Last Tuesday I started to tell you about my whirlwind of a 4th of July. It was busy, but packed with the best kind of summer fun. My brother and sister-in-law drove to our house on the 3rd and we started the holiday with a Banh Mi party.
I had the day off and cut carrots and cucumbers into matchsticks and picked cilantro leaves from their stems. I sliced fresh baguette into sandwich-sized portions. The pork tenderloin was thinly sliced, marinated, skewered and destined for the grill. It rained all day, but the sun arrived with our guests. After a quick trip to the grill, the pork was ready for our sandwiches.
We all sat down and slathered our baguette with hoisin on one side and sriracha on the other. Arms stretched from both sides of the table to grab veggies and cilantro. We proudly clamped the baguette over the pork and pulled the skewers out for a perfect sandwich. A great party trick.
We ate well. The smoke from the grill and the Asian ingredients in the marinade made the meat flavorful and delicious. The cooling cucumber, carrot and cilantro balanced the heat from the sriaracha. A sandwich I plan to make again and again. Recipe is listed at the end of the post, friends.
We woke up early the next morning and started the day with Peach Blueberry Muffins. Marc’s brother and his fiancee were coming soon and we planned a big bike outing even though the forecast was in the high 90’s. We hugged hello when they arrived and filled our water bottles to the brim with cold water and ice.
We posed with our bikes for Meg before heading out. We rode 14 miles with a few water breaks and one long frisbee break in between. We happily rode through wayward sprinklers and poured ice water over our heads.
We all were in desperate need of a cool shower before our barbecue. Our stomachs were rumbling as six people had to cycle through one shower. I grabbed my chef’s knife and sliced up watermelon right on the porch. We took huge, watery bites and dribbled juice onto the concrete. We ate the heck out of that watermelon. Thanks for the bike and watermelon pictures, Meg!
With wet hair and fresh clothes, we grilled hamburgers and brats. We sat down and feasted on panzanella, grilled corn and refrigerator pickles, too. We played a hilarious game of Scribblish and then savored a mixed bowl of Buttermilk and Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream and Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream.
The toll of the hot bike ride hit us in the early evening and we shared yawns around the table. Matt and Meg left for home and the rest of us napped on the couch for a while. We woke up to the boom of fireworks being set off around the neighborhood. Michigan had just lifted its ban on airborne fireworks and it seemed everyone wanted to partake. At first we were a little annoyed that we couldn’t watch a movie and have the front door open, but then we realized we were missing the show.
We parked four dining chairs out on the driveway and grabbed snacks. Marc brought out 4 kinds of flavor ice and right then, our retired neighbor from across the street joined us. He was concerned that the fireworks were so close to his home, but then he turned his head and started to watch with us. Marc handed him a flavor ice and we’re guessing it was his first. His child-like smile made us smile.
Marc and I had to work on Thursday and Friday, but we still packed the rest of the week and weekend with two trips to a friend’s pool, a Detroit Tiger’s baseball game with more fireworks, a shopping trip and a visit to a new local barbecue spot. A happy holiday filled with all of my favorite things.