Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

4th of July


I love the 4th of July. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. Food on a grill. Friends and family. Fireworks. Popsicles. Soda in every possible color in glass bottles. All wonderful things.


Growing up, we often stayed home for the 4th of July and my dad would go and buy absurd amounts of fireworks for us to set off. It was so much fun. We would spend the day in the pool and as the sun started to set we would eat burgers and play with sparklers, smoke bombs, snakes, pop-its, and all kinds of other little fireworks. When it would get dark my brother and I would make everyone come outside to watch the first fireworks being set off as my dad would try and make people listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Here in Seattle, we live really close to where the city has its fireworks show every year. The street closes down and people pull couches out into the middle of the road and sit and watch the explosions. The whole community grills on their front yards and offers spare ribs to passerby. Two years ago, when the fireworks were going off, a drunk man ran up and down the street without his shirt on, waving an American flag and singing patriotic songs. It was awesome.

I always miss the 4th in Arkansas, but our home in Seattle is a pretty good place to celebrate.

It has been too hot the last week or so to do any cooking in my house, but I want to share with you some ideas for your 4th of July BBQ. Tried and true recipes to make your holiday a great success.

First up, Ribs. If you wrap them in foil and do them in the oven for the most part, it is pretty hard to mess them up and people will be really impressed. The link had full directions. If you don’t have a grill to fire up, but still want to get in on the BBQ spirit of the holiday, you can make this BBQ chicken in your oven.

For sides, I like these baked beans a whole lot. And potato salad. I made this recipe a few years ago for the 4th. It is vinaigrette based, so you don’t have to worry as much about leaving it out too long and it is very good. But at the moment, I’m more obsessed with this Bacon Ranch potato salad. Just don’t leave it sitting in the sun. Also, I love a good corn casserole. You will be happy you tried it.

For dessert, this drop biscuit summer cobbler is delicious. Or, you could make this easy strawberry shortcake. And if you mixed blueberries in with the strawberries, it would be very patriotic looking.

One more thing. If you want to have a real good time, make this punch. Mother’s Ruin. It will make everyone real special.

I don’t know if I will post this Thursday or not, it being a holiday and all, but I just want to say that I hope you all have an excellent 4th.




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