Sunday, July 4, 2010

Holiday Food Favorites, 4th of July Style!

by Caren Crane

At work recently, they posted a survey on our Intranet site asking what peoples' must-have food item was for Independence Day. Our headquarters are in Raleigh, North Carolina, where we don't have genteel picnics like the lovely Regency/Victorian affair pictured here. There are never footmen waiting to fetch the hampers and no one ever clears up the mess left behind except the picnickers themselves. When we have a cookout, we do it Southern style. For that reason, the choices on our workplace survey had a distinctly Southern flare. In the South there is nothing we love better than a cookout (or any other affair involving food), so this survey attracted a lot of responses. I did not agree with all the choices presented, but managed to choose one. The choices were:

1. Southern-style BBQ - I could see where they got this one, but I've never considered BBQ a necessity at the 4th of July festivities. North Carolina, though, is the leading hog producer in the United States so I know that many here take their pork products very seriously. They have a tradition here called a "pig picking". They roast a whole pig on a spit over a fire (or on a smoker if they have one for the purpose) and people literally pick the meat off the pig once it's done. I find this a barbaric and unappealing pasttime despite the 28 years I've lived in North Carolina. This one did not get my vote.

2. Corn on the cob - This was more like it. I remember many a family reunion at my paternal grandfather's farm (it was a hobby farm on his timber property) where corn was wrapped in foil and roasted on the grill, as God intended. It wasn't just any old corn, either. It was sweet, white Silver Queen corn that had just been picked from the fields near the house. Best. Corn. Ever! I seriously considered voting for the corn because of my fond memories of the Crane family reunions, but I did not vote for this one.

3. Ice cream - At the above-mentioned family reunion, as well as at reunions on the Dugger side of the family, there was always homemade ice cream. I remember when the ice cream churn had to be loaded with ice cubes and salt and hand-cranked for hours until the ice cream was done. Of course, Poppa Crane had an automatic ice cream maker as soon as they came on the market, which was a nice break for the young men in the family, but I remember the hand-cranked churns and the fresh peach ice cream with a sweet pang of nostalgia. Despite all those peach and vanilla memories, though, I did not vote for ice cream.

4. Hamburgers and hot dogs - The American favorites, burgers and dogs. I have so many memories of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs I have trouble singling any out. I have enjoyed grilled meats as centerpieces of cookouts in Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. I have eaten tons of burgers and dogs and enjoyed each and every carcinogen-laden mouthful. There are few pleasures greater than a hot dog grilled within an inch of its life, popped open at the ends, blackened at the grill marks, slathered in mustard and relish. Mm, mm good! Still, my family gave up beef and pork a couple of years ago and I don't miss beef burgers much. All the hot dogs I've had have been chicken or turkey, which are good but just aren't the same. So, I did not vote for burgers and dogs.

5. Watermelon - Aaah, watermelon. Nothing evokes images of summer quite like watermelon. Hefting a two-inch-thick slice from half a watermelon is one of life's simple, sticky pleasures. As a kid, we always ate watermelon outside. We sprinkled it lightly with salt (no idea why) and spit seeds gleefully into the yard. By the time we reached the slightly-sour part next to the rind, our bare arms and legs were covered in juice. Watermelon eating was followed by turning on the hosepipe (which is what we called the garden hose) and washing the juice off our sun-kissed bodies with clear, cold water. Yes, watermelon means summer to me and watermelon got my Independence Day vote.

Of course, others did not agree with me. Hamburgers and hotdogs won by a landslide, with watermelon coming in a distant second. Corn on the cob was third, BBQ fourth and ice cream dead last, finishing with only 3% of the vote. Much as we all love ice cream, its life is fleeting in the Southern July heat and it simply couldn't hold its own. My own Independence Day must-have is blueberry/blackberry cobbler. It didn't even make the survey!

What are your Independence Day favorites? If you don't celebrate Independence Day, what would you have chosen from our five survey items? Do any evoke splendid summer memories? We would love to hear them!


