Host a Patriotic Block Party for Independence Day

A good way to get to know your neighbors this Fourth of July is to host a patriotic block party, and Hickory Farms has a few entertaining tips to get you started!

If your neighborhood has a community gathering spot – like a clubhouse, pool, or ball field – make that your central location. If not, each family can pitch in offerings from their grills and turn it into a long, meandering block of camaraderie.

gourmet gift baskets

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Decorations

Red, white and blue decorations are a necessity, of course! And fly those flags high for our country’s 238th birthday. The beauty of a festive block party is its individuality, so make sure to do your own creative thing.

gourmet food baskets

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Activities

A neighborhood parade can be the day’s highlight and involve everyone from tots and teens to proud veterans. Organize a small parade with decorated bikes, wagons, 4-wheelers and golf carts interspersed with walking groups and maybe even a few horn players and drummers! You probably don’t need a city permit, but a larger parade involving vehicles might, so be sure to check first.

Kids enjoy sack races and a good game of horseshoes. You can even get adults involved with a pick-up softball game before the fireworks begin.

gourmet fruit basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Refreshments

Turn the grill masters loose and have a friendly barbecue competition. From hot dogs to slow-cooked ribs, everyone can contribute their specialty! Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced Honey-Gold Ham is a great addition to a quick sandwich for hungry kids waiting on the grill. 

gourmet fruit basket

Don’t forget dessert! This Berry Flag Tart made with blueberries and raspberries is both delicious and patriotic. You can also easily make this Apple, Rhubarb and Raspberry Pie using a couple crisp Fuji apples from our Fresh Fruit Medley Gift Box.

If you’re running short on time, remember that Hickory Farms Gift Baskets and Towers are a hit at any gathering. They’re quite a unique addition to the typical Independence Day fare, so place your order online today, or call 800.753.8558.

5 Ultra-Light Backpacking Foods for Long Day Hikes

The summer months are great for taking long hikes, either solo or with the family. Wherever your wanderlust takes you, your appetite will surely follow. According to OutdoorsNW, adults need between a half and a pound of food per day while hiking. Luckily, Hickory Farms has come up with five foods that are easy to bring along on hikes, so you can reach each peak and summit with energy to spare. Below are some of our favorites.

gourmet food basket

Source: Tes at Home

The sweet yet salty taste of homemade Thai Beef Jerky is a compact snack that will last a month if stored in an airtight container and refrigerated until the day of your hike. Three pounds of sirloin tip makes a pound and a half of jerky. Just add honey, soy and fish sauce and some ground coriander. It’s simple and delicious!

gourmet nuts

Nuts can be a healthy component of most diets, containing both carbs and protein. Our Mixed Nuts Gift Tin features a trio of pecans, cashews and almonds you can portion into baggies for a quick on-the-go snack as you’re hiking along and checking out the surrounding flora and fauna.

gourmet cheese

When you’re ready to sit down and catch your breath, break out the cheddar and crackers, using your trusty utility knife to slice the cheese. Our Cheese Trio Gift Box with two flavors of cheddar and Mission Jack Blend taste great when paired with our Olive Oil & Rosemary Crackers, and can easily fit in a knapsack. Our Summer Sausage is also a good choice to bring this snack full circle.

gourmet fruit basket

Dried fruit, either alone or as part of a trail mix with GORP (good old raisins and peanuts), is both tasty and highly portable. It’s a favorite of hikers everywhere.

gourmet fruit basket

Firm-skinned fresh fruit like oranges, apples and pears are full of juices that keep hikers hydrated. Just remember to bring along your water too.

Hickory Farms has plenty of fruit and nut selections and pantry essentials to make any hike a gourmet experience. Order online today or call 800.753.8558 for home delivery.

Get Healthy During National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

With so much fresh produce finally in season, it’s fitting that June should be National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. Crisp veggies are not only delicious, but they’re also fantastic for your health. They provide you with tons of vitamins and minerals, which may help reduce your risk of disease. You can take part in this health initiative by adding more fruits and veggies to your diet and by following a few of the healthy eating tips below.

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • If you love exploring new things, one of the simplest ways to encourage yourself to eat more fruits and vegetables is to pick out something out of the ordinary. Peruse farmers’ markets, produce aisles and fruit stands for unfamiliar fruits and veggies.You can also enjoy cooking different recipes and experimenting with flavors.
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • Sneak extra fruits and veggies into your breakfast and lunch. Throw a chopped banana or sliced strawberries into your cereal, or stuff your turkey sandwich with extra veggies, such as spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers and avocado.
  • Keeping fruits and vegetables easily visible will help encourage you to reach for them when you’re hungry. Place a bowl of apples, oranges and pears on the table for a beautiful display that can also double up as a quick and healthy snack.
  • Rethink your meal planning strategy. Rather than choosing your protein and then your side dishes, start by thinking about which veggies you’re going to incorporate into your meal and plan the entree from there.
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • Choose fruit for dessert. Top berries with a spoonful of whipped cream for an easy sweet treat that still provides you with tons of nutrients.

fruit gift basket

With these simple tips, you can celebrate National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month by effortlessly adding more fresh produce into your meal. For a great starting point, order one of our gourmet fruit baskets from Hickory Farms. With a colorful variety of fresh fruits, these baskets are a convenient way to eat better and get healthier. Who knows, you might even start celebrating this delicious month more often!