From my kitchen— on July 4th

by Edie Wadsworth on July 4, 2009

We interrupt the regularly scheduled series—-which I shall certainly not finish by Monday—to bring you a few dynamite ideas for the Fourth of Juuuly.   That’s how we say it in the South. 

Juuuu-ly.   
With an emphasis on the ‘Ju’.  And I’ll just confess this right now, I don’t have a whole lot of Independence Day knick-knacks.  
Hold on, let me scan around the house one good time. (from the sofa I look quickly in all directions)   
Not even one.   I don’t have one Fourth of Juuuly knick knack.   And I probably won’t look like an American flag myself.   I’m just not a ‘try to wear as much holiday paraphernalia as possible’  kind of a girl.   Not that I don’t enjoy cute little girls or darling little old ladies decked out in holiday fare.   Because I do. And it’s not that I’m not intensely patriotic.  Because I am.  I get teary eyed almost anytime I meet an honest to goodness soldier, or read almost any book about America’s founding fathers, or see little girls and darling little old ladies decked out in flag-printed clothing.
 
Not to worry though,  I can often be ‘over the top’ when it comes to my tablescapes.  And I’m never in short supply of flags.   When I saw this cute little idea on Kimba’s site, with the bandanas, I knew  it would work perfect for my upcoming ‘luncheon’.   We dined inside but in true picnic style.  I used one of those genu-ine camping table cloths and my favorite white plates with red napkins.   Strawberries and cherries in fancy compotes completed the festive table.

 Okay, enough about the tablescape, I must introduce you to the star of the show:  
Ratatouille Tart
This recipe came from my favorite source for new recipes, Cuisine at Home.  Have you seen this little magazine?  I’ve been getting it for about 3 years now–since I stopped hi-jacking them from my mother’s house– and have made so many scrumptious recipes from it.   You must subscribe.  I don’t mean to make your mouth water unduly, but this is a homeade tart crust (prebaked for 30′ at 375), with basil and fontina cheese layered first, then mandolin-sliced zucchini, squash, red onion, and red pepper, layered next.  It’s finished off with generous drizzles of olive oil and salt and pepper and then baked for thirty more minutes.

Then, I searched high and low until I found three cute little helpers decked out in red to skewer the kabobs–jerk chicken kabobs with kielbasa and veggies–from same said magazine.

My style is often to mix elements of style–a little retro with my cottage or picnic with my fancy–I think it makes decorating and living in general, more interesting.

So, I wish you all a Happy Fourth.  Of Juuuly.    And I wish you were here to taste this tart. Stevie says it doesn’t touch the homeade pizza I made earlier this week, but he was only mad because I didn’t add salami, pepperoni, beef and sausage to this tres chic tart.  We’re foodies around here, we can’t help it.   

We had such a fun visit with our friends Sebastian and Sarah.   And can’t wait to see them again!
I hope to post the ‘Surround Them with Books’ this weekend and then we’ll finish up next week. I can’t decide if I should do a linky or if you just want to post your ideas for ‘Creating a Learning Environment’ in the comments.   Let me know today in the comments and my girls  will pick one lucky (at random) person to give a one year subscription of Cuisine At Home.  And if you have any fun ideas for July 4th desserts (besides the cake decorated like a flag or the standard trifle) let us know! 
Disclaimer–I have no affiliation with this cooking magazine, I just love it….and you!
Post Edit:  It occurred to me while I was running this morning that you might need to hear Juuuly pronounced, at least those of you who don’t live below the Mason-Dixon.    And when this song came on my iPod, I knew I had to share with you.   A little family trivia for those of you who enjoy such, our dog Scooter is named after Shooter Jennings—because I thought his name was Scooter Jennings.   And our dog Hank is named after Hank Williams—my daddy’s favorite musician.  I’m not a fan of much current country music but I grew up listening to eight tracks of  Tammy Wynette and George Jones–so if I bust out into ‘Golden Ring’ or ‘We’re Gonna Hold On’, consider it a form of mental disorder forced on me when I was 3 and cut me some slack.   Please, for the love of all things honky-tonk and patriotic, give Shooter a listen–at least until you see those darlin’ girls with those sundresses and cowgirl boots (one of my all-time favorite looks)  and until he says
 ’Foath-a-Juuuly-yyy”

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica July 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm

YUMMO!! That looks SO good. We are in California celebrating at Disneyland and Six Flags…I have to say, I'm wishin' I was home so I could make that instead!! Fast food and chain restaurants just don't compare to 4th of July BBQ's and home cooking.

