4th of July in California

Travellers all over are in search of the authentic experience, many of them look down their noses at anything deemed to be touristy. I personally quite enjoy both experiences so I was delighted to be able to visit a friend in California for Independence Day to get that true American experience.

I realised what an excellent decision I had made when my first breakfast in California turned out to look like this...

Blueberry Pancakes at Crepevine Mountain View

 Crepevine has several branches in Northern California, it specialises in crepes (surprise) and apparently massive portion sizes. The pancakes were delicious and very reasonably priced at under $10!

After eating our body weight in breakfast goodies we started making preparations for the 4th of July BBQ. First stop was Trader Joe's, a speciality grocery store that represents the pinnacle of American consumerism. It is really a standing tribute to how far Western society has evolved from hunting and gathering to being able to pay substantial amounts of money on goods such as 'Quinoa & Black Bean Tortilla Chips'.

Trader Joe's

Next it was on to another supermarket to pick up some light snacks..

On the day of the BBQ we worked tirelessly preparing food.

No really we did make some All American Cupcakes, basically the same as all other types of cupcakes except decorated red, white, and blue. Here goes the briefest 'How To' guide ever:

1. Bake ordinary vanilla cupcakes and make a small hole in the centre, don't go to deep and keep the part you cut out!

2. Fill the hole with jam - can also be done with a jam and peanut butter mix if you are feeling adventurous

3. Fill in the hole with the piece you cut out - see I told you this was simple

4. Now spread icing over the cupcakes. I would recommend cream cheese icing as I find all the other types to be sickly sweet but to each their own! You can make your own icing or you can keep it simple as we did and use Betty Crocker

5. Final step - pour some coconut shavings and/or blue, red, and white sprinkles onto a plate. Take an iced cupcake and plonk it head first into the plate, twist it a bit and ta-dah!

The Masterpiece!

American Style Cupcakes

After our Master Chef episode in the kitchen we moved on to decorating the garden. The blue, red, and white flowers were bought from Safeway and the 'Liberty Lemon' was decorated by yours truly. Adding fruit pieces into your decorations is a nice and easy way to be creative.

4th of July Table Decorations

Liberty Lemon

The most important part of 4th of July happened around 1pm... There was a fabulous spread of food put on the table, none of which I can claim any part in making.

As if that weren't enough, to truly round off our day we headed to downtown San Jose where there was a bacon festival! Literally every imaginable bacon based food was available from numerous food trucks that lined the park.  In the centre of the park was a WWF ring, because what more could you want other than bacon and wrestling?!

Bacon Festival Downtown San Jose

Happy Birthday America!


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