Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Official Firecracker Feast

Posted July 3, 2007

What is the classic Carolina menu for the 4th of July? What food items are just absolutely necessary to make your holiday meal complete?

I would love to hear from you on this. We’ll tally the results and come up with the Official Firecracker Feast .

Growing up my family almost always picnicked on the Blue Ridge Parkway or by some chilly mountain swimming stream. I still savor those soggy pimento cheese sandwiches, potato salad and ice tea. Dessert consisted of caramel or chocolate cake or brownies. 

As a parent myself I have let those traditions slip away. Tomorrow I will probably grill hotdogs and hamburgers .  However, if I can find some pimento cheese made with extra sharp cheddar I might make a sandwich or two.  Maybe we'll have blackberry cobbler for dessert with brown sugar sauce.

What about you?


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  • mcmags Jul 4, 2007

    Has anyone mentioned fried okra? The corn meal kind, not the breaded type.

  • leroygirl06 Jul 3, 2007

    We will be having hot dogs as well as hambugers. The only thing missing is the homemade icecream. As growing up wealways made the (Frogmore) stew. It was always so good. The only thing we did differently was that we also added shelled cleaned hard shell crabs. It was wonderful. Enjoy everyone and happy 4th.

  • innocent bystander Jul 3, 2007

    Thanks, I am now foaming at the mouth for a good brisket!

  • bleslie Jul 3, 2007

    Stubbs beef marinade. For store bought it doesn't get any better.

  • thefensk Jul 3, 2007

    I forgot to tell you that the basting sauce I mentioned is also good with almost any charcoal-grilled meat, especially chicken.

  • dlm1075 Jul 3, 2007

    Nothing is better than a Kansas City beef brisket. Marinade it over night and then slow cook for 5 hours in the oven and serve with a sour cream and Hellman's mayonaise potato salad. YUM!

  • bleslie Jul 3, 2007

    I had brisket in Texas once and it was fabulous. A neighbor recently cooked one for two days and it too was superb.

  • thefensk Jul 3, 2007

    oh_its_you_bob asked how to do a brisket on the grill. You don't. To do it right outside, you really need an offset smoker you can continue to feed fresh fire to for the 10-12 hours it needs to cook. What I do is fix up a nice rub and put it on a rack in a big pan, cover it loosely with foil, and cook it in a very slow (like 230F) oven. Baste it every now and then with either drippings or a basting sauce of 1/3 olive oil, cider vinegar, lemon juice. You can use a little liquid smoke if you want but be judicious with that. The bigger the brisket, the better, but market trimmed briskets don't have enough fat so use the whole briskets if possible. Trim a little fat but put it fat side up and let the fat do most of the basting. Take off the foil for the last 1- 1 1/2 hours.
    It is the long slow cooking that you need to get it fork tender. Oh, with market trimmed, you might change the "loosely covered with foil" to more tightly covered. Those will cook a little quicker too.

  • innocent bystander Jul 3, 2007

    thefensk, how do cook a brisket on the grill? The only time we tried it, we could've used it as a western saddle, if we had a heavy enough mallet to shape it!

  • 2thebeach Jul 3, 2007

    Riverracer may be right about the soil. I just know there's something down that way that makes those watermelons so pretty and so sweet and so flavorful, that once you've tasted one, you'll know what I mean.




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