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A Simple Fourth of July

The heart of the North Fork summer revolves around the Fourth of July. This year, of course, will look a little different than most. But don’t let that discourage you from sourcing local items and cooking a feast at home. The name of the game this year is simple. Effortless entertaining in your own backyard can be amplified by a few great ingredients. And where better to get them than the North Fork, where, in July, everything is hitting its peak?

A Different Kind of Sparkler
You don’t have to set off fireworks in your backyard to celebrate the holiday with a pop. At Croteaux Vineyards, in Southold, rosé abounds. In addition to their roster of still rosés (the winery produces only pink wines), Croteaux also produces three sparkling cuvées, including an onionskin pink Sauvignon Blanc sparkling rosé, a rose petal-colored Merlot sparkling rosé, and a deep magenta Cabernet Franc sparkling rosé. No matter your pleasure, Croteaux has the local bubble that’s perfect for the occasion.

Straight from Local Waters
Is there anything simpler than local fish, dressed with a little olive oil and lemon, tossed on the summer grill? At the decades-old Southold Fish Market, you’ll find locally caught fresh fillets and whole fish, perfect for summer grilling. The store also offers ready-made foods, like baked clams, crab cakes, and lobster dinners. Large orders can be placed in advance.

For the Meat Lovers
Round out your holiday meal (and get your grill ready) with a quick trip to 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue (call first for hours and availability). At the butcher shop, you’ll find a wide array of meats, from lamb to chicken to pasture-raised pork. 8 Hands also offers other artisanal items, like handmade pastas, charcuterie, breads, and more. A trip there is a wonderful way to round out your summer pantry, while preparing for an easy, casual holiday meal.

But Don’t Forget the Veggies
At Sang Lee Farms, in Peconic, organic vegetables are the name of the game. If you’re wary about making too many stops this season, Sang Lee does offer weekly delivery options, which are available on their website. Their produce changes constantly, depending on availability and seasonality. The expansive farm stand also offers a roster of prepared foods, including salad dressings, soups, appetizers, crudités, and more. Consider ordering delivery for the week, and bulking up for the holiday while you’re at it.

The Pie de Resistance
No Fourth of July holiday gathering would be complete without a fruit pie. I’m most fond of the ones at Wickham’s Fruit Farm, in Cutchogue, which you can order by phone, and pick up with curbside delivery. Varieties change given the season, but you’ll often find cherry, peach, and apple among the bunch. You can also get a bag of hot donuts to go, if you’re feeling particularly celebratory.
So dress down, pick up a few fresh, local items, and get reacquainted with your grill. The best kind of Fourth of July is the kind spent in the sunshine, plate of food in one hand, glass of sparkling wine in the other. Salud!