The Hostess With The Mostess
Good color and design isn’t limited to just our homes. It, in fact, can be applied to many aspects of our lives including the parties we throw. Throwing great shindigs (including a stellar July 4th party) sends you to the front of the “Hostess With The Mostess” line and earns brownie points with family, friends, and neighbors.
So what does it take to throw a great patriotic party? Your guests hope you know that the bones of any successful party is extraordinary company, tasty bites, and some dynamite planned recreation. Don’t fret because I have you covered with easy party ideas. The following upgrades in decor, food, and fun will easily do the trick. All YOU have to do is follow the tips and then write the guest list.
Ideally the weather in your neck of the woods will cooperate to enjoy the July 4th party in your back yard, but the following decor, food and fun ideas will work just as well indoors.
July 4th Party Decor
Let’s begin by setting a patriotic table. While a July 4th table-cloth will be used but once per year, it’s something you can hand down to the next generation.This is something I believe they’ll be proud to receive because of all the great memories your July 4th parties will remind them of. I love this particular table-cloth because of how real it looks to an actual flag. It will easily take center stage as the backdrop of your patriotic decor. Take note that Pottery Barn will even monogram one of the corners for you; something that makes this eventual hand-me-down even more valuable.
Next, add in some festive star napkins. These will elevate the table top far better than plain white paper napkins.
Melamine plates are a summer staple and these will be used the entire season. Simple white dinner plates, complimented by (and set underneath) red rope striped salad plates, fit the patriotic bill while being innocuous enough to use for all outdoor meals.
I’ve seen plenty of elaborate patriotic table center pieces, but I’m an advocate of simple and classic. What could be more classic than mini-american flags set in a Fiestaware make-shift vase (bathroom tumbler)? They’re perfect for the occasion and short enough that everyone at the table will be able to see and converse with one another.
Finally, let’s add in some simple, yet patriotic, lighting. These adorable lantern lights can be strung over the table for an evening party, or serve purely as decoration during the day.
July 4th Party Food
Easy, yet scrumptious is the key here with patriotic party food (or food for any type party!). The more that can be prepared ahead of time, even a day in advance, the better. The goal here is that you, as hostess, have the chance to mingle with your guests and enjoy your own party. What could be better than that?
Crudites are an obvious choice to have ready as guests arrive, but why not upgrade to a mess of barbecued deviled eggs? My mouth is watering just thinking about them. (Click here for the recipe.)
A yummy staple of American picnics is fried chicken. Because it’s summer, I suggest you make the chicken ahead and serve it cold. (Click here for the recipe.)
The heat of the season requires light (rather than heavy) meals making this a perfect addition to your July 4th party. This terrific chilled green bean dish fits the bill and is healthy to boot! (Click here for the recipe).
Potato salad is a MUST at any summer outing and a July 4th party is no exception. While I don’t indulge in it frequently (I’m trying to maintain my girlish figure!), my mom’s potato salad is pure perfection to my taste buds. Here is her recipe for my favorite potato salad of all time.
My Mom’s Perfect Potato Salad
8 cups of boiled, skinned sliced or diced potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 T. prepared mustard
1 T. sugar
1 T. instant dried minced onions
1 cup diced celery
½ cup pickle relish
3 hard-boiled eggs
½ cups sour cream (optional)
Salt, pepper or salt substitute to taste
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, pickle relish, mustard, celery , sugar and spices , and mix well with spoon. Add potatoes and 2 hard-boiled eggs and mix to moisten the potatoes. Add mayo if not moist enough. Trim with third egg and dill sprigs or other greens. NOTES FROM MOM: I like to add dill in the summer when it is fresh from the garden. I think dill adds to the flavor.
Lemonade is the perfect drink for a July 4th party, and this old-time mason jar inspired dispenser is a no brainer. Not only is it stylish, but it holds 6 quarts of drink allowing you to join in the festivities and not worry about drinks all afternoon (or evening) long.
Finally, it’s not a perfect July 4th party without a bowl of homemade ice cream. My little sister, Andie, was the only one of my siblings that received our mom’s cooking gene. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, looks forward to the desserts she brings to family get together’s because they’re always mouth-watering successes. Lucky for all of us, she agreed to let me post her personal recipe for:
Brown Sugar Ice Cream.
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Brown Sugar (more or less to taste)
2 T Vanilla Extract
Whole Milk (enough to fill it to the freezer bowl fill line)
Start up the maker and start the count down to eating the most delectable bowl of ice cream ever!!
Andie uses a Cuisinart ice cream maker similar to the 2 quart model below, and believes that the “secret” to the success of her ice cream recipe is in the type vanilla she uses. The rich flavor it imparts is second to none, and no one in my family believes in using anything but this brand. Once you try it, you’ll be spoiled by its superior taste. I promise. You can find Andie’s “secret” vanilla here.
July 4th Party Fun
Of course there will be tons of reminiscing, laughs, and jokes told at your July 4th party but I want to look at the “planned fun” activities your guests can partake in.
I associate a July 4th party with a game of croquet. My Grandma and Grandpa Lash used to throw the best parties and they would pull out their croquet set that was so much fun to play. While I’m not golfer (I hit the ground with the club rather than the ball.), I absolutely adore a good game of croquet.
The other game I associate with summer parties is badminton. This particular set allows you to play both badminton and volleyball. What a deal!!
If by chance the weather God’s do not cooperate, I have an “All American” game to play indoors. Who hasn’t played the classic Monopoly game and had a ton of fun? If you don’t have this game on hand, this link will take you to this ever popular indoor game. In fact, if you have several guests that prefer not to get “physical” with croquet or badminton, this game will provide them with the perfect past-time.
Last But Not Least
Now that you know the ins and outs of throwing a fab July 4th Party you can begin curating your guest list and ordering any of the above party upgrades that you don’t already have. BTW, none of the links are part of an affiliate program. I just chose to do your shopping for you. ; )
Lastly, we’re all busy folk and sometimes it’s hard to remember where you found a good idea that you’d planned to file away. Why not be a Doll and pin this to one of your Pinterest boards right now? That way it will be readily available for you when needed. After all July 4th, and your July 4th party, will be upon is in no time.