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 weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, 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 recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox