About a month ago I got a city newsletter that mentioned a big event at the city park, ending with a fireworks display. That's the park only one block away from my house, so I thought for sure we could see fireworks from my house, so I tried to have a low-key, small BBQ potluck so I wouldn't be killing myself just one week after the big concert when I was already exhausted. Well, my low-key small BBQ potluck was still 25 of us, but that was a very manageable amount and we all had a great time! One friend said "one of the best 4th of Julys I've had!" Hooray! :D
Fabulous Fireworks From My Backyard!!! :D
My 4th of July BBQ menu:
chips & salsa
sliced cheese (havarti, gouda, cheddar, white cheddar with carmelized onions)
Brie in Patriotic Puff Pastry with Homemade Spiced Loquat Jam & Dried Blueberries
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad
Apricot, Chicken & Cashew Rice Salad
Fresh Fruit Salad
Red & Blue Grapes (well, black grapes but they're bluish purple!)
Star Sugar Cookies
Homemade Old-Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream (6 quarts!)
I had asked for potluck, so people brought all sorts of yumminess! I never put anything of my own on the grill except the sweet potato salad! There were various delicious salads, a few styles of chicken wings, an ice cream pie full of stars, a strawberry cake with custard filling, homemade pizelle cookies, and even some homemade infused vodkas! That habanero vodka had quite the kick - hoo boy! I had made up my own layered red white & blue cocktail "Razzle-Dazzle-Tini" for both vodka & virgin varieties, so the kids & adults had fun making those, especially with the red, white & blue glowsticks I found as stirrers! I love my friends... Robert the biochemist started talking about the different specific gravities of the liquids allowing them to stay in layers, but Dave the graphic/advertising/web designer pointed out that my cocktail was white, blue & red, not red, white & blue...haha! Of course the funniest was that both of those points had indeed crossed my own mind already! ;)
All the official city newsletters I saw just said "fireworks begin at dark" so weren't sure when exactly...well 9:30pm rolled around and it was really obvious what the real fireworks were! Very good display for city fireworks! The finale went on long enough my old digital camera was able to save photos, recharge & take more 4 times just during the finale blast! Very cool! I love fireworks so knowing I can see such a great show from my backyard is great! My friends were joking I should sell tickets next year for my party! haha!
What was a bit scary & much too close for comfort was so many neighbors lighting big illegal fireworks...big enough & bright & firey enough that I was watching closely where they would land for fear of my roof or yard! One actually set a bush on fire in the yard kitty-corner to mine, behind my neighbors that were lighting these fireworks, and they jumped the fence to put out the bush...and all the illegal fireworks were NOTHING compared to the official show for which we had such a fabulous view! So, now knowing I have such a good view, plus I should be home anyway making sure my house doesn't catch on fire from all the neighbors being stupid, I think I will have this 4th of July Brittahytta BBQ party every year!
One giant drawback was the parking on the street was full already by 10am...argh! Obviously I wasn't the only one who brought their friends over to watch the fireworks! Most of my friends had to park a block or two away, and they were there well before dark. One who left & came back had to park half a mile away! Perhaps a "shuttle service" from my house to a larger parking lot will be in order next year, but I was told the nearby shopping center parking lot had extra security who were watching closely where people were going after they parked, so I'm not sure where the best parking spot would be. Something else to plan to make next year better. :)
After the fireworks, some had to leave since they had longer drives & had to work in the morning, but a good crowd stayed another hour or so, then still on into the evening. At Melanie's behest, Dan got roped into sightreading piano from my Tori Amos songbooks (6 flats anyone? Yes, that was A-flat minor...heh!) for Melanie & me to sing along, while others were still roasting marshmallows & making s'mores at my new firepit out back. Kylie the Kitty was even making appearances all through the party, often by trying to sneak outside, but being very social at times, making herself quite the popular purring machine! By 11:30pm, the last group of 8 was leaving, and by midnight I was loading in my copious photos...even more copious since others were obviously having fun with my camera while I left it unattended! I get some of the most interesting photos that way...heehee...After midnight, I put away only the food I was trying to keep, threw the most obvious garbage into a big bag, then shut the screen door to prevent cats & others from coming in & making a mess! Since I have to work today, I'll have to clean in the evening when I can see the yard in daylight!
The full gallery is here if you'd like to see all the photos...
Hope everyone else had a Fabulous Fourth!
P.S. For those curious, here are my patriotic layered drink recipes I created especially for this party:
A patriotic red, "white" and blue layered cocktail!
1 oz Blue Raspberry mixer
1 oz raspberry syrup (Torani brand)
1 oz clear vodka (chilled)
Pour the Blue Raspberry mixer into a martini glass. Carefully pour the raspberry syrup down the side of the glass so it settles at the bottom in a red layer under the blue. Carefully pour 1 oz vodka on top as a third layer. Use a red, white & blue sugar rimmer on the edge of the glass if you like. Add your favorite garnish, like a patriotic glowstick stirrer or toothpick flag, and enjoy!
A patriotic red and blue layered cocktail!
1 oz clear carbonated soda (lemon-lime, tangerine lime, or other)
1 oz Blue Raspberry mixer
1 oz raspberry syrup (Torani brand)
Pour the Blue Raspberry mixer into a martini glass. Add the soda, which will mix with the blue as a paler blue. Carefully pour the raspberry syrup down the side of the glass so it settles at the bottom in a red layer under the blue. Use a red, white & blue sugar rimmer on the edge of the glass if you like. Add your favorite garnish, like a patriotic glowstick stirrer or toothpick flag, and enjoy!