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A Quiet Fourth of July

Posted: Jul 04, 2007

It is a strangely quiet Fourth of July on the river. Due to the devastating drought, the water level is unusually low, discouraging most boaters and skiers at this end of the river, and the "no burn" order makes setting off fireworks risky and, under some circumstances, illegal.

North Alabama is experiencing its most severe drought in over a century. The rainfall is twenty inches under its usual thirty-two inches. The water level in some area lakes is as much as ten feet below normal. Farmers are selling off cattle in record numbers because of the shortage of feed, and those who raise corn, cotton, peanuts, and soybeans expect to lose up to 80% of their crop. This week Alabama was declared a disaster area by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And it is only the fourth of July.

Scattered thunderstorms have brought a modicum of relief to some areas, but the drought persists. Fruit has been another of the many casualties. There were almost no strawberries to be had this spring, few blueberries, and I doubt there will be many, if any, peaches. It is indeed going to be a long, hot summer.

The good news, however, is that on this day there is so much to celebrate. And there is still plenty of Whitt's BBQ to be served to your guests. For those of you who prefer to barbecue your own chicken or pork, here is the long awaited recipe for that mouth-watering white sauce. This particular recipe comes from Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q, but there are numerous variations.

Big Bob Gibson's White Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider
Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well.

So eat up, have fun, be safe, and celebrate our freedoms: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!!!

--Penne J. Laubenthal

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telastar says...

Hi Penne... Way back when I left Bama - I had wrangled the White Sauce recipe from a friendly manager at Big Bob's and have turned gourmets far and wide onto this delight. Thanks for this up-date to the original. In my travels the recipe has gotten modified somewhat. When I lived in Florida - I sub-bed Key Lime juice for the lemon juice. Changed sugar to brown sugar. Added a bit of paprika and garlic powder along the way. Since almost day one - I changed the plain vinegar to apple cider vinegar, since it calls for apple cider anyway. These do not change the basic white sauce, but the tweaks -each & every one - add another nuance of flavor. While on 'apple cider'-in apple pie crust- most call for a bit of Ice Water... if you sub apple cider - gives the crust an added layer of flavor... Likewise Kearn's Peach or Apricot Necture sub-bed in Peach or Apricot Cobbler crust. WOWie.! Thanks for the web address - I am enjoying 'swampland' immensely! Cheers... Max .=.

StorianLeigh says...

Quiet freedom! Who can beat that?

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