It’s not too late! Get your red, white and blue out and get ready to celebrate America’s birthday.

No one loves this holiday as much as I do, except my friend Jeanie Folzenlogen. She really puts me in the shade with clothes, decorations — and food.

Years ago in a neighborhood in which we lived, we had a July 4th parade with bicycles, baby strollers and Radio Flyer wagons all decorated in the colors of our glorious American flag. Jeanie still has the fun of participating in the parades.

Well, I just do what I can with food — yes, red, white and blue — table decorations and our flag of course flying outside, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Longview. The nearly 1,800 flags you see around Longview at the various patriotic holidays are due to the fundraiser this wonderful service club has. For a small fee, you get a flag brought to your house and it stands for a day or two before and after each holiday.

The first thing I am going to remind you is that you can made a simple flag cake or pie using strawberries, blueberries and white whipped cream. You can opt for a cooking and use red, white and blue M&Ms.

Today, I am going to repeat a recipe for a wonderful red, white and blue salad that Felicia Moore shared with me several years ago. It is so good, refreshing and beautiful in a clear glass or Lucite bowl.

Felicia’s Berry Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

4 cups fresh strawberries, halved or quartered

3 cups fresh blue berries

3 Granny Smith apples, cut into bite size chunks

1/3 cup lime juice

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint (or 1/2 teaspoon mint extract)

In a large bowl, combine fruit and berries. In a smaller bowl whisk together the lime juice, honey and mint. Pour over berries and fruit and toss to coat. This is better the longer it is refrigerated. This recipe makes 12-14 serving.

I don’t think there is a law saying that hot dogs and hamburgers must be served on this glorious holiday. So, if you want to digress from the usual, try my son-in-law, Paul Graykowski’s recipe for something wonderful he calls “Debris.” It is really a roast cooked with wonderful Cajun seasonings and served on French bread or on hoagie rolls with slices of Swiss or Provolone cheese. Also, it can be made a day ahead or the night before in a slow cooker.

Paul’s Special Roast Beef

1 3-pound roast (I use a boneless shoulder roast for this)

2 teaspoons Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning, sprinkled on roast

4-5 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and rubbed on the roast

3 tablespoons olive oil

Brown seasoned roast on top of stove in olive oil in heavy pan.

Place in slow cooker, and cook on low setting for about 6 hours, or until roast is falling apart.

Serve as mentioned above on bread or rolls with cheese and mayonnaise. Since this is more a method than a recipe, it is difficult to tell you exactly how many servings, depending on the amount of meat you put on each sandwich. We always get at least 8 sandwiches from this amount.

If you want to serve a pretty red, refreshing, not-too-sweet drink for your celebration, try this recipe.

Cranberry Cooler

1 48-ounce bottle cranberry juice

1 6- ounce can frozen lemonade

1 6 ounce can frozen limeade

1 bottle (2 liters) ginger ale, 7-up, or Sprite

Mix all ingredients except ginger ale or 7-up. Chill and add the remaining drink. Makes 16-18 servings.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.