Just wanted to show you some fun ideas and recipes I just used to make our Fourth of July party extra special! Because Independence Day is associated with red, white and blue, I built the table decorations around those colors. A new blue and white striped twin flat sheet made a terrific picnic tablecloth that acted as a great background for the other table accessories.
I bought red picnic dinner plates, little American flags, a package of doilies and a friend, who was coming to the party, tossed in her American flag napkins and dessert plates. Red carnations and Baby’s Breath made patriotic centerpieces in my old mason jars. To make the silverware easy to grab and pretty too, I wrapped each set in a paper doily and tied it with a piece of jute twine. I tied a little jute around my mason jar vases too so they matched! The silverware packets went into a little wicker holder I already had!
Outside, I cleaned off the deck, watered the planters and placed little American flags in the hayrack planters. So, minimal expense and work – but very festive and remarked on by all our guests!
To make a party that you won’t be too tired to enjoy yourself – have a Planned Pot Luck. As the hosts, we made the barbequed chicken, potato salad, corn-on-the-cob and provided drinks. Then, I asked our friends to each take an appetizer, a side dish, salad, or dessert. What a feast it turned out to be, and I wasn’t exhausted from cooking all day!
Here’s the menu:
Philly pretzels bits w/flavored mustards
Barbequed Chicken (BBQ sauce recipe to follow)
Oma’s Potato Salad (recipe to follow)
Greek green beans cooked in tomato sauce
Fruit salad with cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, grapes and dried cranberries
Fresh green salad with raspberries, nuts and tons of veggies topped with homemade vinaigrette
Creme de Menthe cake bars
Blueberry streusel cake
White wine, sodas, iced tea and lemonade
At the end of the party, give everyone a recycled take-out container and have them help themselves to the leftovers – everyone gets another great meal instead of just taking back what was left of their own dish.
Now for the recipes I promised! I’ll start with my Grandmother’s potato salad recipe – a favorite of our family and friends!
Oma’s Potato Salad (20 servings)
- one 5 lb. bag of cleaned, unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes
- one dozen eggs
- one sweet , white onion
- four stalks celery
- dried dill seed
- salt and pepper
- boil the diced potatoes and eggs together in a pot until the potatoes are done
- process the onions and celery in a food processor
- remove the eggs with a slotted spoon & refrigerate
- drain the potatoes and return them to the pot, sprinkle dried dill seed on, add diced onions, stir and cover (the heat helps the onion & dill flavors meld with the potatoes)
- Peel the eggs and process – add eggs and celery to hot mixture and stir in mayonnaise until desired consistency.
- Refrigerate for several hours before using – although we love to have a taste when it’s warm at our house!
This next recipe makes the tastiest BBQ sauce I have ever eaten – everyone who has this asks for the recipe because the chicken is so flavorful and moist!
Mrs. Gordy’s BBQ Sauce (enough for 5 chickens)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup vinegar
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 egg
- Mix all ingredients with a whisk
- Brush on the meat as you grill it
So, our 4th of July party is over, but you can be sure we’ll be having some more potato salad and barbequed chicken again real soon! Hope you try these recipes and they become family favorites at your house too!