On the Fourth of July earlier this month, my mom and dad came to visit us in Savannah. With all that’s going on in the world, we decided to stay home this year, avoiding the crowds and traffic, rather than make our annual trip to St. Simons Island. We ate some easy, all-American meals and spent the day lounging in the swimming pool. It was relaxing, full of socially-distant festivities and pride in the USA.
After a hearty breakfast of grits, bacon, scrambled eggs and toast, the morning began with the cutest neighborhood bicycle parade. A line-up of spirited children rode their decorated bikes, followed by parents walking, holding American flags and pulling wagons outfitted with red, white and blue garland. Black labs pranced happily in their festive bandanas. One little boy even rode a kid’s John Deere tractor with balloons. We watched from the front porch rocking chairs as we sipped on coffee and swatted flies. It was small town America at its finest.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect on the Fourth. The community pool was refreshing, and between dips, I sunbathed while reading “Happy Summer,” Mary Kay Andrews’ latest novel. Mom floated around the pool, lip syncing to “Born in the USA,” which played over the loudspeakers. For lunch, we walked back to the house, where I had Ina Garten’s delicious Lobster & Shells waiting in the refrigerator, along with a scratch-made pie crust I’d been chilling for our homegrown tomato galette with feta cheese and fresh basil. When we were all satisfied, we headed back to the pool for a few hours, until my mother-in-law, Leslie, would join us for dinner that evening.
Around 5:30 p.m., we got cleaned up, donned our red, white and blue, and fired up the grill. I made hamburgers with sharp cheddar and a big bowl of vinegar-based coleslaw, then sliced up some watermelon and opened the potato chips. Dessert was a store-bought angel food cake, with fresh whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries and mint from my garden. That’s one of the things I love about summertime — no need to turn on the oven.
When the popping of the fireworks began later that night, I thought my shih tzu, Ewok, would nearly tremble to death, but somehow, he survived another Independence Day, albeit an accident on the rug. A day full of family, good food and fun ended with a colorful burst of excitement in the sky as we all hooped and hollered in celebration of our nation’s independence. I thought about 2020 and what a whirlwind of a year it's been, then looked around at all my many blessings and thanked the Lord for another summer.
Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is the author of the best selling memoir “Some Kinda Good.” Featured in Forbes, on Food Network and ABC, she writes about Southern, coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Connect with her on social media by liking Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow @SKGFoodBlog on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more, visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.