Dear America, Happy 4th of July, Love from Australia

The biggest party on the US calendar is just around the corner: the 4th of July. Those outside of the US would be forgiven for thinking that the 4th of July is a festival to celebrate drinking beer and lighting things on fire. I was lucky enough to be in America for the 4th of July celebrations back in 2006 and I can vouch that this celebration is about so much more than drinking and blowing stuff up!

The 4th of July is Independence Day, a celebration of when the American people threw off their oppressive overlords, led by President Will Smith.

Okay, I’ll stop now. The 4th of July is a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a pivotal point in the American Revolution. The 4th of July celebrations are in honour of the sacrifices made by the soldiers who fought in this war in order that the American people could have the freedoms that they enjoy today… Such as drinking beer and lighting things on fire!

When asked, without a split second of doubt said that she wanted Chili Dogs and Mustard Mash for her 4th of July party. These are a pair of simple recipes that put together, will offer some amazingly tasty treats for you and your family or guests.

Chili Dogs 1

So simple, so tasty

Light the side burner on your BBQ and set it to its lowest setting. Also, light the burners under your hotplate and set them to medium.

Chili Dogs 2

Mmmm… Lard….

Put a medium sized saucepan on the side burner and put some shortening in it. Once it melts, add the flour and stir it in until it is smooth. Once smooth, add some of your smoked chili powder. Then slowly add some cold water, salt, garlic powder and oregano.

Chili Dogs 4

Who thought lava could be so tasty?

Put the lid on the saucepan and let it simmer.

Chili Dogs 3Sausages topped with mince and bacon – what’s not to love?

While the sauce is simmering away, put some extra virgin olive oil on the hotplate and work it around. Put on your mince, bacon and diced onion. Let it cook up until it’s nicely browned. Once it’s browned, add it to the saucepan, stir it in and put the lid back on. Once your time is up, put it somewhere to stay warm.

Chili Dogs 5

Congratulations: your chili is done!

At this stage, you have two choices. You can either cook your potatoes and sausages at the same time or boil the potatoes first and then the frankfurts. If you really like, you could cook these inside on the stove but… we’re all about doing this on the BBQ!

In a large saucepan, put the potatoes and boil them until soft. While these are boiling you can cook your sausages.

Chili Dogs 8

I’ll take a sausage over a frankfurt anyday…

Once the potatoes are done, mash them all up. Add some diced capsicums and onions and stir them in. Now, add equal measures of mayonnaise and sour cream until you have a texture/flavour that you like. At this point, add the yellow mustard, a little at a time, until you have a taste that you like: remember – you can always add more, but you can’t take it away!

Chili Dogs 7

You can boil your dogs now if you need to

To serve, slice open a hot dog bun and put in a sausage or frankfurt. Spoon some chili over the top. Then dish up some Mustard Mash and some plain potato chips. An ice cold Budweiser, and you’re ready to set fire to something!

Chili Dogs 9

‘Oh say, can you see…’

And no party would be complete without a cake!Chili Dogs 10

Happy Birthday America!

How will you be celebrating the 4th of July? Let me know in the comments below!

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