For many Americans, the Fourth of July is a day off work, a time to celebrate with family and friends, and an opportunity to cook up some classic American dishes. Sadly this year, the Fourth of July looks different for many. Because of the Covid 19 virus, Americans throughout the United States are encouraged to practice social distancing.
Although celebrating is still part of the fun, we thought it might be fun to share a few July 4th facts you might not have been taught in school.
- Some think that Independence Day should technically be celebrated on July 2. According to the National Archives, the Continental Congress actually voted for independence on July 2, 1776. And even though the written Declaration of Independence was dated July 4, it wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776.
- George Washington supposedly celebrated America’s independence by giving double rations of rum to his solders in 1778.
- Three US presidents and Founding Fathers died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. In fact, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, within just five hours of each other. Five years later, James Monroe passed away on the same date in 1831.
- The nation’s oldest Fourth of July parade takes place in Bristol, Rhode Island. The town’s Independence Day festivities date back to 1785.
- Wearing American flag apparel actually violates a set of guidelines called the US Flag Code. Here’s why …
In 1942, the US Flag Code was established to set guidelines about how the US flag should be displayed and used. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the US Flag Code originated from a fear of addressing the national flag in a way that was reminiscent of the Nazis. One of the guidelines is: “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.“
- Finally, on the Fourth of July each year, Americans eat an estimated 150 million hot dogs, which, if laid out horizontally, would stretch from Washington, DC, to LA more than five times. WOW!
Favorite Dessert Recipe
Pretty interesting facts right? With the hope that you are able to take time from work to celebrate Independence Day, we thought we’d share one of our all-time favorite dessert recipes. You can find this recipe right here: https://food52.com/recipes/28811-american-flag-cake This is a simple white cake with a patriotic surprise inside.
First thing’s first, you need five 9-inch cakes: two white, two red, and one blue. You can use the recipe here, or any favorite white cake recipe that you have. After making a large amount of cake, the rest is pie (or at least easy as pie).
**Please note that the recipe makes one single cake, so to make the flag cake you’ll need to make it 5 times. A standard KitchenAid mixer comfortably handles 1 batch of batter.**
This recipe will have some cake and buttercream left over. With those extras you could make: cake pops/cake truffles, a trifle with freshly whipped cream and sliced berries, or toasted cake croutons to go on top of pudding or to serve alongside coffee.
For the cake:
- 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
For the frosting:
- 4 sticks softened unsalted butter
- 8 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and flour a 9 inch cake pan. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
In a large bowl, whisk the sifted flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt to combine. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just until incorporated. Follow with 1/3 of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Repeat until all of the wet and dry ingredients are added, scrape well to ensure the batter is smooth.
For the white cakes: do nothing! The batter can be baked as is. For the red cakes: add about 25 drops of liquid food coloring (or more if it looks too pale). For the blue cake: add about 20 drops of liquid food coloring (or more if it looks too pale).
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely. If you don’t have 5 separate cake pans, you can continue to use the cake pans you have over and over again until you have 5 cakes.
To assemble the cake, you’ll need the frosting (recipe below). Cut the white and red cakes into even layers, between 3/4- to 1-inch thick. Now you should have 6 layers. Use a 5-inch circle cookie cutter (or trace around a 5-inch plate) to cut one of the white layers and one of the red layers into a smaller circle.
Use the 5-inch cutter to remove the center of the thicker blue cake. This cake will remain in one thick layer.
To build the cake, start with a large red layer and spread a thin coating of buttercream on top. Top with a white layer, and spread buttercream thinly on top. (The recipe is below.) Repeat with another red and another white layer—you should have four layers total.
Top this white layer with the thick blue layer (center removed). Spread a thin amount of frosting on the 5-inch red layer, and top it with the 5-inch white layer. Now push and pat the 5-inch layers inside the hole of the blue layer. Now the cake has been assembled!
Frost the cake with the remaining frosting, using a small offset spatula to make it swirly. All that’s left to do is eat it!
For the frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Add the cream gradually, mixing until a smooth, creamy texture.
At Waters Choice, we hope you can take some time to relax and enjoy some family fun. Don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email with any questions regarding our products.
We also hope you’ll visit us on our website and our social media platforms. In addition to that, sign up for our informative newsletter and join our loyal customer base. We’ll see you online …