Happy Fourth of July to all! Today we gather at beaches, on river banks, in backyards, in parking lots, and arenas all across America to celebrate our nation’s independence with picnics and barbecues and music and fireworks.

I’ll be singing in the Sunken Garden of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse at the big Independence Day symphony Pops concert that’s held every year on the lawn of the beautiful old Spanish Revival courthouse building here. The concert is free, provided by the Santa Barbara Symphony, which always engages the services of the Santa Barbara Choral Society to provide the choral portions on all the patriotic favorites: The Battle Hymn of the Republic, the Carmen Dragon version of America the Beautiful, Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, and all the tributes to the various branches of the American military with their particular songs. It’s a blast to do!

The crowd swells to thousands, and as James Taylor said in his song, they’ve “got their babies, got their blankets, got their buckets of beer” and everybody sings along with the chorus to the familiar tunes.

I’ve got to go down early to rehearse with the Symphony, but Mike and our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter and our dear friends, the Thompsons, who own a great shop that began in SB, called Cabana Home, are bringing a picnic lunch, which I’ll get to enjoy just as soon as I finish my singing duties.

I’m on the hook for dessert and salad. Since it’s a little hot here this week, I think cold foods will work best for the lunch, so I was thinking maybe doing the Frozen Fruit Skewers from the Low Carb CookwoRx Cookbook (recipe below and on the CookwoRx site) for dessert and Caprese on a stick, which is a snap.

To make the Caprese on a stick, just skewer alternating cherry tomatoes, small fresh mozzarella balls or chunks of mozzarella, and leaves of fresh basil onto bamboo skewers and drizzling them with olive oil, balsamic and a dash of salt and pepper.

Both these dishes will travel well, won’t require utensils, and will keep in the ice chest just fine. No muss, no fuss, and delicious!

Do whatever it is that you love to do on the Fourth; be safe, be sane, and have fun. And please do take a moment to remember the men and women who have made the pursuit of happiness possible for us all since 1776.

Above all, enjoy!

Frozen Fruit Skewers

24 large red or black seedless grapes
24 large green seedless grapes
24 medium fresh strawberries, stemmed
12 large blackberries
3 kiwis, peeled and each cut into 4 cubes


  1. Wash, drain, and prepare all fruit as indicated above.
  2. Working with bamboo skewers, skewer the fruit as follows: green grape, strawberry with tip down, green grape, blackberry, red grape, kiwi, red grape, strawberry with tip up. Push the fruit closely together to stabilize it.
  3. Wrap each skewer in plastic or press-wrap, place on a baking tray, and freeze for at least several hours.

Nutritional Facts 6.6 net carbs 0.5 protein

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