Happy July 4th.  I find it pretty interesting living a mere 2 miles from Valley Forge and less than 20 miles from the building where the Declaration of Independence was written. It’s fascinating history.

But history or no, I’m not sure those original signers would be all that happy to see the current state of the government they were fighting to create 237 years ago. The Lofty Ideals vs The Reality. It’s kinda scary when you think about it.

But 237 years after the fact, the day means hamburgers and hot dogs more than anything else, so… I made hamburgers and hot dogs. Even my left-leaning liberal self has to take a day off, once in a while.

Burgers and dogs, corn on the cob, baked beans… All the traditional stuff. We ate well, today.

I even served some homemade chipotle mustard. Yum.


I made my sister, Phoebe’s Baked Beans and Mom’s Potato Salad, because there’s just nothing better than the two of them together.


And burgers and and dogs and corn on the cob…  Nothing fancy – just the basics with the basic toppings…


Plus a great big mixed green salad with Victor’s homemade goat cheese! The cheese rocks the casbah!


And, of course, we had some pretty good desserts – because we always have some pretty good desserts.

I started off with a Peach and Apricot Crostata. This really rocked. The crust is like a cookie. Really good!


Peach and Apricot Crostata


  • 1 3/4 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup gooseberry jam
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1 apricot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut butter into chunks. Place flours, sugar, and salt. in a food processor and blend. Add butter and process until coarsely blended. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Process a moment and then turn out on a board and gently knead mixture just until it forms a dough.

Reserve one third of dough for lattice top. Crumble remainder into an 11-inch tart pan pat out dough to evenly cover bottom and up sides. Spread preserves over bottom. Place sliced peaches and apricots over preserves.

Roughly form remaining dough into strips and place on top of fruit. Don’t worry about making them perfect – it’s supposed to be rustic.

Scatter walnuts over the top and bake in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes.

Cool and enjoy!

I used gooseberry jam but any flavor you have will work.

And then we had cookies that Marie brought. Totally fabulous.


Too bad those Founding Fathers weren’t around today to share some of this – and to talk some politics.