Biting into a perfectly ripe peach and feeling its juice drizzle down my chin is one of the best sensations of summer. Peaches have always been my favorite fruit — reading the story of James and the Giant Peach as a child sounded like an absolute fairy tale. While Georgia somehow garnered the nickname of “The Peach State,” South Carolina actually far outstrips its more famous neighbor in peach production, and it is our official state fruit as well. For an update on this summer’s crop as well as details on where to find the best peaches in the area, read Kristine Hartvigsen’s article on page 22. And for a special treat, be sure to check our Et Cetera page in the very back for peach farmer and award-winning cook Dori Sanders’ peach cobbler recipe!
If searching for the ideal dinner to pair with that cobbler, look no further than soft-shell crabs on page 54. These tender, juicy little munchies are the ultimate Southern delicacy and have only a small window each year for harvesting. They are usually preferred fried, so try Susan Slack’s Asian spin on the traditional fried soft-shell crab for an extra crispy version with a spicy orange sauce.
Soup pairs nicely with almost any entree, and the summertime heat calls for the chilled variety. For those who, like me, are labor-intensive-avoidant in the kitchen, take note of Helen Dennis’ two-step gazpacho recipe where the instructions are literally to whip up all the ingredients (whole) in a blender and then chill for several hours. For this and other delicious cold soup recipes, read our article on page 26.
“Mocktails” are the new rage as a festive drink everyone can enjoy. The recipes on page 24 illustrate that losing the booze does not eliminate the fun. I will attest that the Blackberry Fizz (made with fresh blackberries, lime, and ginger beer) is particularly refreshing.
With soft-shell crab, gazpacho, the mocktail of choice, and peach cobbler all laid out before you, what better place to enjoy all of this sumptuous fair than on a breezy porch! Glean inspiration for the outdoor living room of your dreams on page 60, and take your tray outside for the cool of the evening — the best part of a summer day.
Wishing you a very happy June!