Monday, July 4, 2016

On the Homefront: Coastal Birds Fourth of July Table

Sweet Liberty the Dalmatian plans to celebrate her independence
with a day of coastal fun in the sun (plus plenty of fluids and
sunscreen, of course!).

New coastal bird-themed dessert plates and table linens inspired this Fourth of July table.  Their colors (and the Pantone 2016 Colors of the Year) were the basis of the color scheme in shades of pink and light blue, along with white, for a pastel patriotic look.  The more subdued hues suit the extremely hot summer we are enduring this year.

tag blue ribbed cotton place mat (bought years ago); white dinner plate (Tivoli by Studio Nova); Pier 1 Sandpiper Salad/Dessert Plate; Kate Spade Strut Your Stuff Napkin; white-handled flatware (from Target years ago); coastal design water glass; blue goblet for wine.

Blue pillar candles on small white plates, white bird salt and pepper
shakers, and a flag in a clear vase filled with clear glass beads and
set on another small white plate adorn the head of the table.

The ubiquitous large white pillar candle set in a clear glass platter
filled with pale blue glass beads serves as the centerpiece.

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!

I had originally planned a seafood menu, but then my husband and I found out that our local barbecue restaurant was about to close forever, after 87 years in business, with their final annual Fourth of July offering ("Only Open on Saturdays and the Fourth of July!").  We knew we had to place one last order as a fond farewell to this beloved establishment.  All of the menu items except the tea and dessert came from the restaurant.  (We did find out that the restaurant owners might be willing to cater occasionally, which means we are going to have to throw a party some time in the near future!)

My version of Berry Patch Pie is my attempt at reducing refined carbohydrates in my diet.  There is no wheat flour in the pie crust, and I only used two tablespoons of sugar for the filling.  I tried to reduce the cornstarch, but the filling will not gel properly with less, so I had to keep the original amount.  Even so, I think I managed to make a much healthier dessert that actually tastes delicious.  In my opinion it is better than regular pie, but I have never been a big fan of pie crust.  (Notice that there is no candy on the table this time, to eliminate possible temptation!)

Coastal Birds Fourth of July Menu:

Iced Tea
BBQ Ribs
Brunswick Stew
Baked Beans
Berry Patch Pie with Almond Crust*

*Berry Patch Pie with Almond Crust

2 C. almond flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. coconut oil
1 egg
2 T. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
2 C. halved or quartered strawberries
2 C. blueberries
1 1/2 C. raspberries
1 T. lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly.  Add the coconut oil and egg and pulse until the mixture forms a ball.  Press the dough into a 9-inch pie plate.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.*

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch.  Stir in the berries and lemon juice.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the mixture just comes to a boil.  Remove from the heat and cool slightly.  Pour the berry mixture into the prepared crust.  Cool the pie completely on a wire rack.  Chill until ready to serve.  Serves 8.

*My crust had excess oil in the bottom after baking, which I blotted up with paper towels.

Note: You can use more or less sugar if you prefer (the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup).

Dalmatians George and Abe are decked out in patriotic hats
 for the grand celebration!


Have a glorious Fourth of July, everyone!

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