love a good party

Our neighborhood celebrated the 4th of July for a solid 5 days. FIVE DAYS. That is five nights of fireworks from the deck, bare feet, bathing suits, and ... let's be honest sunblock layered on my body. It's incredible but also exhausting. Every other month of the year you can find me in bed by 10 pm - but in the month of July I'm watching fireworks past my bedtime.

I'm not sure if this happens everywhere but in this town people celebrate the 3rd almost more than the 4th. We actually met some new neighbors and they had no idea. That poor woman was commuting to Newton on one of the best neighbor party days of the year.

For the "big party", I had a few criteria when I was planning the menu. Primarily how easy and straightforward can I make this while not being boring and lame. I am really pleased with how it all played out because not only was the party a breeze but people enjoyed the menu. I put the majority of my efforts into planning the sides because a burger is just a burger. A hot dog is just a hot dog.

  • Simple "main course" of burgers and hot dogs. Only two types of cheese - cheddar and swiss. No reason to be fancy.
  • Sides can be prepped in advance
  • Sides will still be good the next day (e.g. no lettuce/green salads)
Appetizers // all provided by guests. Hindsight, I should have at least had a bag of chips. Poor planning. The first guests who arrived didn't bring an appetizer and so I was taking pretzels out of my snack cabinet to give them

Main Eats // I ordered all pre-made quality-ish burgers from Peapod. My parents love Bubba Burgers but they were twice the price of the freshly, hand-packed burgers. I also had chicken sausage but nobody opted for that. Just burgers and dogs folks.

Sides //  Like I said, I didn't want to pick things that wouldn't be satisfying the next day. I love the options that I went with. The flavors were just enough without being too weird with the other sides.
Dessert // We had a few people bring desserts but I can never resist the opportunity to cook. I did bring back last year's popular cookies but brought in two other new desserts.
Overall, the party was a success. But, the food was just one part of it. It was the good company who actually brought their own chairs, the endless bug spray, and the fireworks that just never really stopped. Spoiler alert, I stayed up until midnight and completely destroyed the kitchen three days in a row... all before 8 am.

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