My first 4th of July
As someone who grew up outside of the United States, I only knew of the 4th of July through movies and TV shows.
The celebrations with hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, music, drinks and snacks the colors of the flag: red, white and blue. Houses decorated with American flags, families and friends eating and playing together, and everyone ending their day watching fireworks from the porches of their houses where they all happily commemorate their independence.
For years, I visited the United States, but it wasn’t until I got married that I enjoyed my first 4th of July experience, here in Port Allen, Louisiana.
It was 2017, and my husband’s family came to spend the day with us. My husband would grill some burgers and hot dogs, so I prepared sides and some sweets for the party, and decorated the house with lots of little U.S. flags as I had seen for years in movies. Friends and family members started showing up, and soon the house and the front yard were filled with the sounds of laughter, kids playing in the water sprinklers, music and the delicious aromas coming from the grill.
Everybody was determined to give me the best 4th of July experience possible – and they did. So I decided to give everybody a fun experience that I had prepared for after the meal.
I took a list of questions from the United States Citizenship test and began quizzing, game show style.
“Since all of you are proud Americans, born and raised in this land, I am sure you won’t have any problem answering these question,” I quipped.
We all had so much fun trying to correctly answer the questions. My mother-in-law won the evening, as she answered almost all of the questions correctly while most others sat looking befuddled.
In the evening, as the sun began to set, we walked to the Port Allen levee, where we sat by the mighty Mississippi River, admiring its beauty as the reflection of downtown Baton Rouge bounced across the ripples. We sat and watched fireworks explode over the river, bright and beautiful.
It was indeed a memorable day, and every year during the 4th of July I remember that day, and how special it was.
Here is my recipe for a delicious sweet treat to make with your little ones - and not-so-little ones this season. It’s a popular Mexican treat with a fun American flair! You will love them!
Happy Independence Day!
(Makes about 15)
1 box of corn flakes cereal (12 oz – I only used about half)
2 bags of white chocolate chip morsels - 24 oz total (700 gr.)
3 Tbs of butter
1/4 cup of milk
Blue and red food coloring
Red, white and blue sprinkles
1. Divide the chocolate in three equal parts and set a side while you prepare a cooking sheet.
For the next step, use a bain-marie, or create your own heated bath by doing the following: place a pot with a few inches of water on medium heat, and top with a large Pyrex bowl that fits tightly over the pot.
The steam will be trapped beneath the bowl, causing the chocolate to melt. Be careful not to touch the bowl, it will get very hot!
2. Add a tablespoon of butter and a portion of the chocolate.
Temper by stirring until melted and smooth,
then add about 2 cups of corn flakes, and mix with a spatula.
3. Use a measuring cup to take the flakes and chocolate out of the bowl and set on a tray,
add the sprinkles.
4. Repeat the process with the divided chocolate, but adding as much food coloring as necessary to reach the desired color during the process of tempering.
*The chocolate tends to dehydrate when adding color. Add a couple of tablespoons of warm milk to continue the process.
*Wash bowl between batches.
5. Once all of the enjambres are on the tray and have cooled, press and shape them with your hands, and put them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to help maintain their shape.
Share your experience with us making this recipe using @johastable and #johastable in social media! We would love to hear from you!