I cry when I sing our National Anthem. I cry when I say the Pledge of Allegiance to my country. I cry when I see our uniformed military. I am an American through and through. I was taught this loyalty and devotion by my father, Joseph Korzecki, in Saginaw, Michigan. The love he felt for his country was evident in all he said and did for all the days of his life. He passed away at the age of 88 years, but I can tell you this without a doubt - if his country, even in his advanced years, called on him to protect its freedom, his would not have hesitated to do so.
Today, the United States of America plays in the World Cup. Win - lose - or draw, I am a proud of the fact that our team has made it to play in South Africa during this momentous time in history. To celebrate our participation at the World Cup I would like to share some things with you that I consider to be all American - through and through.
8 apples - peeled & sliced (half Granny Smith, half Macintosh)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter – chilled and sliced
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter, cold & cubed
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water
Egg - lightly beaten for egg wash
Cinnamon sugar for dusting
In a food processor combine the flour, salt, sugar and pulse. Add in the butter and slowly gradually add the ice water. Pulse until dough just comes together. Don’t overwork the dough or it will make a tough crust.
Remove the dough from processor. Cut into two equal sections. Pat sections into discs and wrap in plastic wrap and place into refrigerator. Chill for 1 hour. (can be frozen for future use)
In a small mixing bowl bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar & flour, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add the peeled and sliced apples. Sprinkle spice and flour mixture over apples. Toss to coat.
Remove one chilled disc of dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface, large enough to cover your pie pan. Shape to fit, cutting off any excess.
Pour apple mixture into pie pan and add your sliced butter to the top of the mixture. Remove second dough disk from refrigerator and roll out large enough to fit the top of your pie with an overhang. Place pie dough on top of apple mixture and crimp edges to seal. With a knife, add four slits to your piecrust. Lightly brush egg wash onto top of dough. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.
Place onto a baking tray into preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes or until golden brown & bubbly. Allow pie to rest until cool before slicing. Refrigerate any uneaten portions.
In order to prevent the crust edge from getting too dark when baked, I will cover the outer edge with foil. Works like a charm!
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
God Bless America!
The U.S. team was delayed twice Friday when elephants blocked the road, the second back-up coming as the squad was traveling to its training session at Royal Bafokeng Stadium. The elephant was munching on a tree as the Americans left the Bakubung Bush Lodge, and it moved to the side of the road after about 4 minutes.
"Everybody had their cell phones out, pictures were being taken," coach Bob Bradley said. "It was all part of the experience."
Earlier in the afternoon, a bus carrying 10 players on their way to an open-air market at the entrance to the team hotel got stuck behind an elephant, spokesman Michael Kammarman said. Players had timed the trip to get back to the hotel in time for the start of the World Cup opener between South Africa and Mexico.
Signs outside the U.S. hotel warn: "ELEPHANTS COME CLOSE TO OUR FENCE KEEP A DISTANCE OF 30 METERS AND PLEASE BE QUIET" and "BABOONS ARE DANGEROUS – PLEASE KEEP CLEAR OF THEM AND DO NOT FEED THEM." Another one reads, "THIS IS BIG 5 TERRITORY TREAT THE ANIMALS WITH RESPECT AND THEY WILL RETURN THE COMPLIMENT."
"It was cool," U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra said of the up-close encounter with the animal kingdom. "A big elephant, just eating on the path out of our hotel."
It wasn't clear if the same elephant caused both delays. Or whether it will now have a starring role in Saturday's coverage by Walt Disney-owned ABC.
FOOTNOTE: US - 1, ENGLAND -1