Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Going American

Jen F. Vega - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - A roaring grill and an icy brew are almost as integral to July Fourth as fireworks. But  today’s burgers and beers affairs bear little resemblance to the buffet served during US’  first Independence Day. America declared itself a sovereign nation with the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Celebrations followed almost immediately, but on the first anniversary — when the new nation was embroiled in fighting to establish the freedom it had so boldly declared — the Continental Congress decided to put on a good face with a full-on party. That first Fourth of July is believed to have taken place at City Tavern, the Philadelphia public house that hosted many a gathering of the founding fathers. Tavern chef Walter Staib says the menu likely would have been based on the recipes of British culinary authority Hannah Glasse, whose book “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” dictates not only every dish of the three-course dinner, but where it should be placed on the table. Glasse’s July menu suggests the signers of the Declaration would have supped on roast turkey and fricasseed rabbit, pigeon, crawfish and lobsters. There would have been tongue and turnips and lamb testicles. And for dessert, apricot tarts and roasted apples, plums, jellies and custards. Because Philadelphia was a major port, the meal likely also would have included delicacies from abroad, Staib says.

Limes from the West Indies were used for lime curd. Exotic fruit such as mangoes, pineapples and coconuts might have been available, as well as spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and vanilla. Plus, there was local seafood, such as salmon, sturgeon and oysters. “Think of McDonald’s,” Staib says. “This was oysters in Philadelphia. They were fried in cornmeal, poached, they were everywhere. Some of the largest oyster banks were right here in the Delaware (River).” Outside the tavern and in various cities throughout the former colonies, artillery salutes, military bands and grand speeches entertained the masses, says James Heintze, librarian emeritus at American University in Washington, D.C. A newspaper account of the Philadelphia celebration reports “a grand exhibition of fireworks.”

“That very first celebration set up the components of what all future celebrations would have,” Heintze says. “It was all organized.” The masses watching these events may have munched on oysters, pepperpot stew or tripe at the many food stalls that Staib says populated Philadelphia at the time. Or, says Heintze, they may have ducked into an alehouse for some turtle soup.

“Turtle soup was served in grand style on the Fourth of July,” says Heintze, who has found it listed in the advertisements of taverns all along the coast. Heintze says these American traditions were firmly in place up and down the Eastern Seaboard by the 1790s, and that they spread west during the early 19th century. Congress declared July 4 an unpaid holiday in 1870. In 1938, it was made it paid day off. One thing revelers would not have done on July 4? Had a picnic. “It was only for the leisured classes to do that,” says food historian Sandy Oliver. Picnics of that day were elaborate affairs that involved servants packing up your meal and shepherding you to the countryside, where tables were set under tents to protect your fair complexion.

“If you were a commoner during the Fourth of July and you had just been to the parade and seen the artillery shot off and listened to some speech by some prominent person in your town, you might have tucked some crackers and cheese in your pocket and eaten that while you were listening,” Oliver said. Meager though it was, the feast of pocket lint and cheese may have ended the way we end a July fourth meal today: with a treat. “There were lots of pastry shops all around here, and ice cream shops,” Staib says. “People could easily go around and find all kinds of good stuff to eat.” – Michele Kayal, AP (FREEMAN)



Here are a few of our favorite American fares:


Michelle Obama’s Spinach Pie


1 9-in unbaked piecrust

2 tbsp. olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

1 lb. fresh spinach, well-washed and drained

Salt & pepper

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup half-and-half

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1 tsp. chopped freshly thyme leaves

6 oz. feta, crumbled

8 oz. Swiss cheese, grated



1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Place piecrust on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.

2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add garlic and onion and sauté until translucent, five to seven minutes. Do not let garlic burn. Add spinach, a little at a time, and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.

3. In a bowl, whisk eggs and half-and-half. Add lemon zest and thyme. Add spinach, feta and half the Swiss cheese and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Pour carefully into piecrust and sprinkle remaining Swiss cheese evenly over the top.

