Summer Seafood Salad
Parades, Barbecues, Fireworks, a couple of meals enjoyed at local restaurants each seem standard fare for enjoying a long Fourth of July weekend and a spirited way to enjoy the national celebration. Happy 240th Birthday America!
Parades tend to grip at my emotions, including the annual Skippack Parade a few towns over, lending me this feeling of pride and happiness, a sense that all is well after all, and will continue to be, for no matter what the political scene of the time, thousands of Americans along with their families and friends don their red white and blue and for as far as the eyes can see line up along Main Street USA collectively cheering on everything from antique cars, motorcycles, streams of fire engines and emergency vehicles, to marching bands, Mummers string bands dancing in fancy clothing, floats, and, a glorious respectful tribute of tradition when everyone purposely stands up from their seats waving flags and extending huge cheers of thanks to our veterans, young and old, as they march on by. God Bless America.
I did host one barbecue for friends over the weekend and was tremendously grateful on their insistence to photograph the food before eating. Even with leisurely courses in between, I’m always hesitant to do so feeling like it breaks up the timing of things, but I hurriedly grabbed my camera making a quick shot of today’s Summer Seafood Salad, the second course of the meal or third, if you count the hors d oeuvres, which in my haste turned out a bit blurred leaving me later additionally grateful for today’s feature photo at the very top credited to Patie Lampe.
Patie also took a better shot of the medley roasted tomatoes with goat cheese and basil bruschetta served alongside some smoked shrimp with a nuoc nam sauce for the hors’ d oeuvres, but then I already had my earlier pic ready to roll and wanted to alternatively share at least one photo of the traditional John Deer tractor gracing the parade pulling along a flat bed lined with flag waving patriots…
followed by a flat bed truck float displaying a Land Preservation promotion that many of us agree on: No Farms No Food. The slogan says it all. Well, besides, Support Your Local Farmer.
The weather being temperate and comfortable with unusually low humidity for a Fourth of July weekend, I prepared a chilled Vichyssoise served in glasses topped with some fresh clipped chives off my deck for a first course. You can fill the glasses ahead of time set on a tray simply sprinkling the tops with some of the cut chive clippings just before table delivery.
Due to the lovely weather this was also the first time I ever served a summer barbecue to a small crowd in courses, which by the way, turned out to be so much more relaxing and so much fun, including providing for a nice flow of conversation throughout the extended pop-up deck picnic.
We also had some watermelon and the sweetest honey dew melon ever from the local DeKalb Produce Market served alongside the final course which was: Bob’s smoked Barbecue Ribs whose technique insures the meat falling off the bone, and really, with the rub flavor adhered, no barbecue sauce even needed.
One of the long weekend evenings kept us closer to home but with a late enough dinner to catch local fireworks eating at the home town namesake, The Blue Bell Inn, which strangely even sometimes has people from other parts of the country identifying the Pennsylvania location by the restaurant.
One of my evening favorites included the fried oysters which are not typically my choice. I’ve changed my mind. Crispy and juicy they were so absolutely delightful.
To share a bit of history about the Blue Bell Inn that you may enjoy, quoted directly from their site if you happen to be visiting in the Philadelphia region:
“The Blue Bell Inn has a rich history of welcoming guests since 1743. One of the original patrons was George Washington himself. The Inn was marked as the “White Horse Inn” on military maps that led his troops to the historic Battle of Germantown. The room Washington slept in was later used to display military memorabilia from the Revolutionary War. In 1796, the Inn’s name was changed to “Blue Bell Inn” when a distinctive bell was hung outside the building so all would be able to recognize the famous Inn. In 1840, the surrounding area once known as Pigeontown, was renamed Blue Bell because the Inn had become so renowned. The original bell is still prominently displayed.”
Fittingly, I just have to share with you the masterful driveway chalk art of the flag created early 4th of July morning by the young grandchildren of our next door neighbors who were in town visiting from Boston over the weekend. Isn’t it just fantastic?
A Main Street USA Parade, a Barbecue with friends, including a colorful Summer Seafood Salad, Fireworks, a couple of meals enjoyed at local restaurants, even the delight of driveway chalk art shared by young children, each part of a national tradition for enjoying a long Fourth of July weekend. Hope you too enjoyed your own spirited ways of celebration. Happy 240th Birthday America!