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Impromptu July 4th BBQ & Gardening Updates

So around mid afternoon on July 3rd, we realized we didn’t have solid plans for the next day. We decided to round up some family members and bear the heat together on the 4th.

I was excited because it gave me an excuse to try a few new recipes, as well as do a little RW&B decorating.  As with most parties, we were too busy grilling and having fun to take a a ton of pictures, but I got some great “before” shots of a recipe or two I plan to share with you guys. Actually, these two:

Having this bbq also filled a void for me as we decided not to throw our big annual bbq since we have Other Things on our minds lately.

I ran to the nearby 99 cent stores and picked up a navy tablecloth, a red and white tablecloth, and some flags and a patriotic spin-y thing (technical jargon).  I scooped up some white carnations with baby’s breath at my favorite bodega/cut flowers shop, and started my prep work so that I would be able to hang out with the family when they arrived.

We finally sampled some of the regional wine we picked up at Seneca Lake, NY a few weeks back

In addition to grabbing a few burgers and hot dogs so I could try this new grilling technique, I picked up some chicken legs and thighs, some ribs, and some potatoes for a new recipe I wanted to try (that came out great, and looked pretty too – recipe to come). I marinated the chicken, boiled the ribs, and smashed the potatoes in the morning.  For a simple cool dessert I made a few packages of jello and pudding in individual dishes, and had some whip cream in a can available for topping.  People brought over some easy apps like shrimp cocktails, anti-pasta salad, gluten-free pasta salad, and the most amazing fried onion rings I’ve ever tried, as well as  a large carafe of delicious iced coffee with kahlua to go with our dessert.

All in all – a very nice and relaxing July 4th!  Hope you enjoyed yours!

*I don’t know who I was kidding when I thought I would be able to relax – I spent over an hour in front of the grill! But luckily everyone graciously worked on the clean up so I could relax after the meal – thanks guys!

These are about eye-level height with me, and I’ve been encouraging  the vine to stay on the wrought iron instead of grabbing the fence. My luck would be that my neighbors would get all the blossoms on their side!
My morning glories are really growing! But they don’t look like they are going to give me any blossoms any time soon.  I’ll be certain to let you know when they do.  And an added bonus – we have “wild” cherry tomatoes growing!  I guess some of the seeds from rotten tomatoes last year decided to sprout again.  We will see if there is actually enough space in the bucket for them to grow fruitfully.  Fingers crossed!

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