5. Bake for about 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves six to eight.

(Reprinted from People Magazine, June 4, 2012 issue)


American Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf


6 slices sandwich bread (big)

1 cup milk

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup minced parsley

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic minced (optional)

4 eggs lightly beaten

10 thin bacon slices

1 ½ cups ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. dry mustard

½ teaspoon hot sauce



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Pour milk over bread slices in a small bowl; let it stand for five minutes.

3. Combine bread, beef and next seven ingredients in a large bowl. Shape mixture into a 9x5-inch. loaf. Place on lightly greased rack in a foil-lined broiler pan. Arrange bacon over loaf horizontally, overlapping slices and tucking under loaf.

4. Whisk ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour 1/3 of mixture over top of meatloaf. Bake for 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.






Wood chips, for smoking




4 racks baby back ribs, at least 2 pounds each

2 lemons, halved

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce (optional)



2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons McCormick’s Worcestershire Ground Black Pepper Blend (or other black pepper)

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper



Soak wood chips in a bowl of water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, to make the rub, in a medium bowl, combine rub ingredients and mix well. If you prefer a finer texture, the ingredients can be combined in a spice grinder. Set aside. Any extra rub can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.

Prepare grill for indirect heat at medium-low. You are aiming to maintain a temperature of 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If using a charcoal grill, place soaked wood chips directly on hot charcoals. If using a gas grill, place wood chips in a smoking box and set into the grill according to product directions.

Squeeze and rub 1 lemon half over each rack of ribs. Sprinkle ribs liberally with spice rub, then let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Place ribs, bone-side down, in center of cooking grate, or in a rib holder or rack. Grill, covered, for 2 to 3 hours, or until meat is tender and has pulled back from the ends of the rib bones. Begin checking ribs after 1½ hours in case your grill is running hot.

Leave ribs unattended and without opening the grill cover for the first 30 minutes. If the ribs start to burn at the edges, stack them on top of one another in the very center of the grill and lower the heat slightly. Ten minutes before serving, brush ribs with barbecue sauce, if using.

Remove ribs from grill and place on a clean platter. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into individual portions. AP


Westend Bistro Burger

(French chef Eric Ripert looked to some successful fast food burger joints for some inspiration when creating his Westend bistro burger.)



28 ounces ground sirloin (85 percent lean)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

4 challah buns

2 tablespoons butter, softened

4 slices cheddar cheese

4 pickle slices

Ketchup and Dijon mustard to taste

1 beefsteak tomato, sliced into four 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced, soaked in ice water until crisp

4 leaves crisp romaine lettuce, shredded



Form the beef into four 7-ounce patties. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill to medium. Lightly oil the grates. Grill the burgers, flipping once, to desired doneness. Cover and set aside. Brush the insides of the buns with the softened butter and grill until golden. Set aside. Heat the broiler. Top each burger with a slice of the cheese, then place under the broiler until just melted. Place each burger on the bottom half of a roll. Top with a pickle, then ketchup and mustard, then the tomato, onion and lettuce. Finish with the top of the bun. AP



The waterpark adventure gets a boost the country’s only five-star water park resort, Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort  & Spa, brings you a bigger “Waterpark Adventure” with brand-new inclusions that give you all the more reason to love it.


Dining options have been expanded. Take your pick from lunch or dinner buffet at Familia Buffet Restaurant or dinner set menu meal at Café Amiga, Coral Seaside Restaurant, Cheon San Chinese Restaurant, or Maru Korean Restaurant.

Moreover, indulge in a delectable international bill of fare or spend the night in any of 556 plush guestrooms at 20 percent off, while kids get three hours of fun, games and learning in the Kids Club.

These come in addition to hours of fun in a water park with five themed pools and waterslides – including the ultimate for the thrill-seeker, the 156.56 meter Tube Slide.

All inclusions are valid for the duration of a “Waterpark Adventure” stay. This offer is available at only P3,500 nett per person to Philippine residents and tourists, including Koreans with any valid local identification.

Gather your family and friends for an astounding escapade. Go on the “Waterpark Adventure” today.

For more information regarding the “Waterpark Adventure” and other offers at Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort & Spa, call (032) 494-5000 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, visit www.imperialpalace-cebu.com or thepalacecebu on Facebook.

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