Celebrate the Fourth of July with simple fare

Published 12:01 am Saturday, June 30, 2012

This delightfully simple menu is sure to please guests and cooks alike this Fourth of July holiday.

We celebrate this coming Wednesday our independence with parades, parties and cookouts. I am having some friends over, and we will share doing the meal and then we will walk downtown and watch the fireworks. Here is my menu, which reminds me of my youth when my mother did lemon pie and potato salad decorated with hardboiled eggs. I always do hamburgers on the Fourth, but now I use grass fed beef. Some things do change.

Happy Fourth of July!


My Mother’s

Potato Salad

5 pounds red potatoes

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup Miracle Whip salad dressing (no substitute)

1/3 cup milk

2 Tbsp. yellow mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch green onions, sliced

1 bunch radishes, sliced

6 hardboiled eggs, sliced (for decoration)

Boil the potatoes until, about 20-30 minutes. They are tender when you can easily stick a fork into the potato.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl blend mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, milk and mustard until smooth. This dressing should be fairly thin, so don’t skimp on the milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When cool enough, peel the potatoes. Cut the warm potatoes into cubes and add to the dressing, folding carefully as you add them. Add green onions and radishes to blend well.

Add the sliced hardboiled eggs on top for decoration. Chill well to blend flavors.


All American Burgers

1 lb. Grass fed beef

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. water

½ tsp. seasoned salt

½ tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. pepper

4 sandwich buns

Prepare and heat grill. Combine all ingredients except sandwich buns in a large bowl and mix gently. Shape into four (4) patties. Cook 4-6 inches from coals 10-15 minutes, or until hamburgers are no longer pink in the center. Toast buns on the grill and add any favorite fixings to you hamburger-mustard, ketchup, cheese, pickles, relish, onions, lettuce or tomatoes.


Grilled Corn on the Cob

6 ears of corn

Butter, salt, and pepper

Carefully peel back husks from corn, leaving them attached at the base. Remove silk from corn and discard. Smooth husks back over corn and tie with a piece of string to keep closed. Soak corn in cold water for an hour. When ready to grill, drain corn, shaking and squeezing of excess water. Place on grill 4-6 inches from medium high coals and grill for 12-18 minutes until corn is tender. Turn corn frequently while cooking. Remove string and peel back husks to serve. Add butter, salt, and pepper. (My shucks were too dry, and I pre-boiled the corn before grilling the ears bare.)


Best Berry Salad

A good way to use berries in season and adds a nice additional salad to the meal.

2 cups blueberries

2 cups raspberries

3 cups sliced strawberries

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper

Place berries in a serving dish; toss gently to mix. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and blend with a wire whisk until combined. Just before serving, drizzle over berries. Serves around six.


My take on my mother’s lemon pie.

Citrus Tart

with Orange

and Lemon

Serves six to eight

1½ cups crushed gingersnap cookies

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

2 large eggs, separated

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Garnishes: Fresh mint leaves, lemon and orange slices

Stir together for first ingredients. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; set aside.

Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and egg yolks until blended.

Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer, until stiff peaks form; fold into condensed milk mixture. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or just until filling is set. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Remove tart from pan, and place on a serving dish.

Beat whipping cream and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Dollop cream around edges of tart. Garnish with mint leaves, lemon, and orange slices.