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Friday, July 3, 2020

Homespun Holidays: Our 4th of July Dinner Using What's on Hand

Here's our menu for the 4th's cookout dinner. It uses many of the components of our other summer meals, so I thought I'd share, here.

hot dogs in homemade buns

scratch macaroni and cheese

jello salad using pureed vanilla-rhubarb sauce/plain gelatin as the base with sliced homegrown strawberries and banana slices, all topped with whipped cream from the freezer (leftover from the winter holidays)

large tossed salad containing homegrown Romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, watercress, and radish seed pods, frozen peas (thawed), turkey bacon bits, grated cheese, homemade sourdough croutons, and a scratch dressing

carrot curls, watermelon pickles and olives

s'mores --graham crackers, marshmallows, and large, semi-sweet chocolate patties made from melted chocolate chips

Earlier in the day, we plan on having a combination birthday/Easter/4th of July cake, followed by an Easter egg hunt -- events that we didn't get to celebrate as a whole family due to lockdowns. I baked the cake layers in advance and froze them to make my day just a little bit simpler. I've got the layers thawing in the fridge now, and will frost them Saturday morning. After the cookout, we'll have some fun with fireworks. It will be a long and busy day, that's for sure.

Wishing you all a safe holiday!


  1. Your day may be long and busy, but it sounds like a lot of fun. Temperatures will be in the 90's today, so most of our celebration will be inside. I'm glad that your whole family can finally get together. It's been a long spring that way.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Thank you. 90s sounds a bit on the warm side. We'll be lucky to reach the 70s today, here. But at least it's not raining, as so often happens on the 4th for Seattle.

      Have a wonderful 4th!

  2. It is warm in PA and over 90 for a couple of days this coming week. Can't complain, it is summer and I don't like snow so I am ok. Your meal sounds delicious. Plain grilled sirloin steak, bake potato, csa fresh green beans, and csa lettuce salad with sugar free jello with redi-whip for desert. I can't pay $12.99 for a good steak when $5.99 will do. Good thing I look before I send because this kindle is crazy with spell check.😁

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      That sure sounds like summer!
      Yum -- steak! Your dinner sounds delicious. I agree on the price of steaks. $13/lb would be just too much for my budget.

      Have a great weekend, Cheryl!

  3. Sounds delicious! And how fun to combine it with the Easter hunt. Why not? This year has been anything but normal, lol.

    We had a simple meal of pulled pork, done in the slow cooker, homemade potato salad, and corn on the cob. Ice cream later for dessert. It's been very hot and humid here (mid to upper 90's), so we ate indoors.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Anything but normal is the truth. The "kids" (I say that jokingly as they are 25, 25, 29, 32) loved the Easter egg hunt. The way we do it is we divide the yard up into 4ths and they hide each others' eggs. Some years, they get quite creative in their hiding. It can take an hour or more for them to find all of their eggs. They seem to really enjoy this activity, so as long as there are no grands, then I'm fine with the grown kids having their egg hunt.

      Your 4th of July dinner sounds delicious! I hope the humidity dies down a bit for you.

      Wishing you a great day, today.

  4. How nice that you could spend time with your entire family! We were pretty low key since we camped earlier in the week and I worked Friday and today. I did make cookies for the kids to frost and decorate in red and blue. Hubby made chicken fajitas. We are enjoying sweet cherries that everyone (except me) picked on Friday.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I bet the kids had fun decorating the cookies. The fajitas and cherries sound very yummy. How is work these days? Are the hospitals much calmer than a couple of months ago? I am praying that a second wave goes smoother than the first.

      Have a great day, Kris!

    2. We never had the covid numbers like the Detroit and Flint areas did. I think our health system benefited from watching how other areas (like yours .... ) managed the outbreak and made plans from there. Elective procedures weren't allowed in Michigan for quite awhile so work was quite slow and unfortunately a few jobs have been lost in the process. Now that elective procedures are allowed again, our workload seems to be back to normal. I've regularly been getting to work 1-2 days a week (which is a good work/life balance for me, especially in the summer). It's been several months now with having covid patients in our hospital and it seems like the PPE usage is keeping staff safe (we get a weekly report on covid numbers for staff--it's very low and they think most cases were protracted outside of work). Our health system has been saying all along that more people will continue to get sick .... just hopefully at a rate in which medical systems can keep up with the pace. There seem to be a few more treatment options that have surfaced in the past couple of months as more knowledge is gained. Now if we could just get people to appropriately wear masks .... it's so hit or miss in our area. From what I'm hearing, it's like that everywhere.

    3. That's good to hear about your area and COVID, Kris. I hope the second wave goes as well, there.

      The case counts for our area are rising rapidly. It's mostly people who are in the 20-49 age bracket. Experts say that bodes well for hospital capacity. We'll just have to wait and see on that, as our "new deaths" number has also been slowly inching back up.

      Although I am still staying at home almost all of the time, I am doing my bit for the economy by Christmas shopping online at US retailers in advance, hoping to do a small bit toward keeping people employed.

      Have a great day, Kris.

  5. July 3 was my husband's birthday so I took him "out" for breakfast. I took him "out"side to the patio and made breakfast out there for us to enjoy. We enjoyed that before the heat of the day kept us inside.

    We didn't have anything special for the 4th of July other than leftover crunchy tacos and I had BBQ'd some chicken. Nothing else not even side dishes. Yesterday was brats and hotdogs and coleslaw and nothing else. The heat just doesn't make us very hungry.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Happy birthday to your husband! What a fun way to celebrate his birthday, too. Your meals sound tasty, even if you weren't all that hungry. I can understand the heat affecting your appetites.

      have a wonderful day, Alice!


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