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2 The Hill Hang-Out July 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Our choice for "fourth-a-July" dessert is banana pudding. Not very creative, I know, but we're big on tradition around here, and it's tradition. Can't wait to read "Surround them with Books".

Since your mentor post got me thinking about needing to incorporate more mentors, I sent out a message to my friends asking what they can offer to teach my children. No kidding, their responses were 1. How to tap dance 2. How to accessorize an outfit 3. How to short-sheet a bed 4. How to cross-stitch 5. The proper usage of profanity. Aren't my peeps multi-faceted?

Happy Fourth to you! Firecracker, firecracker, boom boom boom.

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3 podso July 4, 2009 at 9:17 pm

More than 10 years ago I mentored five homeschooled high school girls in writing, life, faith, and occasional baking or cooking–with a boys-invited dinner party thrown in every so often. Those girls are now all married and having babies and our relationships continues. One of the best things I've done.

I love ratta… (sp) and make it often in the summer with our garden produce. This dish of yours looks gorgeous and yummy and I will plan to make it soon. Thanks.

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4 Sarah July 4, 2009 at 9:25 pm

That Ratatouille looks delightful. Dave (my husband), Joshua, Grace & I watched the Disney movie 'Ratatouille' just the other day, it's one of our favourites. I'm going to have to make this one! Thanks for sharing

Love Sarah x

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5 glimpse of my world July 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Edie.. I am laughing so hard about the comments with the Southern accent.. If you only knew me and this Texas twang.. can be a curse at times and embracing at others… Go on ahead and tell me about Juuu-ly!

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6 patty July 5, 2009 at 3:37 am

ohh… i saw those kabbobs and thought they'd be great for the 4th, too! the tart looks scrumptious! hope you had a …. 'blast'! ;)

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7 Cheryl Kugler July 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm

What a festive looking table. Love the red hankerchief idea. The food looks incredible~
Cheryl
http://www.cherylkugler.com

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8 J. July 7, 2009 at 11:00 pm

wow! everything –the food, the table– looks great!
anyway, i just HAD to say that i absolutely love shooter. probably one of my all time favorite singers (and i'm a northerner.)
and i was psyched that you mentioned him. it pretty much made my day. cuz no one i know has ever heard of him. (which stinks!)
anyway, you've got a great blog and i love reading it.

<3

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9 Ami July 8, 2009 at 1:57 am

Ms Edie-
I had to drop you a comment on your love of the old school country stylings of Jennings and Williams.

On a 4 hour road trip that felt like 3 days when I was about 8, we were trapped in car with my grandparents and only one cassette tape- Tammy Wynette's Greatest Hits.
Fast forward to the following Sunday at church where we all stand up to sing a good old southern Baptist hymn and my 3 almost 4 yr old brother belts out the song he had heard over and over again at the top of his little lungs.."D-I-V-O-R-C-E!! Comes final, tooodayyyy!"
I think my mom wanted to crawl under the pews while figuring out how to explain to the church folks why her youngster would be singing about a divorce.
I got the church giggles myself and had to be excused for a bit to cackle in the hallway.

For those of you not familiar with Ms Wynette, do enjoy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPYZxIg2HsI&feature=related

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10 Sarah July 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I thought it was "Scooter" Jennings too! :) Thanks for clarifying!

And that ratatouillie tart looks divine. Might make me go out and buy a tart pan! :)

Best,
Sarah

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