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
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!
Happy Independence Day, America!