Like it says, America's Independence Day is my favorite holiday. It always has been. The pomp and circumstance, the coming-together of folks for patriotism, and of course, the fireworks - I love it all.
But today, I missed a great deal of it.
First, I stayed up well past midnight to help Chloë make this ginormous berry tart for our dessert. I have always wanted to make a flag cake for the Fourth, but it has always seemed a bit too cliché to me. I needed something amazing to check off this Food Bucket List entry. And then I spotted this slab pie:
on the Pillsbury Recipes website, and I knew I had to make it.
Only, I didn't realize that my 13" x 9" lasagna pan (A) still not be big enough for it, and (B) Chloë would also be wanting to make making lasagna the same night, so I couldn't use that. I have two other similarly-sized metal pans for baking, but those were still too small. So, we had to use this huge cake pan from my old cake-decorating business in Virginia Beach and shift the whole recipe to accommodate its huge size.
It turned out beautifully, and she did a stellar job!
If you're wondering just how huge the pie/tart is, maybe this will help: I bought an entire quart each of blueberries and strawberries, and a pint each of blackberries and raspberries. Not one berry was left out of the pie. Plus a whole can of mixed berry pie filling, plus two 8-oz packages of Philadelphia cream cheese, and the rest of the ingredients the recipe named. And other than my assisting as her sous pastry chef (is that a thing?), Chloë did it all.
I loved it. Sophia gave it two thumbs up. Jack just ate a couple of strawberries out of it, but that's all he wanted at the beginning. Rob must have eaten two or three helpings. And Chloë, poor thing, was not a fan at all! I have to laugh, but I also feel badly because she really wants some berries right now that aren't part of the pie! Poor thing. ;)
By then, it was after 2 AM, maybe closer to 3 AM, and I fell asleep shortly after we ate. The puppies woke me up around 7 AM, and I lasted less than an hour before I succumbed to the cravings and ate more pie. Not much more, but it put me into a Carb Coma, and I fell asleep again. I was shocked when I woke up again and looked at the clock: 4:45 PM!! Oh, my gosh. The festivities at the Homestead Speedway started at 6 PM, so it was time for Team Odette to get ready. My favorite part of the year was about to come. How 'bout a little bit more pie? Yeah. I had some. Cue another Carb Coma. I woke up again, and it was almost 11 PM. WTF?! Rob tried to wake me up. I know he did. But I was OUT. At least the kids weren't too disappointed in me, and Daddy had taken them outside to do one pack of sparklers with them.
After I finally woke up again, we all went outside and first let the kids pop each of their boxes of Pop-Its in the parking lot. Sophia asked me to help her open the inner bag, and when I tried to accomplish this task, I dropped half her Pop-Its on the ground, setting them all off! Oops. (I suck at opening stuff; ask Rob.) Never-chagrined Sophia laughingly took the other half and happily went and popped them with her siblings.
Jack had the idea, after Rob lit a sparkler for each of them, to light all the Pop-Its one more time, to see if any were still live. Of course, there are always a few, and this idea caught fire. (Sorry.)
Dauntless Sophia has been bored out of her mind with her cast inhibiting half the activities she wants to do (mostly water-related), but when she's having fun, she forgets all about it!
Chloë tired of lighting Pop-Its, finally took her last sparkler from her dad and started writing in the air. I have fond, vivid memories of doing that with my own mom and dad as a very young child. The best times!
Happy Independence Day, 'Murica. Until next year.