Happy Birthday, America!!!!!!!!!!

In The Book of New Family Traditions, I write about celebrating the fourth of July as the birthday of America, and that’s a good way to get into the real meaning of this holiday with your kids. We have a tradition of always reading aloud from the Declaration of Independence, which is easily found online and is often printed in daily newspapers on this day. 

Here are some ideas for your birthday bash:

*Uncle Sam hats for party toppers

*red, white and blue bunting and decorations

*cupcakes or cake for desert, and sing “Happy Birthday, America” after lighting and blowing out the candles

*have everyone at the party talk about what freedom means to them

*play Sousa music and march around, or sing some patriotic standards: if you forgot some of the words, click here. 


There are more ideas for this holiday in the book, including how to write your own family constitution, and the best fireworks apps. Yep, there are tons of smartphone apps featuring fireworks. What a country!

Have a blast! Here’s my favorite treat for this holiday. 



This recipe comes from the July/August 1996 issue of Cooking Light.

Berry Patch Parfaits

2 cups raspberries or blackberries

1/4 cup sugar, dividid

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 (32 ounce) carton vanilla low-fat yogurt

12 raspberries or blackberries (or blueberries)

1/4 cup frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed

 1. Place 2 cups raspberries in a blender or food processor, process til pureed. Press pureed berries through a sieve into a microwave-safe bowl, and discard seeds. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch to puree: stir with a whisk until blended. Microwave at high 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring halfway through. Spoon 1 tablespoon of berry mix into each of 4 (10 oz) stemmed glasses. Chill, uncovered, 10 minutes.

2. Spoon yogurt onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels: spread to 1/2 inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels, let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl using a rubber spatula. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to yogurt, stir well.

3. Divide yogurt mix evenly among glasses. Top each with 3 tablespoons of berry mix. Cover loosely: chill at least 2 hours. Top each parfait with 1 tablespoon whipped topping and your choice of berries (I add blueberries for the red, white and blue look). 

4 servings. 

Comments welcome