Isn't it just awful when a holiday falls in the middle of a week? Baby had just returned from job-related travel on top of it so he gratefully took the Wednesday break just the same--but our celebration was very low-key and in town this year. We thought it best just to entertain a few people over the course of the sprawling afternoon--which included a handful of fun surprise guests too! We took them up to the sundeck and toasted our Independence with a bottle of slightly frizzante rose that brightly lit up the gorgeous, lazy day. Later that night, those remaining with us returned to watch the fireworks exploding across the Hudson river.
Hamburgers and hot dogs were the order of the day of course, with potato salad, Fritos, and lots of vodka tonics poured about. We had grape, cherry and orange popsicles for dessert. Baby was in charge of the meat, using our Cuisinart Griddler Gourmet in the kitchen like we actually had an outdoor grill and a back yard.
Juicy Pat LaFreida burgers were sprinkled with the fantastic Back of the Yards garlic pepper-butcher's rub from The Spice House. The beefy Hebrew National franks frolicked with butter. This little gadget with two functioning panels makes it so easy to cook two things simultaneously. It's also a panini press.
As I am wont to do, whatever the occasion, I set to my table with vigor. Inspired by an issue of Gourmet magazine from 1994, I created a spread of red, white, and blue with shells and plastic lobsters, and a vintage diving helmet ice bucket from an old Gilbey's gin promotion, I think. Here's one similar in its full glory that I found on eBay. Isn't it gorgeous?
There was a tube of sunscreen too, naturally, for our Fourth of July Sailing Picnic!
Prepping the table, as you can see, with...
I suppose this hollowed log is for stashing jewelry or something, but I stuck forks in it.
I left the copy of Gourmet that launched my flight of fancy next to the diving helmet ice bucket as well.
Look at the curious lobsters trying to get to the buns and rolls--the burgers and hot dogs weren't even out yet! The delicious Grafton cheddar cheese and pickles were for the burgers and amidst our other relish and ketchup condiments, Baby made his own mustard.
After a career as a theatrical agent for Broadway, film, and television, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currenly the senior editor for Carnsmedia, was web editor for Interior Design and the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he wrote a weekly restaurant review column which also featured Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chefs and bartenders on the island. He has written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day, among others, and his recipe for Wicked Good Clam Chowdah from this blog was published by Andrews McMeel in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood's books are available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox