I often attempt to wax poetic about the bounty of the summer harvest here as do many people. One of the delights of living in the South is the abundance of fresh produce. Oh, sure, there is fresh produce in other parts of the country, but the advantage is still ours. Because of our warm climate and low number of winter days with below freezing temperatures, the produce that our “up north” cousins wait for until the middle of summer, is on our tables before the end of spring. The longer growing season means we have longer to enjoy these God-given treats.

We consulted three of our favorite chefs, Tim Lensch of Georgia Sea Grill, Jon Belechak of Palmer’s Village Café and Alan Rodriguez of Sea Salt Healthy Kitchen, and asked them to give us yummy recipes for foods highlighting these ingredients, and they hit the ball out of the park. Y’all know my great love for homemade peach ice cream, tomato sandwiches on squishy white bread lathered in Duke’s mayonnaise, and baptized-in-butter corn on the cob, but these summer faves can be enjoyed in new ways. Tim gives us a peach upside down cake sure to make everyone happy, and Alan provided a corn-based pico de gallo that can be used to top everything from tortilla chips to tacos. Jon gave us the scoop on a Palmer’s favorite — The Pimento Cheese – an elevated BLT that uses arugula and pimento cheese, in addition to the bacon and tomatoes to make the summertime favorite a grown-up delight.

In addition to all that great food, culinary columnist Jim Henderson has concocted some delicious accompaniments in his column that are suitable for all of your summer celebrations, particularly Independence Day.

Other stops in Coastal Illustrated include Cheri’s Shore Things, which is brimming with red, white and blue food, clothing and accessories. It’s always the best place to find out all the newest trends. Our literary columnist, Cary Knapp, shares her thoughts on the latest novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz. Titled “The Plot,” it weaves a “twisty tale of literary paranoia,” in which the Korelitz turns her writer’s eye on other writers and produces a witty thriller.

In our Local Q+A, you’ll meet Jennifer Lunsford, owner of Rahab’s Rope, a retail business that works with girls and women who have been victims of human trafficking.

And, while we had one event washout this time – a hazard of the season – we were able to make it to The Chamber Experience and Bits & Bites, and snapped photos of lots of folks you know. It was held as a combined event for the first time, and took place at Gascoigne Bluff Park.

In Coastal Home, we explored “Hot Seats,” by taking a look at classic chairs that still remain favorites of people with good taste. Fabrics and patterns may change over time, but the shape remains the same. You know that favorite little black dress that’s been hanging in your closet for years? These chairs are the furniture equivalents to that dress.

The Realtor Q+A is a conversation with Kelsi Brooks, who speaks about her career and her family, and how they enjoy their spare time with an infant and toddler. In the Designer Q+A, we meet Brenda Regan of Pearce and Parker Interiors. Brenda and her husband have grown children and a Great Pyrenees dog. She talks about her design aesthetic and what she likes to do in her downtime.

Real Estate reporter Gordon Jackson addresses some of the amenities homebuyers might not find so fetching in his latest dispatch. And finally, horticulture columnist Anne Ditmer turns her wrath toward a scourge of Southern gardens, the aptly named Gripeweed. As always, she has great advice.

On a personal note, I would like to apologize for two misspelled names among our graduates in the June 17 issue of Coastal Illustrated. As always, there are a billion excuses I could make, but as the editor, the buck stops with me, and I offer my most sincere apologies to Molly Carrillo and Camryn Cobb. The mistakes were quickly rectified online and on social media, but the print copies remain incorrect.

Until the next issue, stay safe and enjoy the 245th anniversary of our independence. God bless the U.S.A.!