All set for your Fourth of July cookout? Your family and friends are on the way. The cooler's stocked. You've warned your nephew to steer well clear of lit firecrackers. This time. But if you haven't had a chance to check out your holiday spread, look out: It's been invaded by an army of -- no, not ants -- ticker symbols!

Can you imagine a better way to celebrate this joyous slice of Americana than by approaching this year's cookout from a stock lover's perspective? OK, you probably can. But humor me. It's a holiday!

Fire up the grill and what have you got? Some Oscar Mayer hot dogs? That's Kraft (NYSE:KFT) in action. Going with Ballpark Franks or Hillshire Farm sausages? You won't believe who's behind those: it's Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE). Grilling up steaks, chicken breasts or burgers? They might very well be the handiwork of ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), Tyson's (NYSE:TSN), Pilgrim's Pride (NYSE:CHX), or Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM). (The latter, by the way, is one of Tom Gardner's top picks in Motley Fool Stock Advisor.)

If you're cooking for vegetarians don't worry, Gardenburger (OTC: GBUR) trades publicly, and if you're going with Morningstar Farms veggie burgers and wieners, both hail from the Kellogg (NYSE:K) stable.

Of course, it wouldn't be a cookout without the condiments. We all know about Heinz (NYSE:HNZ), but ConAgra (Hunt's) and Del Monte (NYSE:DLM) eat up a good bit of the 40% of the ketchup market Heinz hasn't swallowed up. Mustard's edgy, but it, too, boasts conglomerate lineage. That's Kraft passing the Grey Poupon, while ConAgra's serving up Gulden's. If you want more still, Kraft also slings mayonnaise and cheese slices.

And when it's time to wash it all down, Coke (NYSE:KO) and Pepsi (NYSE:PEP) have the fizz down cold. Want something stronger? Maybe Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD) or Coors (NYSE:RKY) will hit the spot. It doesn't get any better than this.

So what are you waiting for? Dig in and eat. The ticker symbols are getting cold.

Discussion Board of the Day
What are your cookout plans this holiday weekend? Have any food ideas to share? Is it wrong to dye your bread rolls red, white, and blue? All this and more -- in the Recipes/Cooking discussion board. Only on