Posts Tagged ‘July 4 Recipes’

Red, White, and Blue Sundaes

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

I know I just posted a recipe, but this one is ideal for July 4 so I’m giving it to you this week. I promise not to inundate you in future!

As far as I am concerned, July Fourth isn’t primarily a day for cooking. I think of it as a day for family and community.

I love to swim with family and friends. I enjoy watching the Independence Day parade at noon in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, and I adore listening to Mohawk Trail Concerts’ annual jazz offering in the afternoon. I’m thrilled that the latter two events are returning this year after their COVID-induced hiatus in 2020.

I’m not a fan of fireworks. I spent too much time when I was little overseas in countries where explosives were readily available and children could burn themselves. If my neighborhood is planning a display, however, I try to be a good sport and not cover my eyes and ears too obviously during the fireworks.

Despite all of these activities (and more!), one has to eat—and it’s nice to have something in one’s repertoire for Independence Day that goes beyond hot dogs.

You may have your own special summery dishes: a great aunt’s potato salad, a smashed hamburger (these are very popular right now on the internet), sun tea, a strawberry pound cake.

Here I offer a couple of suggestions in case readers need a little recipe inspiration. Actually, I’m just offering ONE—but I suggest you visit some past recipes here as well. Tammy’s Tangy Kielbasa is easy and tasty. Cliff’s Potato-Chip Chicken is more work, but it has a holiday appeal.

My new recipe this week is a red, white, and blue sundae. It uses strawberries (which are finishing up their season in these parts) and blueberries (which are starting theirs). If you want to simplify life, look in a cookbook for a standard ice-cream formula that doesn’t require cooking like my custard recipe.

If you want to make things even simpler, purchase your ice cream. I suggest a high-quality local brand.

I wish you a glorious fourth of activity and eating.

Red, White, and Blue Sundaes

The Sauce:

Ingredients:

2 cups cut-up strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 generous tablespoon butter

Instructions:

Place the berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a nonreactive (stainless steel or enamel) saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat, add a little bit of the butter, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Turn off the heat, stir in the remaining butter so that it melts, and continue to stir the mixture for 3 to 4 more minutes to distribute the berries. Use immediately or refrigerate. Makes about 1-1/3 cups sauce.

Vanilla Ice Cream:

Ingredients:


1-1/2 cups milk
4 egg yolks
2/3 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pinch salt

Instructions:

Heat the milk until it is steamy but not boiling. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until the mixture is thick and light yellow (about 4 minutes).

Whisk a bit of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Then whisk in more, up to 3/4 cup. Whisk the milky egg yolks into the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat until the custard begins to thicken but does not boil (about 2 to 3 minutes on my gas stove).

Remove the custard from the heat, and strain it into a heatproof bowl or pot. Cover and cool thoroughly.

When the custard is cold whisk in the cream, vanilla, and salt. Place this mixture in your ice-cream freezer and churn until done.

This recipe makes a little more than a quart of ice cream.

Assembly:

For each sundae, scoop out 1/2 cup ice cream. Spoon on some strawberry sauce, dab on a little whipped cream (optional but good), and top with a couple of fresh local blueberries.

Liza’s Red, White, and Blue Pie

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

In her signature red, white, and blue pants, Liza cooks fennel over the campfire. (I'm working on getting THAT recipe!)

 
My friend and neighbor Liza Pyle made this festive pie for Independence Day. The recipe originally described a strawberry pie—although I don’t see why it couldn’t be used for just about ANY berry.
 
Liza’s notes appear at the bottom of the recipe pretty much as she typed them.
 
The recipe hailed long ago from Liz Simonds, a friend of Liza’s grandmother (and my honorary grandmother), Mary Parker, known to all local children as Gam. 

If you bake the crust early in the morning, you won’t have to bake anything later in the day—a definite advantage in July. 

The pie awaits the berries........

 
The Pie
 
Ingredients:
 
for the crust:
 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I’d use salted since Liza doesn’t specify)
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
 
for the filling:
 
1 cup cream
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart berries—in this case, whole or thickly cut strawberries mixed with whole blueberries
2 tablespoons currant jelly
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use a pastry blender or knives to combine the crust ingredients. Place them in a LARGE pie plate (see notes below). Bake for 15 minutes. Watch to make sure that the crust doesn’t get more than a bit brown. Allow it to cool.
 
For the filling whip the cream and blend in the cream cheese and sugar. Place this mixture at the bottom of your pie shell. Artistically arrange the berries on top. (Liza is MUCH better being artistic than I am!)
 
Melt the jelly. While it is still warm brush it lightly over the tops of the berries. Let your pie stand, gently covered, in the fridge for several hours. Liza reports that 4 hours are ideal; at 8, the jelly starts to bleed unattractively but deliciously into the whipped cream.
 
Serves 8 to 10.
 
Liza’s Notes:
 
1) Unless you use a large and deep pan (or use a tart pan), you will have too much filling and too many berries………so you could reduce the filling and berry measurements by 1/4, or move a small amount to a smaller pan, or just use a big pan (a big tart pan….even a 13 x9 will work)!
 
2) Just blueberries are great too………. 

3) My favorite variation is to use an easy chocolate crust, made by crushing to dust in blender/processer 2/3rds of a box of Nabisco chocolate wafers and mixing it with 1/4 cup melted butter.

