4th of July is a time to get together with friends and family. One of the bonding elements of any good get together is the food. What food says 4th of July to you?

Hot Dogs/”Brats”- To me Hot Dogs and “Brats” are the essential foods of the 4th of July.  I don’t normally eat them throughout the year, this is the time for me for a good “dog” or “brat”. No ketchup, just mustard for me.

Watermelon- I am not normally a fruit person so for me watermelon has to be cold! Forget about it if it has been sitting out for a while.

Watermelon.Shallow dof.
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Corn on the cob- It is fantastic, but nothing fancy for me, just butter and ground black pepper. My family loves to eat corn on the cob with mayonnaise, crushed red pepper and parmesan cheese (feel free to give it a try).

Baked beans- I have never had the patience to try to make them from scratch. For me open the can and I can eat them either hot or cold, I prefer them with bacon and they are great on the hot dog or “brat”.

Hamburgers- A great homemade hamburger can be made so many different ways that we could write an entire novel about just the hamburger alone. Just give me a potato bun, sharp cheddar cheese, and a sweet spicy mustard and I’m good.

fresh tasty burger on black background
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Potato/Pasta Salad- It took me a long time to like potato salads because I’m a picky eater, but over the years I have gained appreciation of a good mustard based potato salad, just make sure it stays cold! Pasta salads are ok, but not my favorite, so I just take enough to be polite.

Potato Chips- I can eat chips all year round, but there is something extra special when you are trying to balance a paper plate with too many chips on it while sitting in a camp chair. Is there really a bad flavor?

Jell-O – Since they created a blue Jell-O (I am not even sure what flavor that is) 4th of July has never been the same. It is so great to see Red White and Blue jiggle on your plate as the fireworks start.

Ice Cream – Still one of the best ways to cool down on a hot Montana 4th of July. Here is a quick recipe (you will thank me later). Buy 24 ice cream sandwiches (any flavor of your choosing) place 12 sandwiches in one layer in a 9x13 inch pan, cover with a layer of Cool Whip or other whipped topping, then add the remaining 12 sandwiches and cover with whipped topping, you can add peanuts to the top and some chocolate syrup, it tastes like you made an ice cream cake from scratch.

Ice cream sandwich
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Let me know what 4th of July foods are missing from my list and I will give them a try! Have a safe, happy and full 4th of July!