And for all of you in the United States, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

75 comments:

Janga said...

I don't believe it!

flchen1 said...

Don't believe that the GR will spending the day hanging out with you, Janga?? Believe it! ;)

Caren, we're pretty lax about our July 4th celebrations, but would likely be big fans of your entire list ;) Nothing like a BBQ including them all, with family and friends and hanging out :)

Happy July 4th!

Janga said...

BTW, my lack of belief referred to my being first, not to your post, Caren. :)

My vote would go to watermelon too. My sister's birthday is July 7,and we usually combine celebrations. She prefers watermelon to birthday cake, so we always have watermelon at the family 4ths.

I'll skip the pig picking, thanks, but I do think BBQ has rich Southern tradition behind it. I loved that it when the luncheon menu at my first Conference on Southern Literature was BBQ and Brunswick stew.

limecello said...

Happy 4th! :D Obviously ice cream gets my vote! It would normally anyway :P Also, I'm allergic to watermelon :\
Do love Southern BBQ -but am not so keen on sauce. Love the fourth - although we rarely have hamburgers and hot dogs. Grilling is always a fun part though!

Congrats on the GR, Janga! Watch him around those fireworks! ;)

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Janga.

Hi Caren,
Happy July 4th. Hamburgers and hot dogs are at the top my list and watermelon is a close second. I had some sweet corn the other day and I wish I could have grilled it on the barbecue, but it was easier to steam it.

barb said...

Congraulations Janga

Happy July 4th! We celebrate Australia day which is January 26th which is in the middle of our summer so of course it is the good old barbie.... snags(sausages), steak and onions at picnics... we also have corn and watermelon and icecream

Helen said...

Hey Janga way to go have fun with him

Happy Independence Day to you all that celebrate.

Here in Oz on Australia Day we have lots of BBQs and we grill sausages steak and the good old aussie lamb chop yummo and we always have lots of watermelon and fresh fruits and lots of salad to go with it and of course there is nothing like a pavlova for desert. So I would probably have voted for the watermelon as well Caren I do love that on a hot day.

Have a great day

Have Fun
Helen

barb said...

forgot about the pavlova Helen..... love them with the fresh cream, fruit and passion fruit pulp on top

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh it would have to be watermelon, I can remember dad and uncles all getting out the #3 washtubs, filling them with ice and the watermelons sitting in the ice for at least a day before the picnic. My mother's potato salad would be a close second.

Deb Marlowe said...

Happy 4th Banditas!

Caren, I do love me some watermelon too. But my pick would have to be my grandma's macaroni salad. Nobody in the house eats it, so I have to have a cookout to have the excuse to make it!

Are you going to the fireworks tonight?

Caren Crane said...

Janga, congratulations on your unbelievable first post! I'm sure the GR has recovered from his indulgence of Irish whiskey the other day. He doesn't always react well to fireworks, though, so be careful if you're indulging in them!

Caren Crane said...

Fedora, I hope you enjoy all the treats you encounter today. It's funny, people were asking me last week about our "plans" for the 4th. Um...plans? That involves thinking about it, right? There is rarely much thought involved for Independence Day. We are never on vacation, because we like to vacate "off season", so it's usually either us plunking ourselves at someone else's festivities or staying home.

My youngest adores any type of festival, parade or holiday happenings, though, so she usually makes us get out and do something. We will probably have a shrimp boil, then wander up to the shopping center tonight to watch fireworks in the distance. That's about it!

Caren Crane said...

Janga, my watermelon sister! We can munch together and enjoy the sticky goodness. *g*

You're so right, they got the menu for the Southern fiction just right. Nothing says Southern like BBQ's pork and Brunswick stew! Of course, I had no idea what Brunswick stew was for many, many years after we moved to NC, but I figured it out eventually. That and pig pickin'. Being Southern means different things depending on one's corner of the South!

In TN, it meant Memphis-style, pit-smoked BBQ, watermelon and roasted corn. Yum-my! Also moonshine, but that's another story.

