Happy Independence Day! What are some words that come to mind when you think about the Fourth of July? Fireworks? Pool Parties? Annual hot dog eating contest on Coney Island? Grilling on the Barbeque? A definite “Yes!” Grilling for the Fourth of July has become as American as the holiday itself.
Grilling dates back to before the colonial time period. Indigenous people would cook meats on wooden structures that were called, “barbacoas.” Grilling favorites, like hamburgers and hot dogs, are modern additions. The hot dog was brought to America in the 1870’s and has been a mainstay in backyard grilling ever since. In the nineteenth century, German settlers brought a dish known as “Hamburg Style Beef” to America. The story goes that the first grilled hamburger was served at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Don’t be limited by your imagination when it comes to summertime grilling. Today, just about any food can be grilled outdoors.
There are many questions about the Fourth of July holiday that come to mind. However, here are the real questions you have to ask yourself about your Fourth of July:
Where is the family going to watch the fireworks?
How are we going to stay cool and entertained in the heat of summer?
What kind of food do we want to grill to celebrate?
The first question is all a matter of personal preference. Remember, wherever you watch the fireworks, practice the proper safety precautions. However, you have come to the right place to answer the last two questions about your Independence Day holiday plans. One of the best ways to beat the heat of the Fourth of July holiday to throw (or attend!) a pool party. Swimming pools and grilling in the backyard go hand and hand and can be fun for the whole family.
Swimming pool games are a great way for the family to stay cool and stay entertained during hot summer days. Swimming pool games are more than just for the kids. There are many games that are designed with adults and the whole family in mind. The Atomic Whirlpool and Relay races need multiple participants. For parents that just want to relax, games like Octopus, Duck Push and Scavenger Hunt are great for kids. Bonus: While the kids are playing pool games, parents can supervise while enjoying an ice cold beverage to beat the summer heat.
The food and drinks you have for the Independence Day celebrations can make or break your holiday festivity. Calypso Coolers, Poolside Margaritas, and a Caribbean Seabreeze very refreshing drinks that will keep you cool during the dog days of summer. Tip: If the drink calls for a fruit wedge or garnish, try to grill the fruit first to intensify the fruit’s natural flavor.
What’s the first thing that pops in your head when you think about grilling: A hamburger, hot dog or steak? Hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks make up 80% of all grilled meats. Why not try something new on the grill for the Fourth of July holiday. Beef is the most common grilled meat. It’s a very versatile meat to grill for outdoor fun with family and friends. BBQ Ranch Bacon Cheeseburgers are a way to spice up the typical cheeseburger. Add some Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce to the ground beef before making the hamburger patties will add a new flavor and dimension to your grilling experience. Dijon Marinated Chicken is an excellent grilling option for Fourth of July holiday. Blend together some canola oil, salt, poultry seasoning, black pepper, Cider vinegar, Dijon mustard. Then, add the mixture to chicken and let marinate for at least four hours. Grill the chicken until the meat fully cooked. The chicken can be sliced and put on top of a salad or accompanied by some vegetables for a delicious dinner. Grilling is not only for protein rich entrees. You can also grill bananas, peaches and other fruits. Combine the grilled fruit with a yogurt or ice cream for a refreshing dessert to cap off a wonderful grilled Fourth of July dinner.
Due to the extreme heat of July, umbrellas are a must if you who prefer to relax in the shade. Try placing spray bottles of water in ice buckets for your family to spray on and keep cool. Always wear adequate amounts of sunscreen as it's all too easy to get burned while sunbathing without realizing it. At dusk, and the anticipation of fireworks approaches, candles come be useful as the sun sets and look very pretty floating in the pool at night. Citronella candles on tables are useful for keeping the bugs away. The little touches can be the difference from a boring Fourth of July pool day and an amazing Independence Day celebration. And don’t forget – while you are enjoying your time outdoors, have a safe and Happy Fourth of July.