When I think of the 4th of July, I think of BBQs and all the foods that go with them. Hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled pineapple, potato salad, watermelon, etc, and of course, apple pie.
My friend Olivia said she wanted to do something fun for the 4th of July, so I decided to have a bbq. I wanted to feed people, so this was a great excuse.
This is what I ended up making: Grilled pineapple, hot dogs (Hebrew National), hamburgers, and apple pie.
A few people helped me out in the food department: Olivia made 5-layer dip and cheesecake, Seto brought potato salad and Melissa brought another kind of salad with rice and beans! This, plus friends, beer and fireworks made for a good night.
Now obviously I didn’t make the hot dogs, but I did make the hamburger patties. I took a few lbs of ground beef and added diced onions, garlic powder, and a hint of cinnamon (because I like to put cinnamon in almost anything). This was more than enough for everyone. I didn’t actually eat one, so I’m not sure how they tasted (bad chef, right? not tasting my food to make sure it’s ok!). Other people did, so I am assuming they weren’t horrible.
The apple pie, of course, was something I had to make. It’s very simple to make fruit pies- the filling can be pretty basic: fruit + sugar + lemon juice. Spruce it up with some cinnamon (of course) and/or ginger/nutmeg/cloves. That being said, the apple pie recipe I found a few years back (and have made ever since) requires a bit more work:
Apple Pie by Grandma Ople is one of the highest rated recipes on Allrecipes.com, which is a website I tend to use a lot. Instead of just throwing sugar and lemon juice in with the apple slices, you make butter-sugar mixture and the recipe calls for pouring it over a lattice top and letting it soak through into the apples. I prefer mixing the butter-sugar stuff in with the apples, covering the pie, then brushing the top piecrust with any leftover sugar-butter mixture. This way you can be sure that butter-sugar is getting all over the apple slices. It also means you aren’t limited to a lattice top, which was nice on the 4th because I ran out of time and lattice tops take longer!
When it comes to apple pie, I’m a stickler for one thing: Granny Smith apples. I have read a number of recipes that say you should mix up the type of apples you’re using to give wider variety of flavors, but I don’t like that. I say Granny Smith all the way. The tartness of Granny Smiths makes for a great contrast with the sugar and an all around spectacular pie. And, of course, with Grandma Ople’s recipe, you can’t really go wrong with all that sugar and butter.
Funny that this is the first time I’ve talked about pie, even though this blog is called “Mo’Pies” and pies are one of my favorite things to bake. I guess I’ve been trying to make new things recently. I’m sure more pies will show up soon.
I had also planned on making corn, and other grilled veggies (mushrooms, peppers), but I wasted some of my prep time in the morning doing other things (that is, reading). But we had plenty of food, so people were fed.
I have to shout out Kyle here, who brought a colorful, creative cocktail for us to try: skittles vodka. Kyle made this taste-the-rainbow drink by dissolving skittles in vodka overnight, then mixing it with Sprite or 7up. Honestly, it tasted like drinking skittles. And you can try all the flavors! It was sweet- it’s like you’re drinking candy! And it was dangerous- again, it tastes like skittles (just skittles). All in all, it fun to try and pretty to look at (thanks, Kyle).
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!