Caren Crane said...

Lime, what's your favorite ice cream flavor? I have had ice cream TWICE in the past week. Twice! That's two more times than in the past several months. I had some incredible organic chocolate a few days ago and then some butter pecan last night. I do love butter pecan!

Caren Crane said...

Jane, I hear you on the lack of grilled corn. We had some fresh corn the other day. It's always great when you've just shucked it, but we only had time to boil it. I loved some fresh boiled corn on the cob, but it's always better when you can wrap it tightly in foil, then pop it on the grill. Mmm...I may have to stop by a farmer's market today...

Deb said...

Delicious post, Caren. :)

Janga, hurray! Tell GR he'll see some Southern fried cooking if he doesn't behave himself. :o

LOVE corn on the cob with lots and lots of butter and salt, but since it's not ready until the first of August here, it has never been a Fourth food.

#1 My mother's potato salad. I can make it, but Mom's is best.
#2 Homemade vanilla ice cream--to die for, yum.
#3Cherry pie or rhubarb crisp. The cherry pie (Mom's, of course) that uses the dark cherries from a dwarf cherry tree are THE best.
#4Devilled eggs.

Today, I'm having the potato salad, brats, burgers, hot dogs, devilled eggs, chips, fruit salad, baked beans (brown sugar added), and homemade chocolate cake. Ahhhh.

Caren Crane said...

Barb, I love grilled snags, too! The grilled steak was something we often had when I was a girl and steaks were more affordable. *g* I do still love grilled kielbasa, though. We will have some in our shrimp boil tonight!

Caren Crane said...

Helen, I've never acquired a taste for lamb, since sheep aren't a big thing here. Lamb on the grill sounds like it could be really yummy, though!

I have made pavlova, believe it or not. When my youngest was in fifth grade, they had an international festival for her honors program. They each had to pick a country and she chose Australia. Part of the assignment was to have a whole meal from the country you chose. I don't recall what all we made, but there was lamb in there somewhere and a pavlova for dessert. It was lovely with all the fruit on top, especially when topped with fresh whipped cream. Yummy!

Caren Crane said...

Barb, I did not have passion fruit on my pavlova, sadly. It sounds wonderful, but passion fruit is quite exotic and expensive here! We did have kiwi fruit, I seem to recall. I do love kiwi!

Caren Crane said...

Dianna, a good potato salad is a thing of beauty, isn't it? My mother always makes delectable potato salad. I almost never make it, so mine isn't nearly as good. I probably should make it more often or my poor children will never have the kind of great memories I have!

Then again, I do make them blackberry cobbler, so I suppose that's something. I don't make them fight through the blackberry thickets to pick them, though, wearing jeans and long sleeves in the July heat. Now THAT makes you appreciate a cobbler!

Caren Crane said...

Deb M., I think you have a cookout, make your grandma's macaroni salad and invite me over. I know there would be kielbasas on the grill, too! *g* I would make that Carolina Black Bean salad and it would be just a perfect day. Really!

Yes, I'm sure we'll drag up to the Food Lion to watch the fireworks. We usually walk, at least from the elementary school, so we can avoid the insane traffic. There is still a TON of traffic at that corner, but it helps. You know how we detest crowds and that is the most crowded event of the year at the Koka!

Caren Crane said...

Deb, can I come to your house? I do love deviled eggs, but hate to make them. I'm so lazy sometimes! That's why we're having a shrimp boil. One pot to clean!

If I weren't making blueberry/blackberry cobbler, I would make chocolate cake. Your post inspired me! I seem to recall you are up north - Montana, maybe? It seems strange people don't have corn ready in July, but y'all haven't had quite enough warm weather by the 4th, for sure!

We are a huge watermelon-producing state, so you can't spit without hitting a watermelon truck this time of year. I really need to find a good melon today and put it on ice! They are always best when they're really cold inside and it's blazing hot outside.

Now I want potato salad and watermelon real bad! Okay, chocolate cake, too...

