Betty Kaiser: Cook’s Corner Fourth of July

Fourth of July Pie and Betty's Potato Salad

Hi, everyone! How are you doing on this last day of June, 2022? That means that the 4th of July is just around the corner and it’s time to celebrate our country and the many blessings we have for living in these United States. Today’s world is so very complex that sometimes we forget what good living circumstances that we have.  

The 4th of July is a great time to look back and remember the founding fathers of our country, who had the courage to sign their Declaration of Independence from England. When the 56 Delegates proclaimed the original 13 colonies as “free and independent states,” they put not only their own lives on the line but they founded one of the most democratic countries of the world .

As Americans, we owe a great deal to these dedicated signers who valued liberty more than security. It’s been 246 years since then and we are still reaping what others have sown — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Just for fun, I checked out what the Pilgrims might have been eating as a celebration. It was kinda boring.  Bread was the settlers’ main food stuff along with clabber, porridge, corn, mush, stews and pot pies. Sugar was not readily available  until the latter part of the 18th century when molasses and maple syrup were the most common sweeteners. 

Our food sources and supplies  have come a long way from those meals. One of the ways that we celebrate this special holiday is by gathering together for picnics with friends and neighbors. After all, it’s always fun to eat someone else’s cooking! 

I’m going to share two recipes today that you can expect to find on our table on most  summer occasions.

Contact Betty Kaiser’s Cook’s Corner at 942-1317 or email [email protected]


God Bless America!


3 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, marionberries

1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 ½ cups sugar (more or less according to your taste

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 20 ounce can Comstock Light Cherry Pie filling

Favorite double pie crust for a flag topping


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Lightly spray a 13x10x2” Pyrex pan

Wash, drain and combine fruit. Set aside. In a saucepan on the stove, stir together sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and stir until smooth and thickened. Add berries and stir until warm. Add the cherry pie filling and lightly mix until fruit is evenly distributed. Let stand while rolling out crust.

Prepare your favorite pie crust and roll out ½ on a floured board. Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, arrange stars on the top left area of the fruit in the pan to begin your flag. Then, cut strips to run flag style, across the rest of the fruit. 

Place pie on a cookie sheet and bake on top rack of oven 20 min. Check and see if crust is browning too rapidly. If so, tent edge of crust with foil (or a commercial shield) and bake an additional 20-30 min. Lattice will be golden. Remove to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Liquid will set for serving. 

Decorate with tiny American flags. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 8 +

Betty’s Potato Salad

10 medium sized russet, red or Yukon gold potatoes (see note)

1 small red onion, finely minced

8 celery stems, sliced in moons

8 sweet pickles, diced

Garlic salt and pepper to taste

1/3-1/2 cup Italian dressing

Mayonnaise (about 1-1/2 cups)

5 hard boiled eggs, grated

2 teaspoons garlic salt; dash of pepper

1 teaspoon dill weed

Optional: 1 cup shredded carrot, rinsed and patted dry

Scrub potatoes, put in large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer about 1 hour or until done and skin starts to crack. Drain, cover with cold running water until they begin to cool down. Drain again. 

Peel potatoes while warm; if using red potatoes, leave on some skin. Dice and place in large mixing bowl. Add onion, celery, carrots, sweet pickles, garlic salt and pepper. Pour Italian dressing over all and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, add a spoonful of sweet pickle juice to mayonnaise. Pour over potato mixture and stir lightly. If you like your salad dry, don’t add all of the mayo at once. If you like it wetter, add more mayo. Fold in veggies. Taste and adjust seasonings. Put in serving bowl, cover with grated eggs and garnish with Lawry’s season salt. 

Note: This recipe serves 8 average appetites. Adjust amounts according to number of people being served. Use one potato per person plus two extras ‘for the pot.’ I never like to run out of food at a picnic or party!