I can say that as a young child, I was always grateful to live in this country. My father was an immigrant from the Philippines and his story of how he stayed in this country is truly remarkable. I definitely won't do it justice on my little blog.
As the eldest of 10 children, my dad left the stardom of a growing music and acting career in the Philippines to come to America and live the American dream. He came with his friend on student visas and looked for work. Unfortunately, no one would accept my dad's architecture degree from the Philippines so it was very hard to find work. Time was running out and my dad was trying to do anything to earn money to survive and send to his family.
He saw a flyer for an art contest in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. So with some left over paints he found in the trash (all shades of brown) and an old wooden cupboard door, my dad painted a portrait of Dr. King and submitted it.
To make a long story short (we'll save the long version for a movie I'll write one day) he won the city, then regional, then state competitions. His painting was then representing California in a national competition, which he won. When a reporter asked him what was next in his life, my dad truthfully stated that he was being deported. Upon hearing this, Dr. King's wife gave my dad what so many people aren't offered...a chance. She arranged to have him stay in the country where he eventually met my mom and had three wonderful kids (yes, I'm biased). He has also had one of his paintings on display in the Smithsonian museum...which I think it pretty cool. So did he get his American dream? He and my mom are still happily married, enjoying life. My older brother is a prominent lawyer, my younger brother is about to receive his doctorate and I have a very fun blog!!! We all have families who are happy & healthy. And this is why on the 4th of July, I'll probably tear up like I do every year in honor of a country where I can worship how I please, where I can offer my children an education and where people like my dad can find the American dream.
So how do I honor him? The American way....with JELLO!!
I promise that this dessert will make you a rock-star. It's soooo easy and pretty, but everyone will think it took you forever.
You will need:
1 large box of blue raspberry gelatin
1 large box of strawberry gelatin
blueberries (about 1-1.5 cups)
strawberries sliced (about 1-1.5 cups)
2 small loaves of pound cake or 1 angel food cake
1 large tub of cool whip or lite cool whip
Clear bowl (the one shown is 9.5 inches in diameter and 4 inches high)
Last night I totally forgot I was going to make this so I ran to the store at 11:30 at night and I couldn't find pound cake, so I grabbed an angel food cake instead and it really was fabulous (and a lot lighter fat-wise)
1. Prepare the Jello by using the same amount of boiling water it calls for but only half the cold water it asks for...it makes the jello a little stiffer.
2. Cut the cake into little squares (about .5 - 1 inch squares).
3. Then in your bowl, layer the ingredients. Put half the cake squares at the bottom.
4. Then sprinkle all the blueberries over the cake (save some for decoration)
5. If you want to cut out star shapes from your jello, do it now and set aside (I've done it before, but not this time)
6. Cut the rest of the jello in small squares and layer that over the blueberries. Make sure you can see the layers from the outside.
7. Then take half of the whipped topping and put it over the jello.
8. Take the other half of the cake and layer it over the whipped topping.
9. Spread the strawberries over the cake (save some for decoration).
10. Then take the rest of the whipped topping and layer over the top and decorate.
It's so pretty like this and the flavors of tangy and sweet and the different textures make this a winner.
I'm making this for the 4th! And when I get to my parents' house, I'll give my dad an extra big hug!
Have a wonderful and safe holiday!