Deb said...

Caren, I'm from Iowa, but my dad's sweet corn isn't ready until August. A lot of people plant it really early and have it ready now, but guess it has been traditional in our family to have shucking bees in August.

One thing I do make fairly well is devilled--or deviled?--eggs. My mom always says, "When in doubt what to add to the menu, add devilled eggs."

Gillian Layne said...

Yum! We've had watermelon on a regular basis for the last two weeks (it's delicious and low cal!) and today will have burgers and chips. And orange pop. And grape pop. It's a summertime thing for me. And bomb pops! And see if we get completely rained out tonight. We set off our at-home fireworks Friday night. It's pretty soggy here in the midwest today.

PJ said...

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Janga! Is this his first visit with you?

Happy Independence Day! Caren, I probably would have gone with the corn. I LOVE corn on the cob!

We're having a neighborhood picnic today so I don't know yet what my food choices will be. I'm not worried though. We have *fabulous* cooks in this neighborhood! I'm making deviled eggs and peach trifle. I couldn't choose between the two so I decided to make both. ;-)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Caren said.......Then again, I do make them blackberry cobbler, so I suppose that's something. I don't make them fight through the blackberry thickets to pick them, though, wearing jeans and long sleeves in the July heat. Now THAT makes you appreciate a cobbler!

Oh the memories that brings back, and the frightening words of "Watch for snakes!" yeah, that really endeared me to the sport of blackberry picking..NOT! Funny you should mention cobbler though, I am getting ready to make one for BF.

Christie Kelley said...

Happy Independence Day, everyone! Today is also my son's 18th birthday. So I officially have another adult in my house.

We're keeping quiet around here today. We're having an upstate NY favorite, spiedies (a marinated chicken or beef kabob) with some grilled corn and fresh fruit.

Normally, we go out to watch fireworks down the river on the 3rd of July but this year, a bird decided our anchor would be a great place to build a nest. We didn't want to disturb here so we passed on the fireworks.

Caren Crane said...

Deb, amen on the eggs, sister! They perfectly round out any family meal. Whenever we're at a loss as to that "last thing" we need for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter/Labor Day, someone always says, "How about deviled eggs?" Perfect, every time!

I have to say, I've shucked lots of corn in my life, but have never been to a shucking bee. Then again, I've never been from a true "corn state" like Iowa, either! I'm sure it's a big time with lots of FOOD at the end!

Caren Crane said...

Gillian, I hope your fireworks aren't rained out! We've had many an afternoon thunderstorm on July 4th, believe me. Some torrential downpours, too. This year it is unusually gorgeous weather: 90 degrees, sunshine and low humidity. Perfect!

It's usually about 98 and humid with afternoon thunderstorms. Nice change this year! My husband is currently up near the VA border dropping off our older daughter at camp for the second week. I told him if he passed anyone selling watermelon on the way back, it was his solemn duty to buy one. I hope he makes an effort!

Caren Crane said...

PJ, I want to come hang out in your neighborhood! I'm so bad, I haven't even checked with friends to see what they are doing. I'm afraid I'll volunteer to have people over and then have to actually DO something. I'm dreadfully lazy this year!

I am having the shrimp boil, though, so we'll have tons of food. I think I'll have to call some folks!

I wish I could have some of your peach trifle and deviled eggs. I do love a deviled egg! Man, I may have to make some now. Y'all are making me hungry!

Caren Crane said...

Dianna, I happily overpay for blackberries someone else picked these days. I never could decide whether the mosquitoes or the yellow jackets were the worst part of blackberry picking. I'm still not sure!

Caren Crane said...

Christie, congrats on shepherding one to adulthood! That is a huge accomplishment worthy of a big celebration.

I know how much you guys love to get out on the water to watch the fireworks, so I am doubly impressed by your devotion to the bird nesting in your anchor!

Have a wonderful holiday and give your son a big old HAPPY BIRTHDAY from me! Also, make sure he remembers to register for Selective Service, which he can do online. ;-)

Caren Crane said...

