Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day & Nana's Barbeque

Fourth of July weekend around our home is full of many celebrations, our daughter Sarah's birthday is July 3rd, so we get to celebrate her birthday and then the Fourth of July. It always makes for a fun full weekend of celebration.

This year for her birthday Sarah requested a trip to the zoo, she loves animals, and our family has enjoyed many trips to the zoo over the years. I will be posting about our zoo trip later this week, we had a lot of fun and I got great pictures of the whole family. I will share this one picture now, a perfect one for fourth of July. This is a beautiful bald eagle that we saw while we were there, the Eagle exhibit is wonderful, you can see the birds close up, and they are majestic.

We had a small BBQ to celebrate the fourth, and in addition to standard BBQ food, I wanted another option as well. I decided it would be a perfect day to make some of my Nana's Barbeque. This recipe is similar to Sloppy Joe's, but is has a slightly different taste, and is perfect to serve on a summer day. My Nana (my great grandma) was a wonderful cook, she raised her family during the great depression, and could make foods stretch, I love hearing my grandma tell stories of the way they ate and lived back then, such a rich history, I never tire of hearing these stories. This is a family favorite recipe that has been passed down.

Nana's Barbeque

2 lbs ground beef
2 large onions
2 cups chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups canned tomato
1/4 cup ketchup
3 Tablespoon Minute Tapioca
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder

Brown and drain burger in a large soup pot, set aside. Saute onion and celery in the same pan used to brown burger until soft (I premade the ground meat, so I sauteed in a little olive oil). Add tomato, salt, and ketchup- add back in the meat. Simmer for 20 minutes, add chili powder and tapioca. Simmer for an hour. Add a little more tomato if too thick and more tapioca if too thin. Serve on Hamburger Buns.

I made this in a crock pot and cooked it on high for about four hours rather than on the stove, I liked it in the crock pot so that it would stay warm for the BBQ.

Another thing I do a little different than the original recipe is add about a Tablespoon or two of sugar- it helps cut down the acidic quality of the tomato and spice- our whole family enjoys slightly sweeter than tangy tomato dishes and I almost always include some sugar when cooking with tomato. The recipe turned out great, and we had a bunch left over which makes for wonderful leftovers. This mixture also is wonderful served over pasta.

We had a very fun time lighting our fire works out front, I love how everyone in the neighborhood is out with children having fun watching fireworks. Our small town hosts a big rodeo with fireworks for fourth of July weekend- the whole town comes alive- as well as the sky filled with fireworks. I love it, very fun town to live in for Independence Day. I hope everyone had a fun celebration.

Independence Day celebrates our freedom, true freedom comes from our Lord Jesus.

I will leave you with a couple of verses -

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32


  1. We have bald eagles around here, but it would be nice to see them up close. They really are a big bird aren't they? Galatians 5:1 should be our national motto. I think too many people have forgotten it.

  2. Hello Jane, Bald Eagles are huge, I have seen them a few times here in Oregon, the best one I ever saw in the wild was at the Oregon Coast flying right over head fishing, and then bringing its catch to the beach to eat, it was amazing, and very close to us.

    Yes, Galatians 5:1 would be a great national motto, very important one to remember. Hope you are having a nice summer day. ~April


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