So what are your plans for the Fourth of July? Having a cookout? Attending a fireworks display? Getting up at the crack of dawn to go run?
Well, for the Wiley family that’s what we’ve done for the past several years. We, along with 60,000 of our closest, sweatiest friends, have participated in the Peachtree Road Race.
This Independence Day tradition began in 1970 and we will celebrate its 45th running this July. I bet the folks who started the race way back then are as surprised about that as I am because who would have thought that running in July in Atlanta would have caught on? Not me.
I don’t want to mislead you into thinking I am a runner because I most certainly am not. Some years, I am a walker and some years, I’m an even better cheerleader on the sidelines for my family. Either way, I’m not going to miss it.
A highlight of my husband Darrell’s Peachtree experience was the year he and Clark Howard got to solve the world’s problems while waiting for the race to start. After that conversation, I’m pretty sure we had to change our cellphone plan.
In a time when there seems to be so much division among folks, the Peachtree is one place you see people coming together regardless of age, athletic ability, nationality or religion. They are striving to achieve one goal — crossing the finish line.
While the weather is incredibly hot and humid, the atmosphere is electric. People line the 6.2-mile stretch in Atlanta just to support their fellow man. Hundreds of volunteers are on-hand to pass out water and lend support to those who run. People are helping people. And there are high-fives, cheers and atta-boys all around.
I would like to think that is exactly what our Founding Fathers wanted us to do in these United States.
Whatever your plans might be, here is a festive and delicious dessert recipe for your celebration. Happy Birthday, America!
Red, white and blueberry trifle
- 1 angel food cake, cut into cubes
- 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 cups cold milk
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip
- 2 pints blueberries, rinsed
- 2 pints strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
- Cut the angel food cake into cubes.
In a small bowl, combine the vanilla pudding mix with the milk and whisk for two minutes; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar.
Once all of the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add the prepared pudding to the cream cheese mixture and gently stir with a spatula until completely combined.
Add the Cool Whip and fold it into the mixture until completely incorporated.
To assemble the trifle, alternate layers of cake, blueberries, the pudding mixture and strawberries until you get to the top. Add the final layer of pudding mixture, then arrange the remaining strawberries and blueberries in a decorative pattern.
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
The trifle is best served within 24 hours of preparation.
Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.