My youngest (the younger daughter) wanted me to mention her in a blog post. So I'm mentioning how much she is bugging me right now to watch Tarzan with her. Gotta go, Cheetah awaits!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Janga - Great GR snatch! Hope you aren't planning roasted rooster for your independence day celebration.

Caren - We're having grilled hamburgers, corn on the cob and watermelon for our cookout tonight. I believe my daughter is making a blackberry cobbler with ice cream for dessert. You should come on over - you'll feel right at home!

Louisa Cornell said...

Wow, Janga! You are celebrating the 4th in style! Have fun with the GR and keep him away from the fireworks!

Caren, I am with you on the watermelon. The bakery is right next to produce in our store and let me tell you a large portion of the population in our little town agrees with you. They were carrying watermelon out of the store by the buggy load!

I love homemade ice cream but it is too much work for just one person. I may have to hit the DQ this afternoon after the parade.

I am having ham, deviled eggs and potato salad for my 4th. I can watch the fireworks the city sponsors every year at the river from my own front porch!

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Cassondra said...

Happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate it!

Congrats Janga!

Cassondra said...

Posh, I will tell you that when I saw that picture of the pig, I went Grrrrroooooooosss! I cannot do that either. I eat more than my share of beef and pork, but not in that form. I don't particularly like my fish to still have heads and eyes when it's presented to me, and I CERTAINLY don't want my beef or pork intact in this way, and yes, I agree, it does seem barbaric. I long ago accepted that Nature is not necessarily kind, and there is an order to things, and like it or not, something has to die for me to live--plants, animals, etc, but this pushes the line too far and the pig picking would not have gotten my vote either.

I would have voted with you. Watermelon.

And I will say this...for several years running, we had not been able to get a watermelon that was decent AT ALL. I had just about sworn off the stuff, for like canned corn and what I call "pretend" tomatoes, it's just sort of sad. I blame the watermelon woes on the attempt to breed seedless varieties. I admit that they're convenient, but I'd rather have flavor.

But both last year and this year, HOOORAAAAAAY!!!!! The watermelons are good again. Sweet, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth and run-down-your arms yummy. We've had one per week since the start of the season. I am well-hydrated this summer.

Cassondra said...

Oh, and I'll tell you that I do love BBQ. I never was a big fan before, but I recently had Memphis style BBQ and found where I belong in the BBQ world. OMG it's GOOOD. I like BBQ that's been cooked in the sauce, not just sauce poured on smoked meat.

I would more likely call that picture you have a "pig roast" with the whole pig being roasted, but I just can't go there. Just. Can. Not. While I believe in knowing and being grateful and thankful to whatever gave its life so that I can eat, I don't want to look it in the eye while I say thank you. Bleh.

Cassondra said...

Helen said:

of course there is nothing like a pavlova for desert.

Helen and Barb, what's a pavlova?

I've never had one!

Cassondra said...

Posh said:

Then again, I do make them blackberry cobbler, so I suppose that's something. I don't make them fight through the blackberry thickets to pick them, though, wearing jeans and long sleeves in the July heat. Now THAT makes you appreciate a cobbler!

Posh, when I was a kid and picked blackberries, we rubbed kerosene around our wrists and ankles before we went out to pick. Nary a chigger.

Probably not a good thing to do on a regular basis of course, as it probably causes ten kinds of cancer, but that's what the old timers did, and there wasn't bug repellent around then really, the way there is now. And honestly, now that I think of it, with the way I react to having DEET on my skin, maybe the kerosene wasn't such a bad idea...:0/

But blackberry cobbler. SLURP!

Have y'all ever had blackberry dumplings?

Nancy said...

Janga, congrats on the rooster! Be warned, though, if there's a picnic, he'll steal all the food he can.

Nancy said...

Caren, I love watermelon. If it looks decent at the store, we'll have that with hamburgers tonight.

