Saturday, July 3, 2010

Celebrating the Fourth

I am not a big fan of fireworks. It might have to do with the first firework show I remember seeing. My brother and I were pretty young and my parents took us to Soldier’s Field in Chicago. They had stock car racing first, which I kind of liked. Then came the fireworks show. I don’t know if it was because of where we were sitting, but it looked like they were going to fall on us. Both my brother and I were scared and climbed under our seats.

Maybe that’s why the fireworks I’ve liked the best are the ones I’ve seen from above. They shoot off fireworks on weekends at Navy Pier in Chicago. The best view is in the ladies room of the bar on the 95th floor of the Hancock building. The whole wall is window and the fireworks look dainty and colorful.

One year we went up into the mountains behind us and looked across the Valley at fireworks shows in different areas. Maybe not as grand as looking up at them, but festive all the same.

The best thing I remember doing on a Fourth of July was having a cookout on the rocks next to the 57th Street Beach. We were lucky enough to be just a four block walk away. We had this stove made out of a Jay’s potato chip can. It was quite ingenious and part of my brother’s cub scout experience. Basically, there were vents in the side of the potato chip can and you put the inverted potato chip can over a coffee can with empty milk cartons in it as fuel. In those days milks cartons had a wax coating that made them burn slower. We grilled hot dogs on the make-shift stove and sat on the rocks while it got dark. You could see the curve of the bottom of Lake Michigan by the all the lights.

My recipe is more an assembling.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Nabisco famous chocolate wafers

Premium vanilla ice cream (I used Trader Joes’s super premium vanilla)

Use a melon baller to scoop four scoops of ice cream and place them on a chocolate wafer. Cover with another wafer. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and keep them in the freezer until your ready to eat them. Delicious and small enough not to make you feel too guilty for eating one, or maybe even two.


Camille Minichino said...

My first fireworks were viewed from a boardwalk -- the pyrotechnics were on a barge on the ocean, a very safe distance. Loved them!
I see why it would be scary to think you were under them!

Betty Hechtman said...

Your first fireworks experience sounds wonderul, Camille. I bet the colors reflected in the water.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I don't recall my first fireworks, Betty, so they mustn't have been that memorable--although I never did like the loud noise when I was close to the source. Love your recipe--it sounds like something I could do and would love!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I'm glad you liked my "recipe."

Monica Ferris said...

We currently live next door to a park that does a fireworks display on the Fourth. People sit along the top of a hill and the fireworks are set off at the bottom. They go off immediately overhead, which can frighten small children, but the older kids -- including me -- love them.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, you're sure brave, particularly after the fireworkers experience you put in your blog.

The Thriller Librarian said...

I haven't been a huge fan of the 4th since the 1960's, when a boy next door blew off his thumb with an M-80. I'm reminded of the event every year when kids set off firecrackers in the streets, although thankfully they're much safer now. I hope so, anyway.

Betty Hechtman said...

I can see your point, Thriller Libraian. There was just a story on the news here about stores selling illegal fireworks. Some kid who was working in one of the stores dropped a box of them and they exploded and now he may lose his sight.