When I was growing up, the 4th of July meant Summer was in full swing. I remember Bar-B-Ques at our house and visiting the neighbors who entertained around their pool… My mother used to make a special 4th of July dessert – an edible American flag. She lightly thawed vanilla ice cream and mixed in strawberries, then shaped it like a flag in a rectangular pan, adding layers of delicious cake she dyed red and blue with food coloring, then froze it. The top was white buttercream icing. She let me place the “states” (blueberries) in the left corner. The stripes were double rows of raspberries. We gorged ourselves on hotdogs and hamburgers and corn on the cob and other delights. We burned our fingers on sparklers and laid on green army blankets under the stars waiting for fireworks to begin. There was something so magical about it all. If we had worries, I wasn’t aware of them. My own worries concerned mosquito bites. Those were simpler times.
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