Before they become irrelevant, a few pictures from the celebrations.
Anders and I thought it would be hilarious to put these flags on our steaks.
Also note the traditional fare of watermelon and less traditional fresh salad. We were bad Minnesotans: we didn't have potato salad, casserole or slaw.
I made red velvet cupcakes from this recipe. Though I didn't quite use 2 oz because my mom--who raised us on just-a-drop-that-is-enough light pink icings--didn't think that I could possibly use more than one bottle of red food coloring so she bought a one ounce bottle. They were still quite an unnatural shade.
While they are alarmingly beautiful cupcakes (and just right for the occasion), to be honest, I didn't think they were that good. But was is the first time I've had red velvet cake and it is possible that my palate is not attuned to the not-vanilla but not-chocolate taste.
Later in the evening we went outside and let off a volley of illegal fireworks. In Minnesota one can only get sparklers, bottle rockets (I think?), snakes etc. But dad, being the American that he is, plans his prairie dog hunting trips to South Dakota before the 4th of July every year and then comes back with lots of very fun, very illegal fireworks.
Of course, nobody cares as we live well away from the highway. Our neighbors probably enjoy the show.