The 4th of July is this week. I love everything about the Fourth of July. It is the observance and celebration of the independence of the United States of America, my home country. I love the fireworks, the music, the food and spending time with my family.
I am sharing the menu I grew up with in the Tennessee. Each family in the U.S. has different traditions for food on this day and probably every single one of their menus rock. Here is mine with a few links to similar recipes. I never cook with recipes on traditional food, it is all kept in my head. I really need to sit down and write the exact recipes to give to my boys someday.
My love for cooking and making holidays special stems from my Granny Vega. I learned how to cook food from my Mexican heritage as well as traditional Southern cuisine standing on a little foot stool observing my granny.
She always spoke to me in broken English, so most often I had to just smell the herb that was going into the dish to know what it was. Oh, how I miss her. Let’s move on before I get all weepy.
Fourth of July Menu
Appetizers = None, my momma has 11 brothers and sisters, when you add cousins and friends to that number you end up with more than 100 folks easily. Appetizers would have meant complete chaos. We only ate appetizers on Christmas Eve at my Granny Vega’s house.
Iced Tea (super sweet, of course)
Fruit Flavored water (usually pineapple with some fresh lemon)
BBQ- My uncles loved to argue about how to cook the best BBQ meats. They would be up at 4:00 am to begin and cook all the way until 2:00 pm every Fourth of July.
BBQ Pork Shoulder
Hotdogs ( as if they needed them, but the more the merrier, I guess)
Three Beans Salad ( probably became a tradition in the late sixties)
Potato Chips – My granny loved Lays potato chips.
I did not really eat sweets in my youth, but I did learn to love Bread Pudding. My granny made the best darn bread pudding ever.
Chocolate Nice - My mom made this and it rocks. The original recipe has Cool Whip, which I do not eat now. I use real whip, lol. The recipe link is similar to hers, but not exact. I believe we doubled the recipe and put it in a casserole dish. I will have to ask her when I am home this month.
Watermelon- Cut by my uncles in a way that preserved the seedless heart. Which they at themselves. I always thought that was kind of selfish, but after all that cooking that probably deserved the best pieces of watermelon.
And that is the 4th of July Menu Line- Up from my youth. Truly some of the best bbq and fixing of my entire life. My granny was an excellent cook and the kindest person I have ever known, I miss her dearly. She made ever holiday special and is my inspiration in all things family and food.
What foods are tradition for your family’s Fourth of July? I would love to know.
Have a Rocking Fourth Mommas!