Martha Stewart shares her top five tips for how to throw a festive, patriotic party this Fourth of July.
• Confetti-filled balloons are a fun alternative to fireworks. Satisfyingly loud and sparkly, they can be set off by kids indoors. To make, pull a balloon over a funnel. Pour in the confetti until the balloon is a quarter full, and then inflate with a hand pump. Use a sharpened pencil for popping fun.
• Add pizzazz to a patriotic celebration with starry tabletop runners and napkin ties made from red and white paper.
• For the Fourth of July, our most patriotic holiday, I also want to make a splash in the daytime, without fireworks, so I like to stretch a giant blue and white-striped shade banner across the terrace, as much for effect as for the sun protection it provides.
• I might be the last person on earth to be associated with a grill, and yet, for just that reason, I have made it a priority to grill everything to perfection. Hamburgers are so often cooked badly – charred, raw, overdone – yet this doesn’t have to be the case. I think it all has to do with the grill, the fuel and, of course, the heat. I prefer a large, flat grill with a cooking surface that can be raised or lowered.
• A delicious red, white and blue parfait is perfect for the whole family on Fourth of July. Layers of red current gelatin, vanilla panna cotta, and blueberries and currants create a striking and delicious parfait. Serve them in a short, thin glass tumbler.