4th of July Picnic – Menu and Recipes

4th of July Picnic – How To Plan A Picnic

4th of July Picnic MenuHow about an old-fashioned family 4th of July Picnic?  Each year on July 4th, Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics, parades, fireworks, and family gatherings.  So – let’s celebrate our country’s fight for freedom!  This meal will definitely bring back childhood memories of hot 4th of July holidays waiting for the fireworks to begin.

Perfectly Planned Picnics – The hard part of all this outdoor dining, besides the no-see-ums, is all that organizing.  Every time you turn around you are trying to figure out what to pack, what to bring, what you might need.  It seems nearly every weekend, I am turning in a circle in the middle of the kitchen trying to figure out what I forgot to pack.  To make picnicking and outdoor dining easier, I created a checklist which I keep in my 4th of July picnic basket.  I keep adding to it.  I have added it here to make your summer more organized.

Favorite Non-Alcoholic Picnic Beverages:

collage of lemonade and iced teas in glass pitchers

Old-Fashioned Lemonade
 – So refreshing and delicious!  Taste just like the lemonade Grandma used to make.  The secret to perfect lemonade is to start by making a sugar syrup.  Dissolving the sugar in hot water effectively disperses the sugar in the lemonade, instead of having the sugar sink to the bottom.

Andra’s Sweet Tea – Southerners swear by their traditional sweet ice tea and drink it by the gallons.  In the South, ice tea is not just a summertime drink, it is served year round with most meals.  When people order tea in a Southern restaurant, chances are they will get sweet ice tea.Y ou will definitely love this sweet tea!

Favorite Picnic Sides and Salads:

4th of July Picnic sides and salads collage

Andra’s Barbecued Beans
My friend, Andra Cook of Raleigh, NC is famous for her delicious North Carolina barbecue bean recipe.  These wonderful tasting beans are always a favorite at any gathering she brings them. They especially seem to be a favorite of men!

Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled Corn on the Cob is a popular menu item for barbecues and clambakes, and it’s easy to do.  Grilled corn on the cob is not only tasty, but grilling your corn never fails to impress your guests.  Fresh corn on the cob can be cooked on your barbecue either wrapped in aluminum foil or in its own husks.  In the husk makes for a more dramatic presentation, but it is slightly more trouble than using aluminum foil.  Either way, the grilled corn will be delicious!

Favorite Potato Salad
This is my family’s favorite potato salad recipe.  A family gathering would not be complete without this salad.  I have tried many other potato salads, and as far as I am concerned, this is the best!

Chunky Avocado Salad – Guacamole Salad
This version of guacamole was shared with me by Marisela Reyna of Hillsboro, Oregon.  I really like this chunky version of guacamole over the mashed ones.  It can be served as an appetizer or a salad with either corn or flour tortillas.

Favorite 4th of July Foods:

The Fourth of July has become synonymous with the barbecue, outdoor cooking, and summer fun.  While variations are as numerous, there are still favorite dishes and foods which immediately come to mind when one thinks of 4th of July or Independence Day.

Take advantage of the weather and fire up the grill on the Fourth of July.  Check out these great grilling and barbecuing recipes to help make your holiday event a masterpiece your Fourth of July guests will love. There is something compelling about the smell of food being cooked over a charcoal pit, open flame or barbecue.

collage of American barbecue foods

Great American Hamburger
The elements of the perfect hamburger are a patty of ground beef in a soft round bun, served with ketchup, pickles, and onions.  You may add other condiments, whatever you like, but the meat itself must be of prime quality or its not worth the effort.  What people prefer on their hamburger can vary from region to region in the United States.

Southern Fried Chicken
The quintessential southern dish is fried chicken.  There are as many recipes for Southern Fried Chicken as there are southern cooks, with most being passed down through generations.  This classic American Fried Chicken is though to have developed in the latter half of the eighteenth century from the traditional fricasee or frigasee that was served in most homes in the south.

Beer Butt Chicken – Beer Can Chicken – Drunken Chicken
Beer Can Chicken, Drunken Chicken, Beer Butt Chicken – no matter what you call it, this is a delicious way to barbecue a whole chicken.  This chicken is the juiciest cooked chicken you’ll ever try!  The beer inside the can steams the chicken making it so tender and juicy.  Do this recipe when you are having a group of people over.  Everyone likes to watch the preparation and the cooking of this chicken as it looks so weird on the barbecue grill.  Great entertainment!

Favorite Family Desserts:

4th of July Picnic desserts and pies collage

Grandma Hagerman’s Apple Pie
This is my Mother’s, Dorothy Hagerman, apple pie recipe.  It is so good!

Strawberry Shortcake

Nothing could be a more typical, totally American, dessert than strawberry shortcake.  Plus what could taste better during your local strawberry season?

Homemade Ice Cream
While ice cream is readily available in the freezer cases of grocery store and specialty stores, homemade ice cream is in a world of its own.  When you make your own, you combine fresh, rich ingredients with the flavorings and add-ins of your choice, for a delectable experience.  If you own an electric or hand operated ice cream freezer, making your own ice cream can be fun and easy.  Learn how easy it is to make everyone’s favorite Ice Cream Treats!


Have a Safe and Fun 4th of July Holiday

Food safety is the most important part of picnic planning, as food can spoil very quickly out of refrigeration.  It is important to keep food safety in mind when planning for and packing a picnic.

Buffet and Party Safety
Also includes what to do if your guests have been delayed at least an hour

Golden Rules of Food Safety
IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!  If you have any question in your mind about the freshness or safety of eating a food product, throw it out.  It is better to be safe than sorry!

Picnic Safety Tips
There is nothing more American than the picnic.  Picnics can take on many forms, such as the community picnic, friends and neighbors, tailgate parties, or ball games.  There is also one sure thing at every picnic-lots of good food.  The important point is to have safe and healthy food, not food that can cause food borne illness.  Always prepare and store food properly.

Summer Safety Tips
Summer is the time for barbecues and picnics.  The biggest party crasher at summer picnic and buffets is food borne bacteria.  You can’t see them and you can’t taste them, but you sure can feel them if illness occurs hours or days later.

Check out all of Linda’s wonderful Dinner Party Menus (includes recipes)

Check out Dining Etiquette Guide – Restaurant and Dinner Party Manners and Etiquette.

Appetizer Recipes
(Hors d’ oeuvres, Starters, Amuse-Bouche, & Snacks)

Appetizer Hints
How many appetizers to make for your party?


Dinner Party Menu & Recipes    Fourth of July    Hamburgers    Summer   

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