Happy Independence Day!
July 4th is the ultimate holiday for life on the veranda. Good food from the grill with delicious sides, patriotic brews, home-made ice cream, time spent with friends and family, and fireworks all help to make this a special day. Twelve members of our family along with close friends spent the evening playing cornhole, jumping on the trampoline, and reliving old memories and making new ones while hanging out on the deck. Our menu included traditional fare – burgers and hotdogs, bacon-hotdogs (hotdogs wrapped with bacon), mac and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans, green beans, bean salad, and topped off with red, white, and blue cherry cheese pie and banana and vanilla ice cream.
The patriotic beer for this holiday celebration was Sam Adams, Yuengling, and Pabst Blue Ribbon; Sam Adams because he was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States; Yuengling because it is the oldest brewery in America, and Pabst Blue Ribbon because it is an American classic. For the under-21 crowd we had alcohol-free layered patriotic drinks.
Home-made ice cream is one of my favorite summer dishes and banana is my favorite flavor to make. Here is the recipe I like for an easy, no-cooking version of vanilla:
2 cans condensed milk
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla (I always double this to 4 tablespoons)
½ pint whipping cream
¼ teaspoon salt
Combine eggs, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla, and condensed milk in bowl and mix well. Pour in can and add milk to fill line. Churn in freezer per instructions. Makes about 4 quarts.
For the banana, I use the same recipe but add 6 or 7 very ripe bananas. I puree the bananas with milk and a little sugar, then add to the rest of the mixture.
The alcohol-free layered drink recipe consisted of:
– 1 Cup Red CranApple juice
– 1 Cup White Sobe Piña Colada flavored drink
– 1 Cup Blue G2 Gatorade
Fill your glass 1/3 of the way full with the CranApple juice. Fill the rest of the glass to the top with ice. Slowly pour the Sobe drink directly on top of a piece of ice, followed by the blue Gatorade.
*Note: You MUST pour SLOWLY, DIRECTLY over the ice! Also, if you cannot find these exact drinks, you can use substitutes, just make sure to put the drink with the highest sugar content in first, followed by the middle and then the lowest.