If you want a cheese that tastes like fireworks, run your Keds to the closest fromagerie and buy some Delice de Pommard. It's the ultimate summer cheese ball -- mustard-crusted, creamy, and uber spreadable. Everyone who drags a crisp bread through this French triple-creme goat cheese goes absolutely bananas. It's not high-brow, it's not low-brow; it's just really good cream cheese rolled in gourmet mustard.
Alors! If you want to get uppity, don't go into this weekend without a decent cheese board. I can't tell you how many times I've arrived at a party with a requested trove of smelly beauties only to discover that the host plans to use a stained, old, flimsy plastic cheese board. This is my Mustang, a hunk of reclaimed oak from the Philadelphia-based company Peg & Awl. If you're buying a wedding present this summer, think of me, and make it a cheese board.
So you've got your bitters, your bling cheese, and your board. What else do you need? Bread. Good bread. Go get that baguette today, wrap it well in plastic, then when you want to reheat it, just spritz it with water and toss it in the ovy at 300. In 15 minutes, it'll taste brand new.
There, pack your hamper, pick up some roadside berries, and you've got Fourth of July.
P.S. If you need a couple bottles of wine, let me recommend my latest fave, Pieropan. Many thanks to PhilaFoodie for dropping a couple bottles down my chimney earlier this year. With its mineral leanings and citrusy undercoat, Soave Pieropan pairs beautifully with a wide variety of cheeses, especially fresh or slightly aged goat cheeses.