilled heavy cream
cup crème fraîche
cup superfine granulated sugar
off tops and tails of gooseberries and halve berries lengthwise. In a heavy
skillet cook berries and granulated sugar over moderate heat, stirring
occasionally until liquid is thickened, about 5 minutes. Simmer mixture, mashing
with a fork to a coarse puree, 2 minutes more. Chill puree, covered, until cold,
about 1 hour, and up to 1 day.
a bowl with an electric mixer beat heavy cream with crème fraîche until it holds
soft peaks. Add superfine sugar and beat until mixture just holds stiff peaks.
Fold chilled puree into cream mixture until combined well. Fool may be made 3
hours ahead and chilled, covered.
Declaration of Independence, painting by John Trumball