I wish I knew how to make my dad's slaw, which we always had for neighborhood or church picnics when I was growing up. No such thing as small quantities of it, though, so it isn't really something for a small crowd like the three of us Still, I remember it on days like today.

The problem with seedless watermelon, of course, is that there's nothing to use in a spitting contest. Not that I'd do such a thing anymore, of course. Just sayin' . . .

Caren Crane said...

Donna, all you need is some BBQ'd pork and you would have the perfect meal! Though from the comments today, I'd say you also need some potato salad and deviled eggs. *g*

Have a great feast with the family!

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, the dh came home with NO WATERMELON. That's okay. I need pie crust anyway (not making it from scratch today - too lazy!) so I'll send him to the grocery for both.

Enjoy the fireworks from your porch! I am envious you can see them without leaving home!

Caren Crane said...

Cassondra, we've had much more rain this year all over the east. I think that's helped the watermelons tremendously. The drought was so bad a few years back that we had few watermelons and very few pumpkins. Tragic!

Must. Go. Find. Watermelon!

Caren Crane said...

Cassondra, I am with you on not looking the pig in the eye. My brother smokes BBQ and other meats and makes his own sauces, but he doesn't do whole pigs. He finds it a bit much, just like I do. Some of us just don't need to be that intimate with our dinner, I guess!

PJ said...

Nancy said: The problem with seedless watermelon, of course, is that there's nothing to use in a spitting contest. Not that I'd do such a thing anymore, of course. Just sayin' . . .

I'll fess up if you will, Nancy! Oh what the heck, I'll go first. I won a watermelon seed spitting contest at the 4th of July picnic at our old neighborhood. The kids were in awe! LOL!

Caren Crane said...

Cassondra, blackberry dumplings? I don't think I've ever had such. Do tell!

I don't remember being smeared with kerosene (I'm sure only because my mother wouldn't have allowed such a thing) but we did have to wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants while picking. Horrors! Of course, they say it actually helps keep you cooler (which is why you'll see older Hispanic men working outside in long sleeves and pants, unlike their sons!), but I never believed it.

I do recall lots of mosquitos, but the yellow jackets in TN were a particular problem. We have them here in NC, too, but I remember them and hornets with particular horror from my childhood. The yellow jackets loved the rotting berries, so they were evrawhere! They had no mercy, either. Once one of those stingers is in you, it is embedded. I still try hard to avoid the yellow jackets!

Caren Crane said...

Nancy, I sense there may have been a seed-spitting contest or two in your past. *g*

I recall watermelon seeds fondly. I've swallowed plenty of them in my time and spit more than a few. The dh called from the store to say (with disappointment in his voice) that they only had seedless watermelon. Oh, well, it will still taste good!

He's also coming back with my pie crust dough so I can (finally) start the cobbler.

(By the way, Tarzan was great, once again. Haven't seen that one in a long time - it's on VHS! Must work on getting some of the Disney movies we love that are still VHS on DVD.)

Caren Crane said...

PJ, you champion seed-spitter, you! I should have suspected such a thing. You are a woman of many hidden talents. Why not seed spitting? *g*

I have a feeling there may be some other closet seed spitters among us!

Caren Crane said...

And 40 minutes later...VOILA! The cobbler is in the oven. Now if dinner would only magically cook itself...

Helen said...

Cassondra

Pavlova is a big merguine topped with fresh cream and whatever fruit you like used to decorate the top really nice. I have made a few in my lifetime and they are always a favourite I like to decorate mine with passionfruit pulp kiwi fruit and strawberries.

I hope you get to try one someday

Caren

That must have been fun doing a dinner from another country and yep lamb is very popular here in Oz I do also love a roast dinner with a leg of lamb and mint sauce

Have Fun
Helen

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Posh,
Fun post about an even funnier poll.

