You can ask The Kid, and there will be full confirmation—I am a corny, kitschy, sentimentalist.
When Petey and I travel, we both love to do the touristy thing. I’m the girl that would totally stop at World’s Largest Jack-in-the-Box (Middletown, CT), the Indian Death Tiki of Awesomeness (Maggie Valley, NC), and spend the night in dog shaped digs at the Dog Bark Park Inn (Cottonwood, ID) or beneath boulders at Kokopelli’s Cave Bed & Breakfast (Farmington, NM).
Each fall I literally do a happy dance in the grocery store the first time I see the mellow-creme pumpkins on sale (and don’t even start–they are a completely different confection from candy corns).
I buy one loaf of spongy white, Sunbeam or Wonder bread a year. It’s used to make my annual Thanksgiving night, before bed, turkey sandwich.
At Christmastime, I watch hours and hours of fifty-year-old cartoon and Claymation holiday-themed productions. Each year, If not physically restrained by Petey, I would happily perch on Santa’s lap for a nice, long chat. I own a Christmas sweater so ugly it’s illegal in 25 states and actually has functioning bells on it.
So when there is a barbecue or picnic for the Fourth of July, you darn well better believe that there will be food, beverages, décor and fashion in red, white, and blue.
For dessert, I buy Independence Day hued M&M’s and liberally scatter them, along with handfuls of broken pretzel pieces, on top of my dark chocolate, fudgy brownies. And I serve Sundaes with homemade vanilla ice cream drenched in fresh cherry and blueberry sauces.
Blue historically, has been hard to find in savory foods. I guess there’s blue cheese, and I like it fine, but it’s only blue because of mold; which isn’t really very festive when you think about it.
About fifteen years ago, the US was introduced to a colorful new spud. Even though it’s known as a purple Peruvian potato, don’t be fooled. Most of them are as blue as the moon in Kentucky, Elvis’ suede shoes, and a K Mart special.
Uncle Sam’s potato salad
3 pound purple/blue potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
24 ounces Cherub baby tomatoes, left whole
8 ounces goat cheese crumbled
5 or 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Leaving on the skin, cut the potatoes into bite-size piece and cook in heavily salted, boiling water until fork-tender (15-20 minutes). When still hot, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice. Season, and taste for seasoning.
Let cool completely then put into a large bowl with tomatoes.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Refrigerate dressing for at least two hours.
Thirty minutes before service, add dressing to potato/tomato mixture, a little at a time until the vegetables are lightly coated. Gently mix in goat cheese. Cover and let sit indoors at room temperature (not outside, where it’s hot, you don’t want a trip to the emergency room for dessert).
Before service, sprinkle the bacon on top. This way it will still be crispy when eaten. Serves 8-10.
And if you don’t get it together for the fourth, don’t fret. This potato salad also works for Bastille Day, on the 14th. Though, you should probably call it Frere Jacques potato salad.
Thanks for your time.