Monday, July 7, 2014

Our Independence Day Weekend - Blueberries, Burgers, And Fish

We had two July 4th weekend parties at the dock, one on the third and one on the fifth.  Our blueberry crop is coming in and the bushes are covered with bird netting, the berries are getting blue and plump, and this is Bev’s picking for the day – around a quart.

Thus far, we’d been just eating them but since the haul has increased, Bev decided to turn them into a dessert for our July 3rd get-together to go with the home-made ice cream the neighbors brought.  She used a recipe from Taste Of Home for Crumb Topped Blueberry Coffee Cake and it made for a delicious ending to a meal of burgers, dawgs, tater salad, and corn on the cob.

For our actual Independence Day, we took the day off to rest and clean up between parties and just grilled some burgers with the meat left from the previous day.  I shaped mine to fit the slice of French bread I used to soak up the meat juices, seasoned with Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning, grilled, and topped it with pepper jack cheese and sautéed onion/mushrooms/green peppers.

It made for an absolutely delicious burger - maybe as good as I've eaten.

On July 5th our friends David (Big Daddy Dave) and Laurie came over to the dock with family visiting from St. Louis and they had requested fried crappie for supper.  In an effort to reduce the effort that goes into entertaining, which is more fun for us, we decided on a simple menu thereby enhancing the stomach room for the main event - the fish.

We had a appetizer of sweet hush puppies with honey, and sides of green beans from the neighbors garden, slaw using the bagged veggies and Bev's dressing, and hushpuppies from our favorite recipe (unsweetened).   The beans and slaw were made well ahead of time requiring only fish and hush puppies be cooked on the dock.

While on our Charleston area RV trip, we ate at Seawee's Seafood Restaurant and asked them about their breading recipe receiving the surprise answer of House Autry, which is available from most stores.  I used the Hushpuppy Mix for the appetizer and the Medium Hot Seafood Breader for the fish.  This is the recipe for the hushpuppies served with the main course:


2 cups Self-rising corn meal mix (see note)
1 beaten egg
1 medium onion – not real sweet, fine dice
Sweet milk to make a stiff batter

Mix and deep fry in 365* oil, flipping once

Note: Can also use 2 cups of self-rising corn meal plus 2 Tbsp. of flour.

This is my plate but of course I had more fish after I deep fried round two.

I mixed the appetizer hushpuppies per the directions on the bag and added a little more water, but after cooking and seeing how dense they were I realized even more liquid was in order - I still have plenty in the bag to practice with.  The fish turned out crispy with a light breading coat and it was a big hit - I may never mix my own breading again.  Our favorite tartar sauce was made using Cathy's recipe from Wives With Knives.

We finished off the meal with blueberry peach cobbler ala mode, provided by the guests and it was delicious way to wrap up.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


7/3/ & 7/5/14 event dates


  1. Larry... I love blueberry season!! I eat a lot of of my most favorite fruits... As for dinner on the dock, it was great! I think I must have eaten 9 or 10 crappie filets, countless hushpuppies, a couple of helpings of the beans and the coleslaw...then the cobbler with ice cream. I didn't eat the next day until well after noon! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  2. Sounds good to me! Can't remember the last time I had hush puppies, they're definitely not served around here, but had them all the time growing up in the south. And blueberries anything sounds great too! It was lots of ribs here and brats with lots of good sides.

  3. You have the best get-togethers. Everything looks and sounds wonderful - but those green beans are calling my name! Do you ever serve fresh green beans with tomato and onion slices? Yum - guess I needs more greens.

    1. I usually put onion on my beans and Bev likes hers as you described.

  4. You guys are real party animals with two docks parties for the 4th of July. Everything looks delicious ,especially your open faced burger and the crispy hush puppies.

  5. Sounds like you have been busy entertaining BIGTIME.. All of your meals are AWESOME. In fact, we had sautéed mushrooms (with onion and peppers) tonight with our dinner... We love them --and have them often... Your burger meal sounds incredible..... BUT--I'll bet that that fish dinner was terrific also.


  6. Look like really well cooked green beans, just the way we like them (maybe pole beans).

  7. I would like to hear more about the blueberry peach cobbler. Our friend Dr. Biggles has a theory that the Blueberry booth at the farmers market will always have cute women. For the most part it seems to be true.

  8. Since blueberries are one of the new heralded "superfoods" and you grow them, guess that makes you a "super gardener", right? I think so!

    I really like that open faced burger, I might have to borrow that idea, Larry. It's perfect.

  9. All your food looks awesome, Thanks for the tip on House Autry.

  10. Somewhere you sent me the name of the blueberry varieties that you planted, Larry, since every one of our blueberry plants bit the dust and I just gave up on them. Would I love to have the amount of blueberries that you picked from your bushes! WOW! We also love those Weber spices such as the Chicago Steak! Good stuff! Now we need to try and top some burgers like you did to enjoy! We're going up to Lake Tazwell this weekend to enjoy some relaxation time on the water with our daughter and family. Can't wait!

  11. The open faced burger is screaming my name! It looks incredible.

  12. For some reason the birds don't bother our blueberries. Maybe it's the two bird feeders filled with their favorite sunflower seeds nearby? Or the cats.

  13. Hey you party animals! Looks like you folks were really busy between the 3rd – 5th! I love the 4th of July, it’s all about family, friends, food & fireworks! No gifts! LOL

    This Yankee girl would know how to eat a hushpuppy or what to serve with it! I may give your recipe a try for my nieces August BBQ. I’ll let you know how it goes! Your burger looked so delicious, there’s nothing like a good burger!

    Since you have so many blueberries I have bunches of recipes for you to try! I buy 60 pounds of Wild Maine Blueberries every year! Yup, you read that correctly 60 pounds!

    If you haven’t tried making “Lime Blueberry Jam” & “Spiced Blueberry Jam” you have to head over to my blog and search for them. The LBJ from Bee Haven Acres, and have been making it for several years now, it’s very delicious. I got the SBJ from the Ball Bluebook of Canning – it’s too die for!

    Have you ever tried a Fresh Blueberry Pie? Here’s a link for an easy recipe.

    Finally, Lemon Blueberry cake – I have it on good authority from my college classmate that this cake is to die for! Here’s the link!

    I enjoyed my visit today!

  14. I love fresh blueberry anything! what a great photo.. hope your having a marvelous summer.. those hush puppies look like the perfect meal by themselves! tell Bev to have a grand time this summer as well.. stay well my friends... xo

  15. That burger looks delicious Larry! As you know, I'm not much for dessert, but a cobbler ala mode I will not turn down.


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