Happy birthday, America!
Yes, it’s the Fourth of July, Independence Day, time to break out your favorite red, white, and blue tank top, invite family and friends over, fire up the grill, and avoid talking politics at all costs while waiting for dark to come. And then: lean back and ooh and ahh as fireworks blast up over the rooftops and trees, the sparkling colors and flashes of light reflected on the surface of whatever drink you’ve got in your big plastic cup.
But not as magical as it could be. Because nothing says “USA! USA! USA!” like some delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And nothing else will keep all the patriots at your party happy and cool on a hot July day.
Here are 10 star-spangled ways guaranteed to ice cream-ify your Fourth of July:
1. Hit the parade. Hat? Check. Sunblock? Check. Folding chair? Check. Little Chinese-made American flags for enthusiastic waving? Check. Now all you need is a cooler full of single-serve Ben & Jerry’s and you’re all set. Oh, and spoons. Don’t forget the spoons.
2. Make it à la mode. Have Mom bake an apple pie, then serve every warm slice with a healthy scoop of your favorite flavor (we highly recommend Cinnamon Buns). That’s some old-fashioned Americana right there… Better stick a sparkler or two in the top, though, to impress the Instagram crowd.
3. Dream big. Toast the birth of the United States with the most patriotic flavor found anywhere from sea to shining sea: Americone Dream. One spoonful and you’ll know what liberty tastes like (hint: it’s delicious).
4. Think of the children. Is there anything more entertaining than watching kids at an Independence Day BBQ run around eating ice cream, getting it all over their faces, hands, and clothes? And your clothes, and the chairs, and in your purse and shoes? And somehow on the couch upstairs? And, seriously? In the Blu-ray player?!
5. You’ve got the power. Bring some Empower Mint to your friend’s party and, when you’re scooping it into bowls for your pals, casually mention in a totally chilled-out way how our democracy is broken and new voter-suppression laws are disenfranchising thousands and thousands of people. Then, after you fist bump, lean in real close and say something totally relaxed like, hey, we really need to restore the VRA, like right now.
6. Think different. Sure, you could be like everybody else at the party and put ketchup or relish or mustard on your hot dog. You COULD do that. OR, you could be your own person and drop a chilly dollop of ice cream on it instead, like the Founding Fathers would have wanted.
7. Salute the flag. Cut a crisp slice of pound cake, cover it with a generous portion of vanilla ice cream, then add strawberries and blueberries. Finish with celebratory blast of whipped cream. Flag sundae, anyone?
8. Fireworks display. So you’ve got your favorite flavor or flavors in your favorite “Proud to Be an American” ice cream bowl. What now? It’s the Fourth, so rainbow sprinkles might be your best bet: they’re like a mini, edible fireworks display. But if you want to take it to the next level, try some popping candy instead—“bombs bursting” in every bite.
9. Grill and chill. Not sure what ice cream goes best with all the meats and veggies you’ll be grilling all day? Read this for some inspiring ways to delight the taste buds of all the fine hungry people milling around your back yard in their foam Statue of Liberty crowns.
10. Be a hero, just for one day. On second, or tenth, thought, don’t overthink it. You wanna be the hero of your party or anybody’s party? Just show up with a bunch of pints, all different flavors. And… well, actually, that’s it. Nothing more is needed. Mission accomplished.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!