With the holiday weekend upon us, it will be a very different July 4th celebration this year, without a big family gathering, friends, trips to the shore.  It’s all becoming a bit tiresome but we are likely in pandemic mode for much longer than we all anticipate.  So let’s try to make the best of the situation Mother Nature has put us in…….

Cooking is a hobby and I love to make extravagant dinners from time-to-time, using new recipes (mostly from restaurant cookbooks or Junior League cookbooks) but wanted to share this recipe that I go to over and over again. It is so easy!  Hubby loves it, it’s perfect for a small gathering or to use as an appetizer.  I serve it in a an old lucite bowl, with toothpicks.  The only ingredient you may want to stock are capers and celery seeds, both needed for this  

Southern Pickled Shrimp
1/4 c lemon juice
1 1/2 t salt
Hot pepper sauce to taste
1 t sugar
3/4 c olive oil
3/4 c red vinegar
3/4 c water
2 Bay leaves
2 1/2 t celery seed

For the shrimp:
2 lbs cooked shrimp
2 c sliced onions
1 2-oz bottle capers

Combine the ingredients above for the sauce.  Put the shrimp in a bowl, cover with the sauce and put in the fridge for a few hours. Drain it before serving.  Serve it with toothpicks! 

If I were going to decorate my patio from scratch for the 4th, I’d start with these melamine plates (in Tobacco Leaf, a classic favorite). 

These are simply the best summer placemats and every dish and napkin in your stash will work with these. If you don’t have something like this in your kitchen, add them today!

Add these batik napkins:

This Bunny Williams’ flatware has always been on my wish list. 
Add these cocktail napkins for pre-dinner drinks:

Decorate the table with these lovely hurricanes.  You’ll think you’re in the islands.  See them here.