Pat that into a buttered big pie plate on the bottom and halfway up the sides….or use a springform pan….and bake at 375 for 8 minutes.

Rhubarb Catch Up

Monday, June 7th, 2010

 
Here’s an early recipe for July 4. (Enjoy it: this will probably be the only time you’ll get a recipe early from In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens!)
 
I’m not exactly a champion griller. In fact, as listeners to WFCR, our local public-radio station, learned a couple of years ago, I’ve been known to light an outdoor fire that almost turned into … well … an outdoor fire.
 
Condiments for grilled foods I can manage, however. And lately I’ve had a hankering to make some rhubarb ketchup (or catsup or however you want to spell it).
 
I’ve tried a couple of different formulas, and this is the best so far. It doesn’t taste like tomato ketchup. Why should it? It’s a lightly sweet, lightly spiced sauce that would be lovely with pork.
 
My spices came courtesy of Kalustyan, a wonderful spice company that has a retail outlet in New York City (yes, it will ship spices to you!). I particularly love Kalustyan’s aromatic cinnamon. And its mixture of pickling spices was just right for this recipe.
 
I can’t tell you yet how long this ketchup will last in the refrigerator since I made it less than a week ago. I don’t think I’d push it more than two weeks or so. So if you would like to try it as a condiment for Independence Day you should wait a little while to make it.
 
On the other hand, like me, you might want to make some now and some later. It really was tasty last night! I pan grilled chicken cutlets and served them with fresh peas with mint and maple-rhubarb coleslaw.
 
While you’re making your ketchup, do listen to my WFCR grilling broadcast. I’m not in great voice when I sing (and the less said the better about my piano playing), but my mother’s childhood memories are fun.
 
And Truffle’s cheerful bark more than makes up for my shortcomings! She really knows how to celebrate Independence Day.
 
 
Rhubarb Ketchup
 
Ingredients:
 
3 cups rhubarb (in small pieces!)
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup apple cider plus 1/2 cup later
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon pickling spices
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few turns of your pepper grinder
 
Instructions:
 
In a 2-quart nonreactive saucepan, toss together the rhubarb and brown sugar.
 
In a tiny nonreactive saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup cider and the vinegar. When they come to a boil remove them from the heat and stir in the ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and pickling spices.
 
Let the two pans sit at room temperature for 2 hours. The rhubarb should juice up a little, and the spices should steep nicely in the liquid.
 
After the resting period add the spices and their liquid to the rhubarb. Toss the remaining cider into the pot that held the spices to pick up any remaining spices, and add it to the rhubarb as well. Stir in the salt and pepper.
 
Bring the rhubarb mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil the resulting sauce, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Turn off and let cool.
 
In a blender or food processor puree the cooled ketchup. Ladle it into a sterilized jar or two and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it.
 

Makes about 2-1/2 cups ketchup.


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A Glorious Fourth

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Liza ALWAYS dresses appropriately.

Liza ALWAYS dresses appropriately.

 

At Singing Brook Farm in Hawley, Massachusetts, we celebrate Independence Day in a low-key but festive manner.

 

Our impressaria for the occasion, Liza Pyle, organizes an annual pot-luck lunch near the Dam (where the water forms a lovely if frigid pond), followed by what she terms “hijinks”–games for the young and the not so young.

 

This year it started to rain just as the time came to light the fire by the Dam so we moved to the Play House, a building constructed by Liza’s grandfather just for days like this one. We had enough chairs, enough food, and eventually enough sunshine for everyone.

 

The edible offerings included things one couldn’t be without on July 4 (hot dogs, baked beans, devilled eggs, farm-fresh tomatoes, brownies), plus a new dish to me, grilled baked potatoes supplied by Liza and her brother David. I can’t wait to make them. I’m not much of a griller, but honestly I think even I could manage these!

 

Before I get to the semi-recipe (it’s more of a narrative), here are a few pictures of the hijinks.

 

This is a relay race in which participants must don clothing as they switch off. For some the shoes and hat were just A LITTLE big.

This was a relay race in which participants had to don clothing as they switched off. For some the shoes and hat were just A LITTLE too big.

Our National Game

Our National Game

Away from the water the annual rubber-duck race had to get creative.

Away from the water the annual rubber-duck race had to get creative.

Alice was the queen of the egg-and-spoon race (and much else).

Alice was the queen of the egg-and-spoon race (and much else).

Water balloons provide plenty of summer fun.

Water balloons provided plenty of summer fun.

We had occasional (short-lived!) displays of attitude.

We had occasional (short-lived!) displays of attitude.

 

As you can see, a good time was had by all (mostly!). The day revolved around community, the fruits of nature, and future generations. In short, our July 4 was almost iconically American. And now here is how one fixes the potatoes:

 

Bake several potatoes until they are almost done. A fork should be able to penetrate them, but they should still be firm.

 

Cut them in half lengthwise; then brush (or rub!) extra-virgin olive oil on both sides of both halves.

 

Grill the potatoes until they brown nicely (this won’t take long!).

 

Serve with sour cream into which you have mixed chives, salt, pepper, and anything else that takes your fancy (mustard, other herbs, horseradish–whatever!).

 

Don’t forget to sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

 

Grilled Baked Potatoweb