Celebrate Friendship Near & Far

The bond of friendship is truly transformative. Friendship fosters love, compassion, understanding and generosity. These are the values that have the power to make the world a better place.

July 30th was International Day of Friendship, when we are encouraged to celebrate the friendships that unite individuals, countries and cultures across the world. As the United Nations reminds us, friendships that span international borders bring individuals and cultures together inspiring peace efforts and promoting international understanding and respect for diversity.

The idea of designating a day to celebrate friendship was actually first promoted in 1919 by the founder of Hallmark Cards, Joyce Hall. But what started as a company campaign, ended up turning into something much more poignant. When the card industry eventually lost steam, the UN encouraged this annual celebration of friendship by naming Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship in 1998. Finally, in 2011, the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly officially declared July 30 as International Day of Friendship.

We love the idea of encouraging kids to celebrate friendship. TLC has some great ideas for parents to help kids celebrate friendship with games like toss and catch and crafts like special seed bracelets. You can also help kids to make international friends by helping them find pen pals through organizations like Students of the World. While kids are making bracelets or writing their first pen pal letter, parents can stack together some Winnie the Pooh themed meat and cheese crackers. Kids are sure to love these friendly and smiley snacks!

hickory farms

Source: Disney Baby

Hickory Farms is happy to help adults celebrate the special bonds of friendship, too, with thoughtful gift baskets that can be shipped anywhere in the country and to international neighbors in Canada. From our Award Winning Sausage & Cheese and our famous HoneyGold® Ham to our Fruitful Gift Box and special seasonal offerings like our Italian Ice Cream Truffles, there are so many ways to show friends you care with a special package from Hickory Farms.

hickory farms gift baskets

Fruitful Gift Box from Hickory Farms

What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate friendship and show appreciation for a friend?

Unique Twists on Traditional 4th of July Fare

The 4th of July is almost here, and we can hardly wait for a day filled with family, friends, food, and fun! But instead of the traditional Independence Day fare, why not shake things up just a bit by putting a unique twist on your favorite American dishes? Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing for your 4th of July menu.

If you’re grilling out for the Fourth of July, try this Grilled Potato Salad. Grill seasoned potato slices to perfection and then combine them with oranges, red onions and arugula. Dress them in red wine vinegar and olive oil, and you’ll have a side dish packed with surprising flavor and texture.

 

4th of july entertaining

Source: Food Network

 

Pasta salad is another tried-and-true cookout staple. But this year, consider getting a bit more creative by mixing up your own pasta salad. Food Network has an easy outline you can use to get your own pasta salad started. In addition to its suggested protein options, you can try gourmet sausage from Hickory Farms in your recipe for an interesting twist.

4th of july recipes

Source: Food Network

 

Most casual parties aren’t complete without some crispy potato chips. We like the patriotic spin Epicurious food writer Kelly Senyei suggests with Red, White, and Blue Potato and Beet Chips. You’ve got the same crispy crunch as standard potato chips, but also a hint of sweetness thanks to the beets.

patriotic party themes

Source: Epicurious

 

If you’re serving burgers and hot dogs as the main dish, try out a new marinade for your meat or new toppings or condiments such as our Sweet Hot Mustard. Another great idea is to add oregano, basil, and parmesan to your ground beef before you throw it on the grill for burgers that are chock full of flavor while still low in calories. Try putting out some unique burger toppings. Sliced apples, for example, can add a touch of tartness and a nice crunch.

4th of july party ideas

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

 

For a fresh spin on grilled chicken, try whipping up a marinade of lemon juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger, lemon pepper, and garlic. Serve it with a sweet fruit salsa.

4th of july entertaining ideas

Source: Health magazine

How are you planning to put a unique twist on your 4th of July menu? Leave a comment to share with us!

Visit the Hickory Farms website to purchase gourmet food baskets containing fresh Summer Sausage, fruit, nuts, condiments, and more.

 

Fantastic Ideas for 4th of July Entertaining

July 4th will be here before you know it! Have you started planning your party yet? While serving great All-American food is a fundamental part of an Independence Day celebration, it’s just the beginning. Here are some entertaining ideas to make sure your family and friends have a fun and memorable 4th of July.

For your 4th of July party decor, try picking a theme that incorporates red, white and blue. If you’re going to be on a lake or by the beach, a nautical theme would be a nice way to celebrate our great naval history. Incorporate rope accents such as rope placemats into your decor. If you like the idea of a retro feel, consider vintage Americana decor. You can always keep it simple with red, white and blue DIY decorations that you can download and print at home like those found on The Sweetest Occasion blog.

hickory farms entertaining

Source: Bella Paris Designs

Tori Spelling‘s blog also has great ideas for 4th of July tablescapes and party invitations. We especially like her ideas for casual yet festive ways to serve utensils and finger foods in cones, baskets and buckets.

fourth of july entertaining ideas

Source: ediTORIal

To get all of your family and friends involved in the 4th of July fun, plan some group activities. We like the idea of putting an all-American twist on your favorite party games. Turn a trivia game into an American history contest. You do know what war The Star Spangled Banner was written about, right? Reader’s Digest had a couple of great ideas – have a patriotic costume contest or Uncle Sam hat competition.

When it comes to music, famed fashion designer Michael Kors recommends keeping it eclectic. Try creating a playlist of American artists like Beach Boys and Billie Holliday to create a fun atmosphere.

 

The most important part of hosting family and friends for 4th of July is making sure they not only have a great time, but are well, fed too! A spread of Hickory Farms Signature Sausage and Cheese can make 4th of July entertaining easy and delicious!