I have such fond memories celebrating the Fourth of July. Us kids would spend the day swimming ‘til our fingertips turned into prunes and filling our round little bellies with the most mouthwaterin’ watermelon and barbeque. We scared the livin’ daylights out of each other setting off firecrackers! Then, at sunset, we brought out the sparklers. They’re still my favorite. But when they were gone, we reluctantly went off to bed. I’d lie there for hours listening to the sound of those fireworks poppin’, wishing I could stay up as late as I pleased—wishing for my own independence day.
Summer was always a special time because the rules didn’t seem to apply—not in the same way, anyhow. Mama and Daddy would let us stay up later and sleep in longer ‘cause we didn’t have school. Life was about enjoying the simple pleasures—running through the sprinkler and eating popsicles that turned your whole mouth red. During those long, hot days, I’d hurry through my chores so I could escape on my bicycle. I just loved riding that bicycle. I’d cut through the neighbors’ yards and venture down dirt roads. Whenever I’d get on that bike, I felt as free as a bird.
One Fourth, Daddy brought me home a beautiful red, white and blue pinwheel and I remember coming up with the idea to tie it to my handlebars. I rode like a bat out of hell tryin’ to get that thing to spin. It caught on quick. Before long, all the other girls in the neighborhood wanted pinwheels for their bikes too. I felt like the cat’s pajamas.
I got to thinkin’ about those pinwheels again when a friend gave one to my grandson, Jack. You’d have thought he was given the world. He blew on that pinwheel so hard, I worried he might near pass out. So I told him to run with it instead. And boy, did he run.
Jack didn’t need some overpriced, battery-operated, bling-blangy toy to entertain him. And turns out, neither did I. A little summer sun, a carefree afternoon and each other’s company are the perfect ingredients for a good time. We spent hours running around the yard making that pinwheel hum (well, I sort of ran).
Later, I figured out that I could make my own pinwheels in all sorts of summery colors. It was so inexpensive and easy. I handed them out to Jack’s friends and mine, just as a reminder of what summer is really all about: good, simple fun. Course, I didn’t just stop there. My kitchen team and I thought up two new pinwheel-inspired appetizer recipes, Caprese Pinwheels and Prosciutto and Herbed Cheese Pinwheels . They are so delicious. Turns out, everyone loves pinwheels—both the kids and the young-at-heart.
The same goes for the Fourth of July. What’s not to love? It’s a celebration filled with fresh fruit, beaches, sunshine, cookouts, family and vacation (to name a few of my personal favorites). In fact, this year I’m making a point of taking a much needed two-week’s vacation to do little more than sit on my porch with a tall glass of sweet tea and watch my pinwheels spin.Read More From Holidays and Entertaining.
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Join Paula, Bobby and Jamie for a book signing at the Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah from 2 to 4 pm. Only 350 tickets will be given out starting 1 hour before the book signing. No cameras permitted; a professional photographer will be on site to take your photo.
Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea to the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten - roundtrip from Miami) aboard the Celebrity Reflection presented by Alice Travel. Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel. We are running out of space, so book as soon as possible!
Paula Deen is coming to Buffalo, NY to perform a live cooking show and let VIP ticket holders enjoy a delicious Southern feast with a menu created by Paula herself! Both events will be held at Samuel’s Grand Manner in Williamsville, NY which offers a refined elegance in a classically modern setting. The VIP lunch will be held at 12:00pm on February 8th and will go until approximately 2:00pm (doors will open at 11:30am). The lunch will include a hearty helping of Southern style cuisine which is personally selected by Paula, a Southern Cooking Bible cookbook, a photo op with Paula where she will also be signing autographs, a gift package, and preferred seating at that evenings cooking show! The cooking show will begin at 3:00pm on February 8th and run about 60 minutes long (doors will open at 2:15pm). Paula will be cooking up some of her favorite meals live for you at Samuel’s Grand Manor! Seating is unreserved and is “first come, first served”.
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Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas to Labadee, Jamaica, and Cozumel (roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale) presented by Alice Travel. We will be having special, separate events for kids on this one with Jack Deen hosting the kids program! Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel Book now before the prices start going up on the cruise and air!