Afraid I'll have to pass on the watermelon (and ALL melons). Like Lime, I'm allergic. But I ate it anyway when I was a kid then suffered for 2 or 3 days after. :-P

That whole roasted pig and picking off meat with your fingers is a Cuban thing too! Dave's cousin had Cuban caretakers at his 'ranch' and they always roasted a whole pig at the annual get-together Cousin Bill would throw. Tasty, but rather off-putting to see the whole carcass on a spit.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Helen,
I saw Pavlova, or at least pictures of it since fruit isn't exactly in season right now, ALL OVER New Zealand. It looks HEAVENLY! Dunno why we don't have it here. SERIOUS over-sight on our part!

AC

Suzanne Ferrell said...

I'm a grilled burger and brats woman, Posh! But I also love fried chicken and corn on the cob for the fourth, if a) my mama makes it and b)I'm home to eat it.

Tonight I get to work, so I'm gonna miss fireworks, but the nurses are doing a potluck in door picnic, so hopefully it will be slow and fun.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

And Deb, I do miss my Mama's homemade potato salad. I have never been able to duplicate it. It is the yellow mustard and pickle kind. mmmmmmmm-mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Helen said...

Here is my receipe for pavlova

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon white vinegar
4 tablespoons boiling water

Preheat oven 200 c
place all ingedients in a bowl beat until mixture is of meranguie consistancy about 10 mins. Spread mixture on a large dinner plate or tray reduce oven to 125c cook for 1 hour turn oven off and leave in oven to cool.
Decorate with fresh wipped cream and any fruit you like I usually use passionfruit pulp kiwi fruit strawberries bananas or sliced peaches. Whatever I have at home.

Have Fun
Helen

Caren Crane said...

Helen, now I want to make a pavlova and top it with passionfruit pulp! Leg of lamb sounds wonderful. I've never had it, but I've had lamb chops with mint sauce and they were yummy!

Caren Crane said...

AC, how interesting that both you and Lime are allergic to watermelon. I've never met anyone who was allergic to melons! My son's girlfriend is allergic to something odd, but I can't think of what it is right now. Something really ordinary, though, like celery or something. Allergies are weird!

I guess they must have lots of pigs on Cuba if they have the whole-pig thing roasting tradition. I know they have great pork sandwiches!

Susan Sey said...

Hey, Caren--

Living up here in the north land we couldn't do corn on the cob because the corn isn't ripe yet. For us, it's "knee high by the fourth of july." And back when I was a kid--dating myself here--the corn wasn't hybrid whatever, so the sugar started breaking down the instant it was picked. My dad used to burn into the driveway with a bag of corn yelling, "Get shucking, girls! Dorothy, put on the water!"

Dad said jump; we said how high?

Now, though, I love ice cream with blueberries for the fourth of july. Throw in a hot cookie & I'm done. :)

Caren Crane said...

Suz, I'm sorry you have to work tonight and will miss the fireworks. It's great you're having an indoor picnic, though. I hope it's slow and you get to enjoy it!

Caren Crane said...

Suz, that's my favorite potato salad recipe, too. I do love to use red potatoes, though, just to mix it up.

Caren Crane said...

Susan, that's funny about the mad corn shucking. I recall that myself. We kids would have to shuck like crazy and my mother and grandmother would have those huge grater/wash tub thing and would be grating corn like crazy to freeze. It was great to take a frozen container of corn out in the middle of winter and cook it. Just like a little bit of summer sunshine!

Caren Crane said...

Btw, I have eaten the cobbler and it is wonderful! Also, I'm watching My Best Friend's Wedding with my youngest. Must get back to it!

Cassondra said...

Helen said:

Cassondra

Pavlova is a big merguine topped with fresh cream and whatever fruit you like used to decorate the top really nice. I have made a few in my lifetime and they are always a favourite I like to decorate mine with passionfruit pulp kiwi fruit and strawberries.

I hope you get to try one someday




Oh YUM! Me too! This sounds fabulous!

PinkPeony said...

