Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Flag Cupcakes

This one's more about nostalgia than about the recipe.

Up until 4 years ago I spent every 4th of July at my Grandparent's home and acreage in Reedsport, Oregon. Each year all of my Muffett aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather here for a phenomenal holiday bash. Great food would be served, games would be played, stories would be exchanged, and fireworks (the good ones) would be lit. It was so much fun. It was one of those events that I always enjoyed and treasured, but never really understood how difficult it would be to recreate until everyone started growing up and moving away.

The food was always a potluck of the most wonderful picnic foods brought and shared by everyone. It would all be set out on my grandmother's dining table, and I remember the wonderment I had as a kid that I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I felt like it. Being able to just grab a handful of BBQ potato chips when I wanted to was a very special thing. There was roasted chicken, sandwich meats and cheeses, Grandma's unbeatable potato salad, baked beans, chips, veggies, fruit and so much more. Outside would be a big cooler full of ice and most any softdrink or juice you could want - chilled to icy perfection. We would eat watermelon on Grandma's big porch and roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a big campfire that was built each year on her gravel driveway. The sticks we used to roast with were gathered and whittled by "the boy cousins." From the moment we arrived there would be 4-8 ice cream machines churning out multiple gallons of the best homemade ice cream ever (in the earlier years we had to hand crank it). It was a simple recipe that my Grandpa Muffett used to enjoy as a child made from fresh milk and cream. We would top this delight with my Grandma's homemade hot fudge sauce. Ohhh, my mouth is watering as I type.

And each year my mom would make a wonderful half sheet white cake chilled and topped with whipped cream. She would artfully arrange blueberries and raspberries on top to make it look like a US flag. Simply beautiful and absolutely delicious. I can still taste the fresh sweetness of that chilled flag cake.

This year as we enjoyed a quiet 4th of July to ourselves, I pondered the good ole days and missed them a lot. I made these flag cupcakes in honor of my mom's flag cake, and I plan on using the month of July to prepare and enjoy many of the other foods that I remember so fondly. Next up Muffett Homemade Ice Cream with Grandma's Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce - I can hardly wait!

Flag Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix
1 container White Frosting
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Prepare cake mix as directed on box and bake into 20 cupcakes. Allow to cool then frost cupcakes with frosting. Arrange blueberries on 4 of the cupcakes, raspberries on 8 of the cupcakes, and dip the remaining 8 cupcakes in the coconut. Arrange on a platter or breadboard as pictured above to look like a US flag.

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