Up to My Ears in Hot Dogs
Happy 4Th Everyone!
This year’s 4th marked Ron’s 21st Annual 4th of July BBQ (making it my 11th). At the age of 16, he started the tradition in his parents back yard, when he convinced them to let him stay home while the rest of his family went off on a camping trip. His friends and family (and eventually mine as well) have been getting together for fun, food and drinks ever since. It is amazing to see how much things have changed over the years.
What started out as a bunch of teens without adults around having a party, gave way to college kids letting off steam; to a bunch of young adults enjoying time with their significant others, spouses, friends and family, while reminiscing over the old days; to new families withlittleones running around, many of whom only see each other once or twice a year. I wonder if we will still be doing this into the next stages… maybe it will be our kids throwing the BBQ or even better yet we’ll all be a bunch of old geezers enjoying a summer day with our kids and our kid’s kids.
Our group of friends are so diverse, many have so much in common and some have nothing in common, but our Annual 4th of July BBQ always brings us all together and guarantees a good time for every one.
This year’s BBQ was no different …
It started as usual with an invitation via evite, email, word of mouth and new this year…facebook, inviting everyone we know to come, bringing a bag of ice, food and liquid refreshments to share, and a friend or two. In the past 4 years the invite welcomed those with little ones to bring bathing suits and towels and promised some sprinkler action that has over the years graduated to inflatable pools and water slides. We also suggest that every one get into the spirit of things by wearing red, white, and blue.
Everyone brought a little something, there were hot dogs and burgers, buns, chicken, beer, Smirnoff Ice, more dogs and buns, Icees, cake, more dogs and buns, honey dew, chips, dips, more beer, more burgers, even more dogs and buns, pies (3 to be exact- Cherry, Coconut, and Blueberry -red white and blue, I was very pleased that someone took my theme to this level!!! 🙂 ), my very first trifle ever, dark chocolate fondue, alcohol, more dogs and buns, chicken, sausage, watermelon, pasta salad, potato salad, fruit salad – yummy, yummy, cookies, and again more dogs and buns. This recession has made it’s mark on my BBQ!! Where were the usual steaks, and swordfish, filet mignon, and pork chops??? No biggie it wasn’t about the food anyway, it was about the company. I’m just up to my ears in hot dogs that’s all!!! (Ha I started to write weenies and thought better of it 😉 ) Seriously though I could feed my whole neighborhood with all the hot dogs I have left in my fridge!
Every year I try to make something new to the menu. This year it was a
Quick Lemon-Berry Trifle
What You Need!
2-1/2 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding, or any other flavor
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
4 cups mixed fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries), divided
42 NILLA Wafers
BEAT milk and pudding mixes with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP. Reserve 1/4 cup berries for garnish; set aside.
ARRANGE 21 wafers on bottom and up side of 2-1/2-qt. bowl; top with layers of 1/3 pudding mixture and 1/2 each berries and remaining pudding mixture. Top with remaining wafers, berries, pudding mixture and COOL WHIP. Garnish with reserved berries.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour.
I did however increase the amount of Cool Whip to give it a lighter taste and I boiled up some sugar water and added it to the berries once it cooled before layering them in. It was so yummy! I was so proud of myself. Toot toot!
I did also create a new recipe after making a spontaneous purchase of a jar of Boar’s Head Deli Dressing at the store the day before. I tried one of those hard to pass up sample stations in front of the deli counter and just had to buy it. I just wasn’t sure what I was going to make withit but bought it none the less. So I made it up as I went along. In the end I tossed it together with elbow macaroni, diced onions, sliced grape tomatoes, avocados, bacon, salt, and pepper. It was excellent! No picture though, it wasn’t as pretty. The only complaint was from my sister, because I hadn’t made enough of the vegetarian version for her (omit bacon). Next time I may add mozzarella cubes too.
Enough toot, tooting my horn about my (non cook) cooking. Although since the microwave is about the extent of my cooking abilities i am quite impressed with myself.
The day was filled with walks down memory lane; deep conversations about life, love and the pursuit of happiness; jokes and pranks; introductions to the newest family members; a bunch of wee ones aged 2 months to 8 years old frolicking in the garden, playing with Lagos and bubbles, racing between the water-slide and the pool, not to mention the intentioned new added feature of “the kiddie spa”; swordplay between the little kids and the “big kids”; news of a new baby on the way for the newlyweds; reacquainting with old friends who moved too far away; missing friends/family who are still too far away but are expected back soon; lots and lots of laughs; and just a plain old great time.
Here are some photos:
Leon modeling the slide. This was not taken at the BBQ, but it is the best shot of it I have. Kiera is modeling the trampolene (we thought it best NOT to use it at the BBQ)…
Kiera, modeling her ladybug bikini…
Enjoying the sunshine and the pristine, crystal clear water…
Looks refreshing doesn’t it…
How about now???…….
Whaaat? This is the unintentional “kiddie spa”. C’mon people pay big money for a good mud bath!
Wondering how this happened? Well with all the non stop rain that hit over the past month, it seems that our lawn had, had enough water. Add the overflow of the water slide to a bunch of kids trampling through the patch of mud it created on the way to the pool and you get our first and last kiddie mud bath.
It was only slightly appalling, I did my due diligence by offering to close up the pool and keep the area off limits. But all the parents were fine with it. As far as everyone was concerned, as long as the kids were having fun and not killing each other they had no problem with a little bit of mud.
Leon actually chose not to partake in the mud bath, he said it was TOO TOO gross. I suspect it had more to do with the fact that the poor kid had a really really bad ear infection than the gross factor. He was soooo amazingly well behaved for the majority of the day, it was only in the evening that he started to break down a little. Not bad, not bad at all. We had some major heart to heart before the BBQ about wanting to have a really really good day. He worked hard at it and to be honest I do feel that being under the weather helped to deter some negative behaviors that might have cropped up. I AM SO PROUD OF HIM NONE THE LESS!!!
I had a great time, and I really hope everyone else had as good a time as I did.
….although maybe not as much as a good time as I did,
…I am nursing a two day hangover right now.
Here are some more pictures…