Party Ideas and themes are always changing, but in the summer we can always count on the Barbeque 4th of July party! Barbecues are also big time summer parties, so make sure to get the hamburger recipes ready. One of the biggest parties planned for the summer is the 4th of July barbecue. Happy Birthday America and to my sister. Since my sister, Joy, was born on the 4th, we always have a big barbecue bash...and it always ends at the fireworks display in my town.
Start The Barbecue With Dip Recipes
We begin the barbecue with chip and dip recipes we have been making for years. Every once and a while we find a delicious and easy dip recipe we add in with our old favorites, but for the most part we use the traditional recipes we grew up with. Bruschetta is an easy one to prepare and it is refreshing on a warm summers day. I like to use quick Mexican recipes too. Dips made with Salsa and black beans are among my favorites. The dip bowls get cleaned out rather quickly, everyone seems to come to our barbeque hungry.
Get Out The Hamburger Recipes
We use the Hamburger Recipes my mother used when we were growing up, but we have taken them to a new level of hamburgerness. I only use the hamburger meat I buy at my small town deli, which has a butcher section. They have the best chop meat I have ever tasted. I use some of it plain. It's so good you don't even need to add any seasoning to it. Other burgers we add onions to, some get a little barbeque sauce and some get the whole egg and bread crumb treatment.
Can I Have Some Cheese Please
Almost as important as the hamburgers are the buns. But then there is the cheese. We've got Provolone, Cheddar and good old American...and don't forget the spicy Jack and Peppers. Everyone in my house loves cheese...and of course, the birthday girl doesn't eat a hamburger with out it. So, at her 4th of July birthday party...cheese is a necessity.
Another traditional part of our birthday barbeque are the hot dogs. These frankfurters are placed in their long buns with mustard and just the right amount of sauerkraut for all those party guests who have been craving a hot dog since they walked in the door. I never ever even think about eating a hot dog the entire rest of the year...but I have to have a well done grilled dog every at 4th of July party. I don't need the baked beans, cooked in the oven with molasses, some do as an accompaniment, but we do serve it at our bbq.
Summer Salad Recipes
Our bbq has to include the macaroni and potato salad recipes we have served for years. I still love our family's macaroni salad recipe best of all the many I have tried through the years. It's plain, really. We dice up onions and celery, add it to the cooked elbow macaroni and add mayonnaise. You can add salt if you like, or not...that's all preference. That's it. There's no secret ingredient to make it special or zippy. It's plain and it's the best macaroni salad I have ever had. Our potato salad is pretty much the same. No special additives, no extra egg in the mayo, not even any of the dozens of spices that fill my kitchen. The secret to the wonderful taste of our summer salads is their simplicity. Now, of course we have other recipes, that are spiced to the hilt, and hot to the taste, but they are not my favorites. Our macaroni and potato salad bowls are always empty at the end of the day. I wonder if anyone knows we made extra and have it hidden in the refrigerator for tomorrow!
Fourth of July Cupcakes Make A Bang!
4th of July cupcakes are fun and easy to make. We always make several dozen and decorate them in red, white and blue. These patriotic colors are tradition with us, as well as most of America, on the fourth of July. We use white frosting, blue berries and strawberries to design little flag like cupcakes and cakes. There are some great sugar decorations shaped like flags and stars. Use them along with some flag picks and you've got some great looking patriotic cupcakes. My favorite cupcakes are the ones with the sparklers in them! You just have to keep them away from the kids, because they want them too. We only put a few of them out on the cupcake tray. It looks so cool, but we don't want anyone to get burnt, so we are careful with them. I can remember sparklers on the 4th of July for as long as I can remember. Another part of our families tradition that still warms my heart.
Watermelon and Fruit
Our family has always served a big watermelon, cut out and shaped like a serving bowl, filled with every seasonal fruit you can imagine. The main color theme is, of course, red, white and blue. Most of the white is supplied by the ice cream and whipped cream we pile the fruit on. Very red, white and blue, we are patriotic, and very delicious too. It's a refreshing treat at the end of a hot summer's day.
Fireworks for Joy
After all the hamburgers and hot dogs have been grilled and the ice cream is beginning to melt, we all know it's time to go to the park by the High School to claim the spot where we can lay down our blanket. This is where we can hang out, listen to the music from the speakers our town has set up and greet our neighbors as they arrive. There we all wait, until it's dark and we hear that first roar. Everyone looks up, and there in the night sky, light burst forth. I love fireworks...and there we stay. Among the noise that explodes every few seconds you hear the oohs and ahh's of the crowd. Everyone more amazed by each new design in the sky than the last. Too soon, our light show is over and the town gathers up their blankets and chairs to head home.
Another 4th of July is almost over. Now it's time to go home, eat up the left overs and talk about the fun day...oh...and Joyce gets to open up her birthday presents, while we sing "Happy Birthday" over her cake!