What We're Reading Now: July 4th, 2017

Happy Fourth of July! In preparation for today's festivities and the Fourth of July picnic I will host this evening, I've been spending the past few days cooking summer dishes and listening to stories about Americana, Independence Day, and all topics that are "American as Apple Pie."

New York Times Cooking July 4th Recipe Roundup: Haven't started cooking your Fourth of July feast? Never fear, the New York Times has got you covered. From classic potato salad, the best BBQ, and easy no-bake desserts to recipes that will even please your vegan guest, this roundup has something for everyone! I am particularly excited to enjoy the spinach-artichoke dip, a new twist on grilled corn - caramelized corn, and squash fritters. Click here to see the entire array of Fourth of July recipes that are guaranteed surpass your typical backyard cookout burger. 

11 Podcasts for the Fourth of July: I love to listen to podcasts while I cook. America's Test Kitchen Radio, This American Life, Two Dope Queens, and Prairie Home Companion have all kept me splendid company while cooking. In light of the Fourth of July, I sought out thematically appropriate listens. The New York Times made it easy with this Fourth of July podcast roundup that provides a variety of stories that you can really sink your teeth into. In particular, I was fascinated by This American Life's analysis of gun culture as it relates to American culture. If you are interested in lighter fare, take a listen to Planet Money's 2016 episode Peanuts and Cracker Jacks that sheds light on the interpersonal stories behind these quintessentially American snacks.

American Dignity on the Fourth of July: Even as we celebrate the independence of the United States of America, it is important to remember that freedom has not been granted for all. For many, the Fourth of July is a bitter reminder of the failed promises of our nation. I find it especially important that on a day proclaiming our independence, we acknowledge the ways in which our country deprives many of its own citizens of liberty. As David Remnick writes in an article that touches on injustices from slavery to events of the modern presidency, this is not reason for despair but transformation.