Jorts of July and a popcorn bar

Sometimes living in a foreign land and attempting to blend in can really wear on you. So, when Americans living abroad have a chance to get together and celebrate our own culture and heritage, we're not afraid to let our American out.  We have formed a tradition in our Uganda-based American community of celebrating Independence Day with an annual "Jorts of July" party and this year proved one of the best yet.

How to throw a Jorts of July party:

1) Instruct all attendees to wear jorts (AKA jean shorts, preferably cut-offs)
2) Instruct guests to get in touch with their "true" American side and wear other appropriate clothing.  This can include apparel with any combination of the following: wolves, eagles, American flags, camouflage, denim, beltbuckles, cowboy boots, motorcycles, guns, or any country singer.
3) Have American food.  This must include: meat for a BBQ, beer, and apple pie.  Bonus items: cheesy hamburger dip made from Velveeta cheese, and popcorn.  Limit the amount of fruits and vegetables available.  Red plastic cups are preferable.
4) Optional: have popular Midwestern yard games available, like cornhole and jumbo jenga

Feel free to cut the jorts quite short.  Don't be shy to show those thighs!


Eric, manning the BBQ in his jorts


Americans in jorts.  Don't mind the Canadian.

Now, if you are a Hoosier, like me, and grew up with popcorn as a staple in your diet, you can share the Hoosier love with your Jorts of July guests and make a popcorn bar with various flavors of popcorn.  There is an endless number of flavors to experiment with, but for this party, I made the following:

- Cinnamon sugar: coat popcorn in melted butter and sprinkle a cinnamon-sugar mixture over top.  Shake well.
- Garlic, Parmesan, and rosemary: coat popcorn in melted butter and sprinkle garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and fresh rosemary on top.  Shake well.
- Honey, butter, and sea salt: Melt butter and honey together and pour on top of popcorn.  Sprinkle with sea salt and shake well.
- Cocoa: Melt butter with sugar and add cocoa powder.  Pour on top of popcorn and shake well.
- Caramel corn: Melt butter with brown sugar and vanilla and coat popcorn.  Shake well
- Salt and vinegar: Sprinkle popcorn with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and coat well with salt.  Shake well.
- Ranch: Coat popcorn with melted butter and sprinkle with a dry ranch mix.  Shake well.

There are many other options for delicious popcorn flavors and you can also get creative and experiment with your own combinations.  The popcorn bar was a hit and when combined with the jorts, yard games, BBQ, and other great food, our Jorts of July party was quite the success!

Popcorn bar

Popcorn bar

Cocoa popcorn

Garlic, parmesan, and rosemary popcorn

Happy Independence Day, America!

We had no dog jorts available, so a bandana was the next best option for Jack.