Flways a nostalgic longing Cover outdoor tables in flimsy time-honored
ourth of Julys that were full muslin with hems randomly gathered and secured
of parades, fireworks shows, lazy afternoons and with safety pins that are covered in flag-colored
watermelon seed-spitting contests. Rather than streamer ribbons. For an extra festive note,
just reminiscing, why not take these fond memories add bunches of red, white and blue flowers tied
and re-create an old-fashioned Fourth in your with ribbon.
own backyard? Compose watermelon centerpieces. In the
Start by finding an old bike in the garage or kitchen or out on the grass, lay whole watermelons
junk shop. Give it a good cleaning, add a basket full on their sides to find the balance point and then
of red, white and blue flowers, wind crepe-paper carve a large oval out of each top. Scoop out the
streamers through the spokes, attach an American seeds and flesh and save for eating and a seed-flag to the back of the seat and place it at your spitting contest. Fill the melons with soil and
front door as a celebratory welcome sign. plant with red geraniums, white alyssum and blue
cornflowers and perhaps some American flags.
Water and place the containers on the tables.
After a few days, the watermelons will begin to
deteriorate, at which time transplant the flowers
into the ground.
Tie red-and-white-checkered tea towels like
kerchiefs around bottles of wine and beer, and
place votive candles in small terra-cotta pots.
Festoon bushes, flowerpots, fences and trellises
with different-sized American flags.
If spitting watermelon seeds doesn’t hold a lot
of appeal, perhaps a flowerpot-decorating station
might be more to your liking. Purchase numerous
terra-cotta pots in all shapes and sizes, acrylic
paints in patriotic red, white and blue, and
disposable watercolor brushes. Provide aprons
and towels, and ask everyone to paint a Fourth
of July flowerpot. Once dry, put them on the
tables as additional decorations and fill with nuts
and candy. Later, send your guests home with
their own Fourth of July keepsake flowerpots.
By the end of the day, your Fourth of July
celebration will be affectionately referred to as
a grand old-fashioned event, too.
Tissue Firecracker Favors
Replicate the rather larger firecrackers of yesteryear by
creating a tissue firecracker favor for each guest.
Supplies per firecracker:
31/2-inch length of 11/2-inch-wide cardboard tube
71/2-by-71/2-inch square of red tissue paper
11 piece of black shoestring licorice
Finely shredded Mylar stuffing, in patriotic colors
8-inch piece of blue ribbon
Place the tube on the tissue paper, leaving 1 inch of tissue
at one end and 3 inches at the other. Roll the paper around
the tube to cover, and attach with double-sided tape. Press the
bottom 1 inch of tissue across the tube opening to close and
secure the bottom with tape.
Cover with star stickers.
Insert the licorice stick into
the other end of the tube,
making sure it extends out
of the top by about 5 inches,
stuff with candies and top
with shredded Mylar. Tie
closed with the blue ribbon,
decorate with more stars,
and make sure some of the shredded Mylar and the licorice
firecracker wick stick out of the top. Stand one upright at every
person’s plate, looking just like a days-gone-by firecracker.