I’m not a color kind of girl. We live in neutrals: white, cream, gray, and tan. Throw in some natural textures like wood and fur and that’s my kind of place. But, fourth of July is one of those holidays that cannot be celebrated without red, white, and blue.
Our country’s colors are timeless. The stars and stripes evoke a sense of pride and nostalgia. When I was in college I lived in Paris for a semester studying art (which was amazing!), but I remember the first time I heard our national anthem after returning home, flag flying, crowd standing with hands over their hearts. Men removed their caps, and the anthem was sung, clear and strong. The lyrics and the flag were comforting and familiar. It was home.
Our country has its problems and issues, and that will never change, but it’s our home. For better or worse, this is where we live. This is our past and our future. This July 4th, let’s celebrate all the blessings that we have in our land.
At the farm, we’ve hung our flags and gathered our festive décor, and we’ve planned our menu. I’ve included some pictures of outdoor seating spaces and listed our favorite recipes for you all.
The best seat in the house in under the garden shed. It’s surrounded by lush greenery. To one side is the horse pasture. An open field with a row of trees and a big sky as the only backdrop. Occasionally, a horse or two will meander into view, then move on to the greener grass. This little nook is shaded, and the breeze is always whispering. This is our oasis. This is where we have coffee with the sunrise. This is where we drink lemonade on lazy afternoons. So naturally, this is where we set up our red, white, and blue.
This year our menu includes:
Poppy’s famous sausage sandwiches
Mammaw’s Cherry Delight
Poppy has perfected his sausage sandwich recipe. He uses wheat sub rolls, hand split and toasted. He picks the best kielbasa sausages, microwaved for one minute then grilled. But, what makes the sandwich awesome is his homemade coleslaw. Personally, I don’t care for any other type of coleslaw, but I eat the kind he makes on everything. He chops the cabbage in a food processor, then mixes it with Duke’s mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar, and pepper. I’m pretty sure he’s never measured any of the ingredients, just mixes it by taste. And, it’s always the best.
Mammaw’s Cherry Delight is a third-generation recipe, and my brother’s favorite. The special part of our recipe is that we make the crust, whip our own cream, and put together our own cherry topping when we have time. This recipe can be made with premade crust, cool whip, and canned cherry pie filling but taking the extra steps adds the flavor of love, which is so much sweeter. This recipe is better the longer it cools. Make it up to two days ahead when possible, but let it cool at least 30 minutes. Cherry Delight requires no cooking, so it is perfect for a hot summer dessert. It is substantial, but not heavy. To make it healthier, heap fresh fruit on top rather than pie filling.
Mamaw’s Cherry Delight
Crust: Mix together 1 ½ cups of crushed graham crackers, 1 stick of butter, ½ cup of sugar until crumbly. With your hands, pat crust into bottom of a casserole dish or individual bowls.
Filling: Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold in room temperature cream cheese until mixed. Layer on top of crust.
Topping: Most recipes call for canned cherry pie filling, but it’s easy to make a quick topping using fresh or frozen fruit. You can use cherries, blueberries, strawberries, or anything else you like! Place 4 cups of fruit in a saucepan, covered, until they release juices and simmer 10 minutes. Mix 1 cup of sugar and ¼ cup of cornstarch then pour into the fruit. Return to heat and simmer about 2 minutes until thick. Let cool and pour on top of cream cheese mixture.