Dive into Summer
Seven years ago, I brought my newborn daughter home from the hospital on the fourth of July. Though she wasn’t due for another week, I attribute her early arrival entirely to a plate of Nashville’s Prince’s hot chicken. (I should have known better. Miss André Jeffries, proprietor of Prince’s, warns pregnant women away from her fiery, spice-laden chicken for the very reason that it might induce labor—my daughter and I are here to tell fans of Prince’s to listen to Miss André.)
Anyway, we arrived home that afternoon greeted by my rambunctious three-year-old son, as well as a host of family and friends. After settling in, my dad went to work grilling steaks for dinner. I was still a mess, both doting on our new girl and trying to find space for myself. It hardly occurred to me that this was usually my favorite night of the summer—I’m a die-hard fan of July 4th fireworks, and in my opinion, the only way to see them is live from a camping chair or blanket, surrounded by other oohing and awing onlookers. This night, though, the only ones we’d see would be on television, and I was perfectly okay with that since the real fireworks were right there in my new baby’s eyes.
Instead, we gathered outside around a patio table, sticky in the Nashville heat and feasted on grilled ribeyes, corn on the cob, zucchini from my overgrown garden, and a green salad. Surrounded by family in front of the simplest summer meal—to me, that’s the essence of summer. A chance to slow down and savor.
In this issue, we’re channeling those summer moments. We’re eating outdoors, a lot, especially thanks to chef Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint, whose menu of sustainable, seafood-driven recipes are easy to recreate at home. We’re grilling too, everything from tri-tips to eggplants and peppers and keeping cool with a host of new canned beverages. The farmers market is calling and we’ve got tips and tricks to make the most of the bounty. Plus, isn’t it time for some barbecue? Our complete, badass guide—including must-visit stops around the South—will get you up and on your way to the nearest rack of ribs.
How will you make the most of summer this year? Let us know by tagging us on Instagram @thelocalpalate. And be sure to enjoy the fireworks.
Erin Byers Murray
Editor in Chief
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