The Classic British Dessert Perfect For July 4th BBQs

There's no rule that your Independence Day celebration has to fall on July 4. After all, it was on July 2, 1776 that the Continental Congress voted for our nation's independence, per History, and it wasn't until August that everyone got around to signing the Declaration, which was actually still in draft form on July 4. Even our second president, John Adams, wasn't convinced July 4 sent the right message (via Time). In fact, Adams was so miffed about that day being chosen that he supposedly boycotted all Independence Day celebrations for the rest of his life — which, incidentally came to an end during the July 4 celebrations of 1826, per National Constitution Center

Just to be clear, there's also no rule that the theme of your celebration must be the American flag — especially given that on July 4, 1776, our nation's flag still had a Union Jack in its upper left-hand corner. On the other hand, Union Jack is red, white, and blue, just like Ole Glory. Moreover, if it weren't for the shabby way our forefathers had been treated by those who upheld the Union Jack back then, things might have turned out differently. 

So, perhaps the most poetic and appropriate way to celebrate Independence Day is with a July 4th BBQ featuring Americanized versions of classic British foods. Here's one that we think would be absolutely perfect for your dessert course.

A long time ago, on the playing fields of Eton ...

Britain's renowned military commander, the Duke of Wellington, is credited with having said that the Battle of Waterloo — the 1815 battle where Wellington's troops trounced Napoleon's, thereby ending more than a decade of European warfare — was won on the playing fields of Eton (per Vedantu). What Wellington is believed to have meant is that everything his soldiers did right had actually been distilled down from the valuable lessons the Duke had learned while playing cricket and such while at boarding school at the elite Eton college. It's a sweet story and probably has a bit more truth to it than the other one about Eton College, which traces the origins of the British classic dessert — Eton mess — to those hallowed playing fields as well. 

As the supposed story goes, someone brought a strawberry pavlova to an Eton College cricket match, but before it could be served properly, a mischievous dog knocked it over, leaving quite the mess of strawberries, meringue, and whipped cream (via MasterClass). When no one minded the mess, but, instead, ladled it into bowls and ate it with abandon, the Eton mess was born. It's still a British classic, according to British national Susan Olayinka, who lent us her homemade Eton mess recipe. If you make it for your July 4th BBQ, might we suggest tossing in some blueberries (and maybe some raspberries to intensify the red) and calling it an Ole Glorious Mess?