Well, it sure was a different 4th of July! I hear that Templeton had a parade of sorts, even though the Templeton Rotary Club officially canceled its annual parade. The Fire Department carried on with its pancake breakfast and served it in a “drive-up” way. As someone offered, “we gotta’ do what we gotta’ do!”

Barbie Butz

John and I celebrated with a drive over to Morro Bay for a change of scenery. It was a beautiful day on the coast, so we drove around and enjoyed seeing other people out and about.

Here in Atascadero, the Colony Days committee held a Drive-By BBQ fundraiser and served over 100 meals. Chairman Karen McNamara and crew were delighted with the success of the event.

I wonder if anyone served “Beer Margaritas” in celebration of the 4th? I put the recipe in last week’s paper and heard a few comments — not much from my wine-drinking friends, but the beer-drinkers thought they’d give it a try.

As I mentioned in an earlier column, our Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival is on hold until next June, but our support of the Charles Paddock Zoo will continue. The committee met last week to brainstorm ways to raise money to meet our obligation to the Zoo’s animals. It’s amazing how creative our minds can be when put to the test! We will launch a fundraiser before the end of summer, and I’ll keep you updated so you can participate in the “fun-draiser.” You won’t even have to “Zoom” or wear a mask while you support the Zoo.

This week, with the weather warming, I thought I’d concentrate on salad dressings and sauces. Why not make your own if you have a minute or two.

Basic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine, white wine, or apple cider vinegar (also try white balsamic )            

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

This vinaigrette will keep, covered and at room temperature, for 3 to 5 days.

Makes about ½ cup.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients:

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

½ cup sour cream

1/3 cup mayonnaise (I like Best Foods)

¼ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon granulated garlic

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the blue cheese, sour cream, mayo, buttermilk, onion powder, and granulated garlic. Season with salt and pepper. This dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Makes about 1 cup.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

¾ cup mayonnaise (I like Best Foods)

½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons buttermilk

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder 

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. This dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups ketchup

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dry mustard powder

2 teaspoons onion powder 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup water

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients with 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, occasionally stirring, until thick, about 45 minutes. This barbecue sauce will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 month. Makes about 2 cups.

Note: This is similar to a sauce my mother made back in the 1950s. She added a few drops of liquid smoke for that “smokey” flavor. I would take it slow and do a “taste and go” with that. She baked chicken wings with this sauce and they were “finger-lickin’ good,” that’s for sure!

Enjoy the weekend.

Cheers!

Getting through this together, Atascadero