Fourth of July Recipes: Fun with Red, White and Blue
The Fourth of July falls on July 4th every year, no matter what day that is. Otherwise known as Independence Day, it's a United States holiday that recognizes the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Many people believe that the Fourth of July celebrates the day the U.S. won their independence, but it doesn't. On July 4, 1776, the U.S. simply declared their right to be a separate nation.
Barbecues, picnics, family gatherings, baseball games, fireworks and other festivities are all part of the fun. Typically, decorations, clothing and food carry a red, white and blue theme to show respect for the American flag. Fourth of July recipes are extremely fun to make since lots of dishes can be adapted to make good use of those colors.
When thinking of your own Fourth of July creations, take a moment to make a list of the various foods you enjoy that are red, white or blue. While strawberries, blueberries and bananas are easy choices, don't forget about shredded coconut, whipped cream, vanilla pudding, and colored gelatin. Food coloring is an easy way to tint frosting on a cake, and you can now purchase colored sprinkles that also come in a mixture of red, white and blue.
This particular Fourth of July recipe uses colorful strawberries and blueberries against a background of homemade vanilla pudding attractively layered and displayed in a large glass bowl with Vanilla Wafers. Feel free to add any additional fruits you like or substitute a different cookie.
Simple Strawberry-Blueberry Layered Pudding Recipe
12-ounce can of evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 large eggs
Vanilla Wafer cookies
1 pound strawberries
6 ounces fresh blueberries
1 cup shredded coconut
whipped cream to garnish
In a large saucepan, combine milk, butter, vanilla and sugar. Heat until very hot, but not boiling. While the milk heats, in a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly, until thickened.
In a separate bowl, beat together 2 eggs. With a wire whip, very slowly whip the eggs into the thickened pudding. Continue to cook and stir the pudding over low heat for several minutes. Don't rush this step. You want the eggs to cook into the pudding. Turn off the heat and allow the pudding to cool for a few minutes.
While the pudding is cooling, cut the strawberries into quarters. Once cut up, layer pudding, cookies, strawberries, blueberries and coconut in a large glass bowl. The glass will allow the red, white and blue colors of this layered dessert to show through. Topping the pudding with Cool Whip adds a nice touch.
This makes a very rich vanilla pudding. If you don't trust yourself to make the pudding correctly, or if you're short on time, you can make up a large package of instant vanilla pudding mix and layer it with the fruit, cookies and coconut.