Old Fashioned 4th of July

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Old Fashioned 4th of July Picnic

What are your plans for this 4th of July? How about celebrating the old fashioned way with some homemade decor, an old fashioned menu, and family fun.

Here are tips on making your own decor and some menu ideas. Cooking your own food rather then picking up party trays or other pre-made items not only saves you money, but helps personalize your party too.

Decor/ DIY Crafts

I found this patriotic tablecloth with a vintage pattern at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. This pattern was a perfect match to the dishes I planned to use.




I had red white and blue serving dishes. I found white vintage dishes for my watermelon at a yard sale, 99¢ for each. I used glasses and real utensils. This is our “old fashioned” picnic, so plastic utensils or styrofoam plates would not go. I don’t mind washing a few dishes.




Bucket Place Settings-
I LOVE these! Jo-Ann’s had a variety of colors, but I chose the stainless steel. (I try to always think of ways I can get multiple uses out of items and using a color would limit future uses.)



I created little tags for each bucket to serve as a place setting and little gift. I found this vintage image online and thought it was perfect. I simply added guests names to the image and printed them on card stock paper. I used a hole puncher to create little holes to run twine through. Inside the bucket, I wrapped sparklers in leftover red and white striped Christmas paper, added a Pinwheel and vintage buttons (both found at Jo-Ann’s), and a giant homemade cookie.

Paper Pom-Poms-
I made a these using red, white and blue tissue paper and hung them with thin craft wire. They are festive, simple and very inexpensive. Here is a link with the instructions.




Menu Ideas

I am sure you have seen the quote, “Try organic food! Or as your grandparents called it…FOOD!” So keeping up with our old fashioned theme, l chose some organic produce without GMO’s or chemicals. I shopped at my favorite grocery store, the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op.

Chicken with Honey Mustard dipping sauce-
Great to serve for a picnic. This chicken is great hot or cold.



Breaded Chicken Tenders


Approximately 1lb. of organic chicken
2 eggs
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 plates and 1 medium bowl
Olive Oil


Remove chicken from package and set on plate. Have an extra plate set aside with a paper towel to put cooked chicken in.
Warm skillet with olive oil over medium heat
Whip eggs in med bowl until thoroughly mixed.
On the third plate, blend flour, salt and pepper and oregano.
Dip chicken tenders in egg then coat both sides with the flour mixture
Cook in skillet over medium heat for approximately 3 minutes on each side.Keep adding olive oil as needed.

You can serve these hot or cold. I have used this over salad, with dipping sauce, with marinara and pasta, in wraps, etc. Very versatile and delicious.


Honey Mustard Sauce

1 cup Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Mustard
4 tablespoons mild honey
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste


Stir together all ingredients in a bowl until combined well.

Corn on the Cob-
What is a summer picnic without corn on the cob? Buy local and support our farmers!



Another summer staple and grown locally!



Potato Salad-
The Roanoke Food Co-Op sells a potato salad called, “Old Fashioned Potato Salad.”  Saver yourself the hassle here and buy this from their “HAPPY BELLY DELI.” It tastes just like my grandmas!

Serve your meal with a basket of fresh bread or rolls and a tall glass of icy lemonade.



Good old, American Apple Pie and homemade vanilla ice-cream.




Pastry dough for a 2-crust pie
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons flour
6 cups of peeled, cored and thinly sliced granny smith apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the dough. Combine the brown sugar with the cinnamon and flour and toss with the apples and lemon juice.

Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pie shell. Drop cubes of butter over the top
Roll out the remaining dough to form the top crust. Cut decorative vents in the crust with a fork. Lay the top crust over the fruit. Crimp the pastry together with your fingers or a fork. You may brush the surface with a little beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar if you like.

*I always use a pie ring to keep my edges from burning. If you don’t have one, use some aluminum foil to protect your edges.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes longer or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Making ice cream, running with pinwheels and lighting sparklers are activities everyone can get involved in. Simple, classic and fun!

Happy 4th of July!




The Stelter Family, Roanoke, VA.


This blog is a follow up from the original article featured in the July 2014 issue of  “Bella Magazine.” Bella Magazine is the multiple award-winning magazine for all women of Southwest and Central Virginia and I am honored to be a part of it.  This blog was written to provide additional details. Pick up a copy of Bella Magazine to read the original article as well as many others. Started in 2006 by Joey Coakley Beck, Bella has become the source for women (and men) of all ages wanting to know about everything from fashion and skin care to home decor and more.


Bella Magazine, The Travel Issue. July, 2014


Find me on Homtalk.com

American wife to this Indian life. I am a right-brained, American woman married to a left-brained Indian man. I love art, design, up-cycling and multiple DIY projects at the same time. He loves simplicity and order. Follow us on this cultural collision as I combine our personalities and cultural differences through art, design, food, and raising kids. When I am not working on a craft or project, I co-host a lifestyle/entertainment show called "Daytime Blue Ridge," on our local NBC affiliate, WSLS 10. www.DaytimeBlueRidge.com

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