I’ve been putting this post off (yeah, for a whopping two days) because my 4th of July was heavenly. If I offer you all my reflections, that means that it’s truly over. But, as Wooden Nickels likes to say, the only direction we can move in life is forward. Well I’m moving forward, but looking backward on a great long weekend.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve come to realize that almost everyone who celebrates Independence Day does pretty much the same thing each year, and That Thing is not to be tampered with, in any way. My parents’ barbecue is a big part of our 4th of July tradition, mostly because it’s the only party they throw all year.
The other, completely necessary, aspect of America’s birthday that must be included in my day, is the local parade. As the years have gone by, I’ve gone from decorating my bike with crepe paper and pinwheels and marching through the streets, to being more of a casual observer on the sidewalk. This year, we headed out of Smalltown, PA and to our new, big-city neighborhood for the parade.
What they don’t tell you about 4th of July parades in DC is they are infected with politics. I’ll take baton twirlers, classic cars, and military veterans any day. The saving grace for me was not one, not two, but three performances by Bolivian dancers. I had never seen anything like it before.
The benefit of the holiday falling in such a way that it creates a long weekend is that we got to celebrate with another barbecue, this time playing host to my in-laws. It was never meant to be a fancy gathering, but after my husband and I amassed three flags at the parade, the rest of the ‘scape fell right into place. We used our nice china too, because, why not?
*I put the flags in one of my favorite glasses, which I picked up from Home Goods after seeing John and Sherry had the same ones (third tablescape from the top). Stalker, stalker.
We put nothing but show-stoppers on the table, including Ina’s fresh corn salad, which has made it to the blog before, but deserves an entire post to itself. Because this is what summer tastes like.
To make enough salad for 4, you will need:
- 5 ears of corn, shucked (that means you peeled back all the green, leafy stuff, and the yellow, stringy stuff under that)
- 1 small (or half a medium) red onion, small-diced
- 3 T cider vinegar
- 3 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 C fresh basil, julienned