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.