Happy Fourth of July! On this birthday of our dear USA we wanted to share with you our family traditions – both then and now.
Then. The background for this story is that my biological parents divorced when I was 10 months old. At the time of the divorce my parents and I were living in Rhode Island, and my mom moved back to her hometown of LA, while my Father moved to Kansas. Since my parents lived many states apart, throughout my childhood I spent some portion of my breaks from school with my Father. The 4th of July holiday was one of them. We would spend roughly two weeks at my grandparents house in Massachusetts and we would…
– Wear red, white and blue. We generally would attend the small town parade (pictured above) and being color coordinated with the holiday was mandatory.
– Have a BBQ! Usually we had some sort of fish too. And always fresh corn and veggies. We frequented the local produce farm which is still a highlight of any visit.
– Make a dessert that was red, white and blue. I remember one year my stepmom tried a new cake recipe where on top of the white icing we would place blueberries and strawberries in the shape of a flag.
– Light fireworks on the clay tennis court. Not the big fireworks as we didn’t really want to draw attention to ourselves, but lots of small ones. My favorite then and now are sparklers.
Now. There is so much from this holiday that I love and am trying to incorporate into my celebration now. The fireworks aren’t always possible, but the BBQ and fresh produce most certainly is. I haven’t yet tried a themed desert, though I do try to dress in the holiday colors. I mainly want this to be a day where as a family we spend lots of time outdoors and eat amazingly delicious food. So, you know, like any other day!
Then. Growing up, the 4th of July consisted mostly of barbequing at home and watching fireworks. Many summers, we watched fireworks on the water at Solomons Island which is a cute little town in Southern Maryland. Our family tradition for food was ribs, corn on the cob, ranch style beans (This comes from my Texas roots!), and homemade blueberry pie.
Now. My favorite way to spend the holiday now is with my family in Colorado. My parents live in the most beautiful place up in the mountains and the small ski town near where they live has the craziest and most fun parade through the town. We really miss it when we’re not able to be there (This year falls in that category! *tear*). Wherever we are, we still make the family rib recipe, corn on the cob, ranch style beans, and homemade blueberry pie. With having the girls now, we dress them up in red, white, and blue. They’ve been too little for fireworks in the past, but I look forward to taking them to see a fireworks show and discovering how amazing sparklers are too!
The below is our family rib recipe if you’d like to try it!
4 lbs pork spare ribs (we also like to use “country style” ribs)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 Tbs cider vinegar
2 Tbs dark corn syrup
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
3/4 Tbs chili powder
Early in the day:
Cut spareribs into 2-3 rib portions. Place in 8 quart dutch oven, add cold water, and cover with onion. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until almost tender. Drain, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
About 50 minutes before serving:
Prepare grill. In medium bowl, combine ketchup and remaining ingredients for sauce. Place parboiled spareribs on the grill over medium coals (or heat if you aren’t using a charcoal grill!). Brush sauce over, grill 20 minutes or until fork tender, brushing often with sauce, turning occasionally. Serve with extra sauce on the side!