Our 4th of July went something like this...
- wake up at the crack of dawn to run 13.1 miles around Sauvie Island
- celebrate another successful race with pancakes, bacon, and coffee
- attempt to nap
- prep food for the block party
- sit down whenever possible
- limp outside to join neighbors in games, eating, and drinking
- make sure Rocco doesn’t bark at the babies
- take Rocco back inside after he barked at a baby
- eat more, drink more
- watch fireworks
- move to backyard for firepit and smores
- deplete any remaining energy while attempting to stay awake past midnight
- blissfully fail at #12 and crawl into bed
Tired yet? Yeah, me too. So let’s get to the good stuff... the food!
Odd numbered houses were tasked with making sides (the even numbered houses got desserts) so I made our default pasta salad – Giada’s Antipasto Salad. Not knowing how many people were going to attend and how much the other houses were making, I made about 5 times more than I needed to and will now be eating pasta salad for 3 meals a day for the next week.
We had the opposite problem with our other side dish – deep fried pickles. If you’ve never had deep fried pickles, you haven’t really lived. Honestly. They’re worth buying a deep fryer for. I’ve had them at restaurants and they’re never as good as homemade. Many restaurants take the pickle slice approach, which is a shame because the spears are hands down the way to go. But the home deep fryer also makes things less greasy than what you find at restaurants or state fairs… I don’t know why that is, but it makes me feel a little less guilty. (We figure it’s a slippery slope from deep fryer purchase to The Biggest Loser, so when Jared and I bought the deep fryer we pinky swore that we’d only use it 2-3 times a year and we’ve stuck to it. Yes, we pinky swear. We also pass each other notes, talk in secret code, and promise to be bffs 4ever. You don’t do that with your significant other? Oh. Damn.) Anyway, the thing about the pickles is that each time we make them I swear I’m going to take pictures, and then the whole batch gets eaten before I can even get the lens cap off. This time was sadly no different. But in case you’re curious, they pretty much looked like this:
At one point in the evening there were several people holding a deep fried pickle in one hand and Jared’s home brew in the other, which was pretty awesome. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it on here before, but my husband has become a pretty avid home brewer over the past couple years. So when an email went out to see what people could bring to the block party, I volunteered a keg of Jared’s beer. It was sort of like the marriage equivalent of taking the training wheels off your kid’s bike and hoping like hell they don’t curse your name as they’re being carted off in an ambulance. Thankfully, his beer was a rousing success (duh!) and before we knew it, Jared’s was the first keg finished and he breathed a massive sigh of relief. I did, too, it was just drowned out by the groaning that occurred every time I had to move.