The Fourth always makes me think of homemade peach ice cream (yes, hand-cranked!)and how peeling the peaches left my hands smelling so peachy, block parties, Red Devil fireworks (fireworks were still legal in Sacramento in the 70's)and knocking Johnny Morrison's front tooth with my less-than-perfect right hook for taking my Frisbee during the party. Happy Fourth!

Cassondra said...

Posh said:

Cassondra, blackberry dumplings? I don't think I've ever had such. Do tell!


I think this is an Appalachian old-folks recipe. We used to have these for supper (no, not a balanced meal, but hey, it's like having pancakes for supper. Every now and then you've just gotta.)

Mom made her dumplings by making up a big pan of biscuit dough and dropping big spoonfuls of the dough into the liquid. They were not thin and rolled-out like most dumplings. They ended up like a big puffy cumulus cloud. YUMMM.

She took blackberries and added (I'm fairly certain) sugar and probably just a little water, and boiled them down into a nice thin syrup--probably about the consistency of pancake syrup except a little thinner, then she dropped the dumpling dough into that. When the dumplings were done (they puffed up like the aforementioned cumulus cloud) they were kind of purple on the outside, all stained with blackberry goodness. You just spooned out some dumplings with syrup and there were always blackberry bits, pieces and a few nearly-whole berries surviving in teh syrup. OMG. SLUUUUURRRRP.

Caren Crane said...

Pink, I can picture little you swinging that fist toward the Frisbee-stealing rotter! *g*

I think that hand-cranked peach ice cream must be one of God's gifts to summertime. *sigh* I only had some light butter pecan after my blackberry cobbler. Yes, I'm now at three ice creams for the year. I feel my limit coming on!

I hope someone had homemade ice cream today. It was the perfect time for it!

Caren Crane said...

O-o-o-oh, Cassondra, those sound divine! The description of the homemade syrup reminds me of one my mother would make from wild blueberries, but we would put those on oatmeal pancakes. Mmmm.

The dumplings sound wonderful. I can picture them in my mind. My next older sister used to make drop dumplings sometimes rather than rolled dumplings. We always loved those, but they are certainly a different animal from rolled dumplings!

Man, I can almost taste those blackberry dumplings. I'm sure they make you miss your mama. They made me nostalgic and I never even had them!

Caren Crane said...

Well, we have been and seen the fireworks. We met up with Sabrina Jeffries and her son and watched all the fireworks from a couple of miles away. There is enough hill right by the bluffs up the road that you can see over all the tall trees between the pond where the fireworks are shot off and the shopping center by the nature preserve.

It's always fun to listen to the little kids. One little girl, probably three years old, would say, "Oooh, Mommy, there's a tie-dye one!" Too cute!

Janga said...

The GR is in a semi-somnolent state after an day of running from grands and stuffing himself with BBQ, potato salad, sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden, and watermelon. I think he might have had a dirt cup with gummy worms too. :)

I'm making sure he stays in tonight. Our next door neighbors had a pet rooster who fell victim to a coyote a few weeks ago. I think he's hoping for a calmer, less dangerous visit tomorrow

Janga said...

That would be the GR's hope in that last sentence. I don't think poor Mister is hoping for anything. Sorry! It's been a long day after a short night.

Caren Crane said...

Janga, I'm glad the GR had a great time and that he provided some entertainment for the grands! Thank you for keeping him safe from coyotes. They are a menace to small pets here, as well, since they were introduced in the Appalachians for some misguided reason. *g*

I'm sure he'll be flying off to roost somewhere else soon. Thanks for being such a gracious hostess to our fine-feathered flirt!

Caren Crane said...

Thanks for playing with me today, everyone, and for sharing your summer favorites. I hope everyone had as great a day as I did. Sweet dreams!

Susanna Fraser said...

Nothing in the world tastes better than Southern-style barbecue, especially in the summer. I'm originally from Alabama, and I'm planning to have ribs and pulled pork flown in from Dreamland (http://www.dreamlandbbq.com/default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1) flown in for my book launch party next month.

That said, I have no desire to go to a pig picking. I'd prefer NOT to look my dinner in the eye.