Mmm. . . Americana


I went home to spend this past weekend with my parents and to celebrate my father's birthday, the 4th of July.  We had a family cookout and I made my flag cake as I do every year.  My mother pulled a Cool-Whip/Sara Lee sponsored recipe out of a magazine advertisement years ago and I have been making this cake for my father's birthday ever since.  It is just about the simplest thing and any kid could make it.


Flag Cake

(I generally make 1 and a 1/2 of this recipe)

1 tub Cool-Whip at room temperature

1 Sara Lee pound cake (or 2, see below)

about 1 cup blueberries

about 2 cups strawberries (cut in half long-ways)

Cut the pound cake into 10 slices and layer them in the bottom of the pan. Top with half the blueberries and half the strawberries.  At this point you may add a second layer of pound cake if desired.

Spread the Cool-Whip on top with the back of a spoon.  Add the blueberries in an orderly rectangle and then begin to add the strawberries so that the fruit and Cool-Whip make stripes.

Chill until ready to serve.


My father grilled brats.


I grilled vegetable skewers for my brother and I, the two vegetarians. Everyone enjoyed sweetcorn.


My mother made the ramen noodle salad on the top right and the marinated cucumbers.  My aunt Cheryl made the pasta salad and used soy bacon bits!  I think this might be the first time that anyone has remembered Evan and I in this manner.  Typically we either have to pack our own lunches or just feed on potato chips at family events.


Here is my cousin Sydney holding the tasty mulberry pie her mother Cheryl made.


My grandmother made shortbread (yes, we were a bit heavy on desserts. . .) to pair with luscious blackberries that she had picked fresh from their land in Wisconsin.


These were the real treat of the day. So sweet and tart and velvety.  If you were to try and buy fresh berries like these in a store they would cost an arm and a leg and the taste could not compare.  We are quite lucky to have a family that can still grow fresh foods.


Happy birthday dad!