Hello To All
I hope all of you had a wonderful 4th of July. Did you do anything exciting? Cookouts? Fireworks? Ice Cream? We were able to do all 3!! And we had a lot of fun doing ALL of them!
Our day was unusual at the beginning. For the first time in I don’t know how many years I didn’t have to work on the 4th – but hubby did. So our day started out heading to his office for a couple hours. He worked – and I checked out the local thrift store near his office! However, he was done quickly and we were soon headed back home to face a day of fun and excitement!
We had gone to a HUGE fireworks store in Blacksburg, South Carolina, called Shelton’s Fireworks, on Sunday. We try to save a little money each month to buy fireworks (I learned this lesson a couple years ago because I didn’t realize how expensive those little cardboard packs of gunpowder could be!!!). We took our cash, and our best bargain hunting hats, and set out for the wonderland of smoke and fire 🙂
You can see from the pictures how big this place is – it was unbelievable the amount of fireworks and people inside the huge red building. We picked our favorites (I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of the cart!) from all the choices, with some negotiating and jockeying for choices, but finally with choices made and all our carefully saved money spent, we headed home to look over our loot.
On the big day, upon arriving home from hubby’s work, I started getting ready for the cookout we had planned – burgers, dogs, baked beans, homemade macaroni and cheese, and chips. For dessert, I had made my favorite of all time chocolate chip cookies that I found on the Baker Bettie website. I am going to share that recipe in a couple days! However, the fam decided they had to have homemade strawberry ice cream to go with the cookies. Who am I to argue with a wonderful idea like that? I will share the recipe we used below – it was FANTASTIC! Not at all hard to make – no cooking involved – and froze really quickly in our thrift store find of a $5, brand new, in the box, ice cream churn! You can find a similar one here.
The fireworks were spectacular – I tried to take some good shots, but admittedly am an amateur with the camera and night pics. We had quite a variety – sparklers (for people like me who never really grew up!), bottle rockets, missiles, firecrackers, mortars….plus two really REALLY big ones that were loud, spectacular, and rained ash everywhere (I will admit that it took me probably an hour to clean up on Wednesday morning!)
All in all we had a wonderful 4th of July. During supper, we had a discussion about why we celebrate the 4th. My oldest son, who tends to be a smart aleck all the time, said that Thomas Jefferson had written an addendum to the Declaration stating he wanted every celebration to include fireworks and ice cream! However, when everyone finally got serious, we reminded them of how important our freedom is, and how many soldiers had fought and died to ensure our freedom. The 4th of July should always be about more than just a day off from work and fireworks galore. I hope I never get to a point where I take the importance of the day for granted!
HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM
You will need:
1-2 pints of strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 cup of sugar, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups heavy whipping cream (I used store brand)
1 cup whole milk (really should be whole)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a mixing bowl and set aside in fridge for 1 hour. Because we decided to make this at the last minute, we did not let it sit for an hour. If you have time, I would recommend doing this. Although the ice was amazing, it would have been to die for with this step!
- In large mixing bowl, or electric mixer, beat eggs until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, mixing well.
- Add in milk and vanilla and mix well.
- Add strawberries with juice and mix well.
- If using mixer, remove bowl from mixer. Gently stir in whipping cream just until combined.
- Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
We have a 3 quart mixer. This did not make a full container but that was okay. It froze very quickly and was ready to eat in no time. As a rule, I’m not a fan of fruit ice creams, but I have met my first exception. It was smooth and creamy and full of deliciousness! This ice cream was sweet but not too sweet, creamy, and absolutely perfect to cool us off on a hot July evening.
What are some of your favorite July 4th traditions? What do you like to do ? Share with me in the comments below!