FOR KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN ITALY, these three are pretty jazzed about celebrating the 4th of July. Actually, they’re mostly excited about these little star shaped cheeses (thanks, veggie cutters!). Fireworks and parades? Our kids have no idea those are part of the package, yet. But boy I sure do.I still get a little flutter as the first week of July rolls around. I friggin’ loved that day as a kid and it was all about the parade. Every year I strutted through our two-stoplight town’s main street, decked out in my ballet costume from the spring before. I wasn’t alone–though I would’ve loved to have been–because my entire dance school walked the parade, each group pausing in front of a panel of judges to do a combination carefully selected from the recital. You haven’t seen anything until you’ve watched fifth graders pioroutte to Michael Jackson’s PYT, especially if they’re wearing one-shoulder numbers in blaring 80’s colors. The two dance teachers who ran the place walked with us, though unlike me, they weren’t focused on attracting as much attention to themselves as possible. Instead, you’d see permed hairdos whipping around as the two tried to keep track of a hundred rag tag kids loose on the streets, all of us intoxicated by the freedom of wearing our previously pristine dance shoes outside on the hot pavement. They also carried the boom box.
My whole family came, every year. My mom, dad and little brother were there of course, but this event called for extended family and even honorary aunts and uncles from one and two towns away–practically the North Pole to kids like us. Lined up in along the street, my gang would be sporting short shorts, tube tops and tans courtesy of Hawaiian Tropic SPF 2. “Alright, Char!” A chorus rang out as I walked by, my giant grin beaming in competition with my glittery get-up. Afterward we’d pile into our red mustang with a black top, the one without seat belts, stop by the store to pick up more beer, marshmallows and other much needed provisions and head home.
Man, that was fun. And we hadn’t even started with the fireworks yet.
- Monteray Jack cheese, white cheddar or any white cheese
- cherry tomatoes
- small crackers
- materials needed (though only the first one is mandatory):
- star-shaped veggie cutter
- silicone baking cups
- Cut cheese lengthwise to make it about 1 inch thick. Then use star-shaped veggie cutter to punch out stars.
- Slide one cherry tomato onto toothpick, followed by one star.
- Nestle each one in a silicone cup filled with tiny crackers, or just display on a tray.