Independence Day

Yesterday was Emily’s first 4th of July! My sweet friend, Lindsey, had invited us over to celebrate. As I mentioned in my last post, I had been committed to (obsessed with) making a Holiday-appropriate dish, for the party. Let me add, I have NEVER, EVER, ONCE ,taken a dish to a party. That simply was not in my wheel house. I was the party goer who showed up late, empty handed , already blurry eyed and stumbling. This was a big deal for me, a milestone, if you will.

I spent The night before ,gathering up beach towels, Koozies, and pool toys. I packed a “Sun Safety” bag with wide brim hats, sunglasses, 4 types of sunscreen, Aloe Vera and an umbrella. Each item of clothing was laid out in order of wardrobe change. A Patriotic dress for photos; Red, white and blue outfit for playing; Sway Baby swimsuit for photos; Every day swimsuit for actual swimming; Post swimming, American flag ,cover up for fireworks-watching; and finally, My dress. A blue and white ,tie-dyed , maxi. The top , a halter style that ties around my neck, is rather revealing. I planned to wear a sports bra underneath, so that I didn’t look like the star of some Hippie fetish porn. “Candy Copulates the Compound”, was not the image I wanted to project.

When I woke up the next morning, I planned to throw my latest snack idea together , load the car up and go. There were a few hiccups. Mainly, I had purchased the ingredients for Summer Sand Pudding, without actually consulting the recipe. Jackie had re-messaged me the link on preparation for the pudding, the day before. In my excitement, I only read the first paragraph of the link ,which listed the ingredients and touted the simplicity of the dish. At the grocery store, I just bought 4 of everything. The recipe calls for vanilla pudding, so naturally I showed up at the check out line with 4, 12 count boxes of Vanilla pudding Snack Packs. I was being checked out by the same employee from a shopping trip earlier in the week. I had purchased several different types of fruit that night. Doing my part to save the environment ,instead of bagging them separately, I consolidated by putting all the fruit in 2 bags. When I went through the line, the no nonsense checker looked at the bags, and in exasperation asked “Oh girl, ‘you been grocery shopping long? You don’t bag different fruit all together, C’mon ,now”. I enjoy learning new things, so I took her criticism with a smile and sheepishly thanked her. Now ,I had the chance to show this checker how food savvy I really am. With my head high, and an air of authority, I told her all about the fancy desert I was putting together. She silently glanced down at my Snack Pack filled cart. While she was face palming , another employee was kind enough to offer some advice. Turns out, “instant” pudding, is not the same as “pre-made” pudding. I replaced the Snack Packs and grabbed 4 boxes from the baking aisle. Once I started working on the recipe, I learned there is yet another kind of pudding. The kind you cook and chill. Thankfully, my mother volunteered to run to Kroger for me.

Next, I was to take a box of Nilla Wafers, with 3 Oreos thrown in, and grind them in a food processor. We do not have a food processor. I figured the blender would work just as well. Good thing mom was walking past the kitchen on her way out. She caught me before any damage was done to our, much used, blender. We decided to smash the cookies and use a rolling pin. Half way through the first bag, I decided this was too time and energy consuming. How can I speed this up, I wondered… Then an idea came to me…I double bagged the crumbs, folded them into a towel, grabbed my keys and headed out to my car….About 3 minutes later I had learned another lesson; Running over-and then backing over- a bag of ‘Nilla Wafers, is not as effective of a way to achieve the crumbled look as you would think.

I had to clean all of that up and remake the crumbs before my mom got back. She showed up 20 minutes later with everything we needed to finish the job. From there, our treat making was smooth sailing. We got it done and the finished product looked great! Here’s the link for the recipe: http://manouvellemode.com/2011/08/02/sand-pudding/#F83DUTPz54VZguge.01

Emily and I made it to the party with 2 perfect buckets of Summer Sand Pudding, plus a Stars and Stripes fruit tray. Once we got inside , I realized something else; We were the first ones to arrive. This 4th of July was full of new experiences!

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One thought on “Independence Day

  1. Beautiful dishes…and the way I always crushed the cookies is to put them in a ziplock, step on them once and then just play crunch and roll with them in your hands (of course still in the ziplock). I can’t wait till you make Turkey and Dressing! BYE THE WAY…LOVE the blog

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