I'd been planning Fourth of July food for weeks. I have binders and piles and stashes of recipes I have clipped from magazines. There's a number of things I've been waiting for the "right occasion" to try.
Be it good or bad for us as a whole, most holiday celebrations in our society center closely around food. Thus the traditional 4th of July barbecue was the occasion I'd been waiting for. I went grocery shopping Monday and bought all the food supplies I needed. Mid-week we were at Target and found some bright red paper lanterns on clearance--perfect for a patriotic celebration. By the end of the week I realized we had a party planned with no guest list. So I made a few invitations to friends not thrown-off by a last minute invitation.
The stage was set. Friends arrived.
Then the food came out. One experiment was the olive bites on the top tier of the server. We're attempting to recreate something we had in a restaurant once. They were delicious, but we'll tweak it more to get exactly what we were looking for.
Another fun recipe was the Watermelon-basil Lemonade. It was definitely a hit, and we served it with frozen watermelon ice cubes.
We also enjoyed grilled zucchini from our guest Anna's garden, the "traditional American" hot dogs, potato chips, and more watermelon, and of course my Lemonade Stand Pie.
There were some failed attempts as well. My pie took a long time to bake so the twice-baked potato bites had to wait for Sunday dinner. And a certain child-who-shall-remain-unnamed turned off the ice cream maker, so the freezing chamber melted and was unable to finish freezing the ice cream. But I still consider the food an overall delicious success.
We sat around for hours. Talking, letting the kids run around and play, and watching Jeremy singe his fingertips entertaining us with fireworks. I haven't had that much fun in a long time.
And Sunday morning as we showed up for church poor little Jonas looked like he'd been through a crazy night of partying, his right eye swollen shut from the effects of an unfortunately positioned mosquito bite.
1/4 C Basil Leaves
1/2 -3/4 C Sugar
3 Cups pureed watermelon
Place basil leaves in a heat-proof pitcher. Bruise the leaves with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour in Sugar and add 4 cups boiling water. Juice lemons to make 1 cup of juice, reserve rinds. Add lemon juice along with pureed watermelon and lemon rinds to the pitcher. Chill in the fridge for 3 hours. Strain and serve garnished with fresh watermelon slices.