Independence Day is my favorite holiday. I've thrown a party for most of my adult Fourths. This year's party was pretty easy because almost everyone brought a (delicious) dish! I decided not to struggle with grilling hamburgers for a crowd this year, so to compensate for having only hot dogs as a main dish, I assembled a hot dog bar with fancy-ish toppings.
As I lay down to sleep that night, I realized I never set out the shredded cheese. Oops. I didn't take a picture of it, but the Blueberry Lavender Lemonade was delicious and fairly easy to make. I still have a pitcher left over and have been adding it to my iced tea!
I've baked a flag cake every Fourth since I was sixteen. The "recipe" has been altered many times. Last year I started making it in a half-sheet pan instead of a 9x13, to feed more people. This year, after using one box of white cake mix per pan, I started to suspect that I'd previously used one and a half. So to be safe, I made a third layer. Daring greatly!! I was thrilled that all layers came out of the pans cleanly. However, most people preferred the other desserts that were brought, so now I have a ton of leftover cake, and only one me. Lesson learned.
After seeing this outdoor summer centerpiece idea on Pinterest, I had to make some for the party! It's sliced lemons and limes, and sprigs of rosemary and mint, in a mason jar filled with water and a few drops of Bug Off essential oil. Then you add a floating tea light. These made me so happy! I'm not sure how effective they were at actually repelling bugs, but they looked pretty and smelled good.
Most people left around 8:00 to see fireworks (or put their kids to bed), but a few friends stayed and joined me in playing with sparklers in the backyard!
I hung lights across the backyard for the party. I enjoyed them so much, I'll probably leave them up for a while. (Gandalf likes them too.)
My parents and I went to the Bartlett fireworks on the night of the 3rd, but they were delayed until almost 10:45 because the control board didn't work and had to be replaced. Then something else went wrong and there was no finale… the fireworks just sort of stopped. It was a bummer (although I was glad to see them at all). I'm thinking next year I'll have the party the day after the Fourth, so I can go to the downtown fireworks with everyone else!
How was your holiday?