July 4th – A Day of Celebration And Eating!

Image of 4th July.
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

On July 4th, Americans will celebrate Independence Day with a variety of traditional dishes, that are often enjoyed during outdoor gatherings, barbecues, and picnics. The emphasis here is on casual, festive, and often grilled dishes. What I’ve seen of the States and having been there at that time, meat always makes its mark and it is usually the grilled type that has greatest prominence.

What would we expect then on the barbecue? My first choice is always hot dogs or frankfurters for starters. Always served in rolls with a variety of toppings like mustard, ketchup, relish, fresh or fried onions, and sauerkraut.

Say hello too with hamburgers. Unlike hot dogs which have a narrower selection of sides to accompany them these can be topped off with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and condiments like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

No barbecue can be entertained without some barbecue ribs. Just slather on a tangy barbecue sauce and slow-cook them to perfection. The same has to be said for steak and by no means feel this is just said for fun but a slab of beef meat has been the staple of all these events. For something different though try a grilled chicken which has been marinated in cool sauces and seasoned well, then grilled. When done to perfection, no-one can beat it for flavour and texture.  

The next big question is what to serve with these main dishes. I’ve listed a few just to be sure of covering the full range.

Side Dishes for 4th July

  1. Potato Salad:
    • Made with potatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, celery, and onions.
  2. Coleslaw:
    • A mix of shredded cabbage and carrots dressed in a tangy or creamy dressing.
  3. Corn on the Cob:
    • Grilled or boiled and served with butter and seasoning.
  4. Baked Beans:
    • Often sweetened with brown sugar or molasses and sometimes cooked with bacon or ham.
  5. Pasta Salad:
    • A cold salad made with pasta, vegetables, cheese, and a vinaigrette or creamy dressing.

If you like other types of salad as a side then try the classic Caprese salad. As my wife will say it ‘makes summertime great to be alive!” This is the salad where thick slices of tomato are interweaved with mozzarella cheese and plenty of basil leaves. Just add the drizzling touches of balsamic vinegar and olive oil to finish off this everso stylish Italian dish

Finally we have desserts. These have traditionally been apple pie or berry pie, even trifle. All are served with cream and ice-cream and plenty of it. If pastry is not desirable then fresh fruit will be enough. If the weather is as it traditionally seems to be with full sun then something cool, sweet and refreshing is a must.

You know, the 4th of July is all about enjoying good food with family and friends, often in a relaxed, outdoor setting. The focus is on simple, flavorful, and easy-to-prepare dishes that can be shared and enjoyed by everyone.

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