4th of July!

4th of July is a great holiday- the weather is warm, people gather around and eat and have fun and drink beer. It’s fantastic. Last year, I hosted a BBQ and decided to do it again this year- I rarely invite friends over because of my living situation, but I live relatively close to a good place to view fireworks, so I figured now was the time.

Here’s what I provided this year: hamburgers, sausages, sangria and apple pie. The hamburgers were pretty much exactly the same as I did last year: ground beef with diced onions sliced in, plus garlic powder and a touch of cinnamon. I also threw in a pinch of oregano and a bit of chili powder, too. I went for sausages instead of Hebrew National hot dogs this year: some bratwurst, some spicy Italian sausage and 100% beef sausages.

I stressed a bit about the sangria. I’ve never made it before, but I really like sangria and wanted to give it a try. I searched around for recipes and settled on Bobby Flay’s recipe on the Food Network website. The only edit I made was omitting pomegranate seeds- way too much effort involved for that to be worth it. Besides that, it was really easy to make. Mix all the ingredients and let them sit for a day. I did remove the orange peels- I wanted to avoid getting the bitterness of the rind in the sangria (maybe you’ve noticed- I don’t like zests). The biggest issue was finding a big enough container for all the ingredients, and finding the right wine. It calls for red table wine, and I looked around for awhile because I wanted table wine and not some other kind of red. I even had a hilariously embarrassing moment in the store when I knocked over a bunch of bottles of wine! Luckily nothing broke (and no one saw).

Unfortunately the only brandy I had laying around was cherry brandy, so I was a little worried about the taste. I did try a sip right after I mixed everything up, and it was not pleasant. But 24 hours later, it was fantastic! Thank you Bobby Flay! My friend Katie even said that she hasn’t been able to find decent sangria in the states, but this was up to snuff. So there’s a recipe worth keeping!

I also went for the go-to Apple Pie by Grandma Ople. Fantastic as always. I latticed the top so it would look pretty. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it! But believe me, it was pretty!

My friends brought over a number of great things: chips and guacamole, shish-kebabs, veggie burgers, beer, wine, popsicles and Chris brought onions and spices to make the sausages in a special way. Katie also made a humongous, fantastic cookie- YUM.

I really failed on the picture aspect of this post… Sorry! I could have gotten some great shots of the pie, or the sangria, or the grill in action. I was too busy having fun with friends and trying to be a good host. So this is all you get:

Danien, Marco, Katie and Hal sitting around the table on my deck.

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