If I had to choose just one word to describe what The 4th of July means to me, it would have to be tradition. Independence is the obvious choice, but to me and my family, there are little traditions that have been building since my childhood and new ones I've added along the way. It is a no-fuss holiday that evokes images of watermelon, barbecue, corn on the cob, and happy kids writing their names in the darkness with sparklers. Every family has their own traditions, yet somehow, no matter whose cookout you visit, you always feel right at home - it's all very familiar.
When I was little I remember seeing the well-known Cool Whip flag cake in one of my grandma's magazines and I begged her to let me make it. Of course she let me. I was so proud of that cake and I know it is a cake that makes an appearance in 4th of July celebrations all over the country. I made a smaller version a few years ago - not a flag, but the same idea. Blueberries and strawberries are an essential part of the 4th around here.
Even my kids' swim team has a tradition; each year they build a flag in the fence. It's so fun to drive by and see it proudly displayed for a few weeks in our neighborhood.
One of the newer traditions in my family are these red, white, and blue strawberries. My daughter and I made them for the first time a couple years ago, and I knew right away they'd be making a repeat performance for years to come. It is the easiest dessert, and couldn't be more festive.
If you want these treats to become a part of your 4th of July tradition, here's how I made them:
- Fresh Strawberries
- 1 12 ounce pkg. White Baking Chips (or whatever white melting chocolate you prefer)
- Blue Sugar Sprinkles
- Wax or Parchment Paper
- Line cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper
- In a large glass bowl, melt white chocolate in 30 second bursts, stirring between each, until chocolate is completely smooth.
- Hold strawberry by the stem, and carefully dip in melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then carefully dip the end in the bowl of blue sugar crystals.
- Then place on the lined cookie sheet.
- Let set at room temperature, or if you're in a big hurry, stick them in the fridge
Whether your traditions are decades old or just beginning, embrace them, add to them, and carry them on to future generations. The memories you'll create will be priceless. (And don't forget to take tons of pictures along the way!)
Happy 4th of July!