George and I decided to have a 4th of July gathering at our house. It all began at a Memorial Day party at a friend's home. One of the guests said that she had never seen our Live Oak. The hostess was talking about how beautiful and large our Live Oak is. I said, "Let's have a 4th of July party underneath our Live Oak." Thus, plans for this occasion began.
We have never been big on grilling outdoors. We have nothing against grilling; we just never got into it. We do own a grill but use it only when we have hurricanes or are without electricity for an extensive length of time. Heck, I hardly cook at all. Whatever food we plan on serving will have to be prepared and cooked in my kitchen.
The first thing to do for the party is planning the menu, right? It is the 4th of July, so, I want an Americana/Patriotic theme. What is more American than BBQ, hot dogs, potato salad, and apple pie? I headed for Allrecipes.com and found a recipe for BBQ beef sandwiches, apple pie, and pastry shells. Pinterest was helpful, too. They had a watermelon that was made to sit flat on a table. You scoop out the innerds and pour in ginger ale and the watermelon not only flavors the ginger ale but acts as the container, as well. I love that idea. There was also another watermelon idea where you cut the watermelon to look like a basket and scoop out the pulp and fill with the balled pulp from the watermelon and a cantaloupe, and add some blue berries. It is really cute. Maybe not exactly red, white and blue, but close. Throw in some hot dog and hamburger buns and condements. That should do it.
Next are the invitations. How many people can we accommodate? Who do we want to invite? Of course, everyone at the Memorial Day party, since they were originally invited. There were 8 of us at the Memorial Day party. I have to invite our neighborhood group because, well, we have a terrific neighborhood. Add 8 more. I have two very dear friends who are single women and I wanted to invite them because I like them and they may not have anything to do on that day. Also, they would fit in well with this group. The invitation list grew to 18. The invitations were sent, either orally or via email. Nothing formal here. Actually the original list was for 14. As time went by it grew to 18. All except for one responded that they will be here for the party. The one is a maybe.
A quick trip to Dollar Tree early on got a lot of decorations, sparklers, plates, bowls. Since the group has grown to 18, we will probably have to visit Dollar Tree once again for additional items.
Since the party will begin around noon to 1 p.m., this is going to be in the heat of the day. The nice thing is that it is under the Live Oak which makes the temp drop about 10 degrees from the blazing sun. George and I decided that bubbles will be a fun and cool thing and we want to get party favors of bubbles for the group. I'm also thinking that cardboard fans may be in line, as well.
Cajun Stitchery has its own canopy tent, which just happens to be blue, as well as, 2 tables with matching blue tablecloths.
We have about 9 chairs. We will need to get more chairs but can also ask our guests to bring their folding lawn/beach chairs. We all have them.
Several of the guests are insisting on bringing something. With these additions, the menu has grown to include baked beans, coleslaw, 3 bean salad, and chips. Maybe I'll make a bean dip, too.