Summer’s Last Hurrah

Welcome . . .

As I chat with friends, I hear a familiar refrain: Where has the summer gone?

I have no idea, but I hope you’ve enjoyed every minute of it! Highlights for us were the beach with family and summer nights on our porch at Grandfather — made more special by the fresh summer foods we love: tomatoes, watermelon, corn, okra, peaches. I find myself wanting to enjoy these favorites at every meal for as long as possible. Ask Ed — we had okra and tomatoes three nights in a row last weekend!

While writing this newsletter, I took a break for a delicious summery lunch of chicken salad from Maw’s Produce and some ripe tomatoes and peaches drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I might just have it again tomorrow! (Fine balsamic vinegar is worth every penny you pay, so be on the lookout for a good source in your community.)

Speaking of good sources . . . you may be wondering why there’s no recipe for fried chicken here. I mentioned in the book that I don’t fry — Ed and Eddie were there for one of my failed attempts, and it took us quite a while to clean up the mess! I have memories of my grandmother’s amazing fried chicken and regret not asking her to teach me how it’s done.

If you also don’t fry, then I say buy! Find the place that makes fried chicken the way you like it, and while you’re at it, send your favorite sources to me. I’ll shout them out in next month’s issue of The Dish, where we’ll feature tailgates. Everyone likes fried chicken on game day!

Remember, Effortless Entertaining is more than a book — we are a community, and our members want to hear from YOU!


In August, I spoke at Paysage Home in Wilmington. It turns out that Gigi, the gracious and stylish owner of Paysage, is also an accomplished cook! She served the Watermelon Gazpacho at the evening event — divine! And yes, I know that cornbread was in our last menu. I couldn’t help myself. It’s the perfect bread for this menu, as it is for almost any summer menu. Okay, it’s also perfect with winter soups and stews, so don’t be surprised when you see it again in January!

Maybe having friends for dinner is one of the things you meant to do — or do more often — this summer? If so, there’s still time, and here’s just the menu!

  • Vidalia Onion and Cheddar Dip (page 179)
  • Watermelon Gazpacho*
  • Fried Chicken
  • Tomato Pie*
  • Roasted Okra*
  • Seasoned Corn*
  • Jalapeño Cornbread (page 167)
  • Fruit Crumble*

* new recipes

Printer-Friendly Menu, GamePlan & Recipes




I often advise that if you don’t like to arrange flowers, then don’t. Find a piece of art that you love and use this as your centerpiece. This fabulously crafted ceramic sculpture by artist Marty Allran would be a gorgeous centerpiece rivaling any floral arrangement. I had the pleasure of meeting Marty and seeing her fabulous work at Paysage Home — she is delightful!



This item, featured on page 380 of your guide and on the EE website, deserves another mention, as it is the perfect tool to remove corn from the cob. When estimating how much corn you’ll need for a recipe, assume that each ear of corn yields about ½ cup.

OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper




Price’s Fried Chicken

In Charlotte, our family has always loved Price’s Chicken Coop. Open for nearly sixty years, it is unchanged by time even though it is now surrounded by “shiny new office buildings, hip new restaurants and towering, luxury apartments.” Just remember to take cash . . . no checks, credit, or debit cards. As co-owner, Stephen Price says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (quotes from Charlotte Observer, April 2017)

Other fried chicken favorites . . .

  • In Charlotte, NC – Reid’s Fine Foods.
  • In Linville, NC – The Painted Fish Cafe and Beer Bar.

Send us your local favorites! We have members in many communities – let’s share our good finds!

We want to hear from you!

We love hearing how much you enjoy Effortless Entertaining.
Send us comments and photos!

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