The first federal holidays were created in 1870 when Congress gave paid leave to works in Washington, D.C. for New Year’s Day, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other holidays were added later because it was so well received and in 1875, some 15 years after that, Congress extended the benefit to all federal employees.
There are currently some eleven U.S. federal holidays and the dates they’re observed on are often manipulated to give federal employees a nice three-day weekend. This year, that won’t be a problem because the Independence Day holiday falls on a Monday, negating the need for any adjustment.
You still have over a week to plan your holiday celebrations. While COVID has not been eliminated by any means, enough advancement has been made to give most people at lease a small sense of security about gathering with family and friends.
If you’ll be celebrating the 4th this year, I have a recipe that is pretty simple and easy to make. That’s not its best feature, though, it’s also delicious!
|1lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs||¾ cup picante sauce|
|1 tbsp vegetable oil||1 tbsp lime juice|
|¼ tsp garlic power (or 1 clove minced)||½ tsp ground cumin|
Place the chicken between two pieces of waxed paper. Pound to ½ inch thickness using a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Cut lengthwise into 1 inch strips.
Stir the picante, oil, lime juice, garlic powder and cumin in a small bowl. Add the chicken strips and toss to coat. Thread the chicken onto 8 skewers accordion style.
Lightly oil the grill rack and heat to medium. Grill the chicken for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F. baste the chicken while it cooks with the extra picante mixture, discarding any that’s leftover. *(if using wooden skewers, soak for 30 minutes in cold water to prevent them from burning)