July 4th No Cook Dinner

The Gourmet Review

Holidays are always a fun time to connect with family and friends. July 4th is no exception. We have friends from Florida, Nevada and California who join us every year, and of course, the Blue Baker,  granddaughter, is the first off the plane. Mr. Baker is beautiful today and we have a great weekend planned.

July 4th No Cook Dinner

The Gourmet Review

The first night is always casual, as everyone arrives throughout the course of the afternoon. A crab fest is an easy, festive way to enjoy the first evening of the holiday weekend. We order crab flown in from our favorite provider, University Seafood. I usually have a mix of whole crabs, for those who like to get into the spirit of the evening and crack their own crabs, mixed shelled crabmeat for the lazy diners and finally, a few choice wholecrab legs. If you have ever cracked your own crab, you will appreciate what it takes to get an entire crab leg out of the shell in one piece.

July 4th No Cook Dinner

The Gourmet Review

I set the table with newspapers and throw big bowls of crabs and crabmeat onto the table. Then I make my favorite Canlis salad (I dare you to find a better salad). Of course, I get all the salad ingredients ready the day before everyone arrives. Finally, I throw warm garlic bread onto the table and everyone helps themselves. I’m a big “do it in advance” person, so I prepare the garlic bread about five days in advance and put it in the freezer, so it is fresh but best of all there’s no last minute preparation. I love mincing some fresh garlic and parsley in garlic infused olive oil and spreading it on French bread.  Then I slice it and wrap in foil. Can’t get easier than that.

July 4th No Cook Dinner

The Gourmet Review

Sun is starting to set. Quick time out to watch the blue herons call it a night. Now back to dinner.

July 4th No Cook Dinner

The Gourmet Review

Spectacular sunset tonight. Perfect for celebrating. The Blue Baker and her friends remind me that they have scattered seashells over the newspaper, along with lots of glass candles for some atmosphere. They have done a great job on the table, as you can see from the photo above.  Try filling some square glass flower vases with sand and nestle a candle on top. Or, if you live away from the ocean, Pottery Barn always carries crab crackers, sand, starfish and shells. These make great table centerpieces when combined with candles.

July 4th No Cook Dinner

Courtesy David Wells

 All that’s left is to pour the wine and get the celebrations underway. Happy Fourth of July!

– The Gourmet Review

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