Today is Independence Day in America, a day where we commemorate the Declaration of Independence of the United States. During a non-global pandemic year, you’ll find family and friends gathering on the 4th of July for summer barbeques and picnics, pool parties, firework shows, community parades, and celebrations of our military heroes. It’s loud, festive and colorful.
As we all know it’s a very different time this year. Yet, there’s opportunity to find joy even during such uncertain times. As I sat down to write this blog to mark the holiday, I found myself nostalgic for family traditions and community celebrations of the past. Those times bring a smile to my face and remind me about the true spirit of the 4th of July whether we can all be together or tucked in at home.
This year, I’m taking the day to reflect on how grateful I am for all the people keeping our country safe whether they are active military, national guard, or veterans. Whether they are first responders or healthcare workers. And at TTEC, for our team members helping customers with their essential services. I feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by everyday heroes whether they are in a uniform or wearing their work from home attire.
The holiday also reminds me about one of our family traditions years ago, our neighborhood bike parade. Now I live in Arizona and it’s generally over 105 degrees on any given 4th (but it’s a dry heat so they say!). That never stopped the neighbors and the kids from coming out with their bikes decorated with Independence Day spirit. Even the dogs were dressed up! The fire department would join in and meet the neighbors. My favorite part was at the end of the parade, they’d connect the hose and the kids would run through the water, screaming with glee, so happy to be cooled off. While the parade is cancelled this year, I realize that I can go back to that memory and appreciate those times more than I ever did, even when I was there.
Once the parade was done, we’d head back to my parent’s house. The celebration continued, surrounded by family. And Mom would pull out our favorite family tradition, a recipe from my Aunt Jeanne, the Patriotic Flag Fruit Pie. The perfect summer dessert for a hot day. While we might not be able to be with family and friends this year, my family and I wanted to share our Patriotic Flag Fruit Pie with you. During a time when there’s record baking, it may be something you can make safely at home.
And for our global community, get your creativity on and you can try this with your own flag!
This year, while everything is radically different for each of us, my hope is that each of you may find joy in your memories, family traditions and perhaps making new ones for the years ahead.
(homemade Patriotic Fruit Tart, family tradition, photo circa 2003)
Patriotic Flag Fruit Pie
Step 1. Crust
1 ½ cups of butter
1 ½ cups of flour
½ cup of powdered sugar
- Mix ingredients together, pat into 12 x 15 pan & bake for 15 – 20 minutes
- Bake at 325 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes
Step 2. The spread
8 ounces cream cheese, soft
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix these together and spread over cooled crust
Step 3. It’s time to make the flag!
Let’s add the fruit. Blueberries make a great section for the stars and a mix of strawberries and bananas for the stripes but it’s really all up to what you think will taste and look best!
Step 4. Next up? Add the glaze
1 cup unsweetened orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup sugar
- Mix ingredients together & cook slowly until thick
- Cool mixture and then cover fruit with the mixture
Step 5. Refrigerate
Step 6. Enjoy!