Patriotic Fruit Salads

Patriotic Salads Watermelon star-
Watermelon Stars made with cookie cutters

I met my husband on July 4th.  Well technically I did not meet him but we really found each other over the holiday.  We each were living in California at the time working in different areas of the same company.  I made plans with mutual friends to rent a house in Lake Tahoe over the long holiday, loving being in the mountains and hoping for some relaxing fun.  ‘Husband-shopping’ was about as far from my consciousness as you could imagine.  But then that’s when these things are most likely to happen, right?!

One of our first group activities planned was a hike at Squaw Valley ski area.  Park, ride the chair lift up to the top of the mountain to hike.  I owned a relatively new luxury car at the time and as we were driving to the ski area my now betrothed commented gently that my passenger window would not go up fully.  We pulled off the side of the road and both the guys on the trip went about reality-TV worthy probing to fix the mysterious issue.  Fuses were pulled out and swapped around, switches toggled with engineering prowess, all with no success.

My girl friend was not the most patient nor enthused by the tedium of the investigation and suggested we just go and leave my car in the parking lot, window down.  Not ready to hold anyone up further nor bid my car adieu with the open-air invite to any hot wiring aficionados, we returned to our vacation house to let them go on in a different vehicle while I sought dealership help for the window.

My only course of action was to drive over the mountains into Reno Nevada to a dealer for help.  Being an independent sort, I was fine with that, to be on my own schedule to sort it all out.   After calling around and figuring out where I was going I prepared to depart and my now husband said he’d be going with me.  As gallant as the gesture was, I really did not know him that well and did not want to take his vacation time sitting in a dealership on a holiday weekend possibly for the better part of the day.  He insisted not wanting me to go solo.


As we ascended up the mountain pass I would periodically toggle the window switch still baffled by the malady.  At one point after politely waiting through some long undoubtedly drawn out story of mine, my escort noted the window had gone up.  As freakishly as the problem had developed it left, unable to be explained by my home dealer when returning to the Bay Area and leaving us with a full day on our own.  Candidly a full, unplanned day felt a tall order when we did not know each other well however we opted to take the day to drive around the whole of Lake Tahoe, about 78 miles (but taking a number of hours with any traffic and the slow winding around), putting us on a gentle footing to what is now a 14 year marriage.  July 4th holds a special place now for me.  (As well as each July 4th reinvigorates my almost obsessive fascination with how pyrotechnics work!)

Patriotic Salads White Peaches -
Raspberries, blueberries and white peaches

If I were free associating with July 4th food, ‘grilling’ first comes to mind.  And though I don’t fully color coordinate my food with my holidays, I do love a bit of the ‘red, white and blue’ for the occasion.  I typically make a very simple fruit salad of strawberries, blueberries and bananas annually appreciating a quick-to-prepare fresh salad.  Takes only a minute and is very refreshing.  Secretly it’s easy to whip up if picnicking or dining al fresco with a group as well.

I wanted to share some simple, festive salads I’ve prepared in the event you are stuck needing a quick idea!

Patriotic Salads Strawberry, Blackberry, Banana -
Bananas, strawberries and blackberries


I blend three fruits equally, planning the total salad volume for individual serving sizes to be between ½ cup to 1 cup per person.  Almost any combination is delicious.  Bananas and strawberries do very well together.  I also have taken to cutting out watermelon stars with a small cookie cutter.  As simple as that sounds, it always seems to draw excitement from adults and kids alike, I’m sure due to it being unexpected.  You can also turn the salad into a light dessert with the addition of some whipped cream or Crème Anglaise drizzled over the fruit.

Peeled fruits are categorized by their internal color.

Patriotic Salads Watermelon stars - BoulderLocavore.comRed



Red Grapes


Blood Oranges



Patriotic Salads Raspberries, Blackberries, Banana -


White Peaches

White Nectarines




Patriotic Salads Raspberries, Blueberries ,Apple - BoulderLocavore.comBlue




Concord Grapes


  1. says

    I just did the same thing cut out the stars with cantelopes… I love this and do it every year, then make sorbet with the scraps… will probably post it this week… have a great 4th so festive love the photos!

    • says

      What a clever idea Claudia! I'll be looking for the post. The watermelon idea sprang to mind as I can thinking about different festive ideas for this post and when it did it seems so obvious I'm unsure why it did not occur to be before. The excitement about them was high as well! Shows simple, festive things can make any occasion more fun (I feel I'm channeling 'Martha' by saying that….). Happy 4th to you and your family!

    • says

      I loved your story! We did not do anything that harrowing when we married; eloped to Fiji and had a native ceremony barefoot on the beach. When I watch TV shows like 'Say Yes to the Dress' I can't relate at all. I wore a handpainted three part paper 'gown'. Saw the same one encapsulated in glass at the Smithsonian too!

  2. says

    what a sweet story, it has one of those meant to be story lines, I believe in fate, and think that sometimes things happen for a reason, it looks like it certainly did in your case. Nothing like a good fruit salad at any meal, and especially when it looks so appealing.
    Have a happy and safe fourth my friend, best wishes to your family!

    • says

      Thank you Dennis. After it all happened I remember a girlfriend saying 'Do you need to be hit over the head with a 2×4 to 'get it'?' If was a very unusual situation and in all the years I had that car the window thing never happened again! Life intervening?

      You too have a wonderful 4th!

  3. Françoise Gailhaguet says

    I really enjoyed readinghow you met your husband on the 4th of July and I can see from your blog that we share the same taste for local and healthy food. Happy 4th of July!

  4. says

    What a lovely story! I too have been married 14 years. Enjoy your 4th. Our fireworks were last night, and I realized during the finale, that we all must be pyros at heart! Fireworks are just amazing. Great idea with the watermelon- I think the girls will have great fun cutting them out. Someone brought watermelon basil sorbet to our party last night- delicious!

    • says

      I really am completely intrigued with how you can pack chemicals in a cylinder and they come out looking like a happy face. Each July 4th I commit I'm going to do more research, then it's over and I move on never sleuthing. Hope you too will have a great day Jennifer. I don't know why the cookie cutter fruit idea never occurred to me earlier….

    • says

      A girlfriend at the time when hearing the recount of the weekend wondered if I needed to be hit over the head with a 2×4 to 'get it'! It was a mysterious, magical happening!

  5. says

    What a great story; thanks for sharing! Also, love the look of these fruit salads – will have to keep them in mind for next year =)


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