Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day

We're not usually home on the 4th of July. For the past 10 years at least, we have been in Pennsylvania visiting with our families, but this year we are heading over a little later in the summer so we spent Independence Day this year at home in Mesa Arizona.

I took these photo's at 5:00pm. The air temp was almost 100 degrees (in the shade), and the pool water temp was just about the same. The pool was actually only 92 degrees, but in the few minutes it took me to take the photo, the sun warmed up the thermometer.

Hummm - maybe that's why we are always in Pennsylvania by now?

I didn't really plan anything. Hubby had to work, so we just played at the pool when he got home in the afternoon. Little K and I took a quick trip guessed it...Walmart, to pick up a few supplies.

I think our little 4th of July Family Get Together turned out pretty good even without much advanced planning.

A bunch of White Daisies and Gerberas arranged in a bowl with some cuttings from a Ficus tree made fore a simple Patriotic Centerpiece.

I found these boxes of Cracker Jack at Walmart a few weeks ago and picked up a bunch. They were only a little more than $1.00 for a group of 3. I loved the vintage colored boxes and thought they would look good on the table, but it was a bit too much red and not enough contrast.

So I moved them to the plates, they look much better here. I think they were only available for a limited time, so I made everyone open them from the bottom and save the empty boxes so I can use them for decorations again later.

Believe it or not, my family didn't even bat an eye at my request - as strange as it sounds, it's kind of normal for me - I guess they are used to me. I'm Lucky to have them.

The rest of the flowers in another bowl beside the desert plates just waiting to be used.

We cooked Hot Dogs and Brats on the grill. I made Jo Ellen's Baked Beans (sort of) and Mom's Potato Salad (kind of). I may have been missing a few ingredients, but I think they came close. Recipes are below.

I planned on making Peach Pie, but was running out of time and didn't want to miss out on my swimming time. May be the peaches will make it into desert another day.

Instead we attempted Home Made Ice Cream. I bought this nifty Electric Ice Cream Maker from Rival that doesn't require Ice or Rock Salt. You just freeze the bottom container (filled with coolant), add the milk and sugar and let it rip.

I wouldn't say it was a huge success. When they say to freeze the container for 13 hours before using it, they really mean it. Ours turned out more like milkshakes. We were only able to freeze it for about 9 hours, so I'm not giving up on it yet. I'll try again following the directions (darn - I hate it when I have to do that) and keep you posted.

Did I mention Walmart is right across the street? I'm thinking it would just be easier to go buy some ice cream, but for some reason making it at home sounded like more fun.

We had a great time relaxing with just our family of 3. How did you spend your Holiday Weekend?

Marges Old Fashioned Potato Salad

3 cups Real Mayonnaise
4 Tbsp Minced Onions
4 tsp White Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
5 Hard Boiled Eggs, chopped
5 lbs Red or New Potatoes, unpeeled, cubed and cooked
2 tsp Celery Seed
1/2 cup Bacon Bits

In medium bowl, stir together all ingredients except potatoes to make dressing. Pour dressing over potatoes in large bowl and toss to coat well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Jo Ellens Baked Beans

Start with a Large Can of Baked Beans (your favorite brand and flavor). Add to that at least two additional cans of other beans (drained). Butter Beans, Black Beans, Kidney Beans even Garbanzo Beans (I love saying that word - he he), they all work well.

Cut bacon into chunks and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towel. Cook chopped onions in some of reserved bacon fat until soft and translucent.

Mix ketchup, prepared mustard and brown sugar together and add to bean mixture. I also add a few drops of liquid smoke.

Cook in crock pot until heated through (or in the oven).

Sorry - no measurements on this one. Adjust quantities based on your individual liking. For me, it's lots of bacon, not too much onion and I like the sauce kind of tart (more mustard) than sweet (less sugar).

It looks really beautiful with all the different sizes and colors of beans (well, at least as beautiful as a bunch of beans can look).

1 comment:

  1. Wow, everything look great and the food so yummy! You are so creative. I thought Hawaii (where I live) was hot, but you all have us beat! :)