4th of July was a few short weeks ago (where has the time gone?) and I think we’ve finally caught our breath and have adjusted back to our normal routine following the epic 4th of July celebration we host every year at our home.
Independence Day is our favorite holiday for many reasons. Warm sun, green grass, gatherings with family and friends, kids playing, fireworks displays and delicious food (there’s always food) – what’s better than all that?! This holiday creates some of the vibrant moments I live for.
Ironically, I never use to like the 4th of July, especially the fireworks, but I’ve moved past those fears (more on that story another time).
Anyway, back to our shindig. Bryant declared not one month, not one week but one day before our scheduled bash that it must be an “epic” 4th of July party.
Nevermind our original plans, everything had to be bigger and better. He’s a go-big-or-go-home kind if guy which I love.
Ideas for an Epic 4th of July Celebration
Our 4th of July weekend was filled with a mouth-watering hog roast, kid slip-n-slide turned adult slip-n-slide, fireworks displays, campfire smores, trap shooting and a whole lot of friendship and food.
Here’s the scoop on the hog roast. This is something Bryant and his crew have been fine-tuning for three years. This year the addition of the “piggy hood” allowed the hog to smoke to delicious perfection at a consistent temperature.
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Here’s the rundown:
Step 1: Dig a hole. Not just any hole. More like a get-the-backhoe-revved-up type of hole.
Step 2: Prep the hog. I’ll spare you the details, that’s the boys’ department.
Step 3: Smoke the hog. This is where the guys’ fancy hog rack and new piggy hood came into play along with some apple wood and a whole lot of patience.
Step 4: Remove hog from ground. Again, another opportunity to bust out the big kid toys because why wouldn’t you use a skid steer. And they love using the metal meat claws like these to shred the tender meat.
Step 5: Eat hog. This was my favorite part.
This was a time I hoped for some leftovers, maybe even some to put in the freezer, because after cooking a 230 pound hog, there’s bound to be some meat left. Right?
Considering the number of people and the off-the-charts delicious factor of this freshly smoked pork, there wasn’t much left after the night was said and done. Especially when several of the meat carvers were eating just as much as they were putting into the serving roaster (and that was all they ate all evening).
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Gratefully, we did end up with a small bag of leftover meat. I’m excited to share with you in future posts how that leftover pork was recreated. Much to Bryant’s dismay, the leftovers meant he had to eat pork for a few more meals. He loves the hog roast but I suppose after prepping a pig, babysitting a hole full of smoke and carving around 200 pounds of meat over a 12-hour timeframe, you may not want to have much to do with pork for a little while (except for maybe bacon, because come on, it’s bacon).
In addition to the “epic” hog roast, our 4th of July included an “epic” slip-n-slide. The original plan was to have a regular ole’ kids slip-n-slide but once Bryant decided this had to be an “epic” party, this activity morphed into a silage tarp turned slip-n-slide. This is where redneck meets genius. And I love it. If you don’t have a silage tarp just laying around, any type of heavy duty tarp will do.
A few kids-at-heart had to test out their homemade slip-n-slide once it was set up (myself included) to, you know, make sure it would be safe for the kiddos.
The kids were awestruck at the size of this homemade slip and slide and had a blast while the sun was still out, especially when a little baby oil and dish soap were added to the tarp to enhance the slipping and sliding.
We also had a live band, Prodigal Son, playing a little bit of country and a little bit of rock and roll which added another wow-factor to our backyard barbecue.
So…the hog roast was on point, the slip-n-slide was phenominal, the band was wonderful, but it’s the moments when our friends, family and neighbors come together to sit back, relax and enjoy one another that make all the prep work, checklists, yard work and investment worth it. Just enjoyable fellowship and the opportunity to create meaningful memories was a fresh escape from the daily grind – one which I was certainly grateful for as I’m sure others were as well.
I love filling my life with those moments. The stop-what-you’re-doing and take a deep breath to soak in all the greatness around you. In our instant gratification, fast-paced society we live in, I consider these moments to be pure bliss.
The sparklers and fireworks towards the end of the evening were simply icing on the 4th of July cake.
What summer moments do you stop to soak in?