The way to a man’s heart this Fourth of July is through his stomach…

6_First Wireless newspaper

Social Media at an early age—Everyone thought the smart phone was the product that created social media. No it wasn’t. In 1938 the first wireless newspaper was sent from WOR radio station in New York. This photo shows children reading a page from a Missouri news paper via a primitive fax machine.

…but not with girlie food. A man wants man food on the 4th of July.

Throughout history man was expected to provide for his family and have the ability to ‘bring home the bacon.’ If you didn’t, you might have to ‘save your bacon,’ or get the ‘cold shoulder.’ Then you would have to leave and ‘chew the fat’ with somebody. It could be pretty tough at times. In those days the wife usually cooked the meal.

Feeding for man improved a bit when Mr. Swanson invented the frozen TV dinner whereby you could eat fried chicken or Salisbury steak while watching fireworks on TV without leaving your easy chair. In some critical situations, men had to cook for themselves.

My dad’s WW II generation didn’t cook. They expected the wife to cook. Dad made an occasional sardine sandwich, a talent he passed down to me. Men in our Baby Boomer generation learned how to cook. Outdoor charcoal grills became popular for steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs and ribs. Most entree were accompanied by Mr. Van Camp’s ever-popular pork n’ beans.

Early on in a young man’s life he learned to appreciate good food like pork n’ beans. Boy Scouts were taught by their scoutmasters to enjoy a pot of beans around the campfire. Cowboys ate tons of beans heated over a blazing fire but called them “whistle berries” for some unknown reason.  In the woods on a camping trip or on a cattle drive a man doesn’t worry too much about what is accepted social behavior. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to eat a pot-full of “whistle berries” before going down to a city commission meeting.

Since the Fourth of July is just around the corner the lady of the house should steer clear of fixing anything that doesn’t sound masculine or patriotic. For instance, men don’t care for anything like a dish labeled ‘Quiche Lorraine.’ It sounds like a foreign country and doesn’t sit well on the Fourth.

Stay away from food with the word ‘loaf’ attached to it. A loaf of something could contain hidden ingredients like pickles. Sausage, on the other hand, is not a loaf and contains tasty animal parts. It’s ok.

‘Canapés,’ are absolutely not appropriate. Finger food should only be available at the bridge club.  ‘Puffs’ are another delicate faRE full of air and no sustenance, usually served along with ‘canapés.’ Pate’ comes from a blender which could be prepared from old bologna. Don’t be fooled by fancy foreign names.

Date Cheese Dreams have a camel-like flavor, good for weddings but not fireworks. Doing a ‘Soufflé’ sounds like a dance we did to James Brown’s, “I Feel Good.” Soufflé’ is a good morning dish but not suitable with beer.   ‘Stuffed Cabbage Surprise’ sounds dangerous especially if you have guests over on the Fourth. Should be eaten unwrapped. ‘All Bran Rolls’ can be consumed by your older guests.

Men enjoy food like Shish Kabobs that are speared with metal stakes cooked over open flame. Takes them back to having to kill for food.  Fried Country Ham is good too, cause it’s from down on the farm and was smoked. For that matter, anything fried is good. Ribs, pig or beef require using your hands. Donuts are tasty too cause Elvis liked ‘em.

Eating fried fish or fresh red snapper on the Fourth of July is great as it requires a fishing excursion. Again, be sure to include baked beans which add another camping trip. Cooking a tasty beef tenderloin begs for technical skill, correct timing, and beer and tongs for grilling.  And if you really want a fun Fourth put steamed oysters on the menu. Drive to the beach and grill by the ocean.

As a last resort, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your husband or boyfriend, invented by Skippy Smith over in Mount Airy. The PB&J has saved many a man.

So ladies, for this Fourth of July, fix your man some “real man food.” Keep the quiche and let him do all the cooking. I’m having beans and a Whoopie Pie for dessert.


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