The summer supper issue is always a favorite. While cool weather food, such as soups and stews, have their merits, and are certainly comforting, there’s nothing so flavorful as the fresh tastes available during the warmer months. I’m sure most of you, like me, have already grabbed a fresh, meaty tomato, cut a think slice, and placed it between two slices of white bread after slathering it with mayo (Duke’s, I hope), salt and pepper. There is nothing so delicious as that first tomato sandwich, the juices rolling down one’s chin and all. Of course, it doesn’t begin and end with tomatoes. This is the time of year for chilled watermelon, fresh yellow squash and zucchini, Vidalia onions, corn on the cob and other delights.

Those fresh flavors are what the Coastal Illustrated feature highlights, from the plump blueberries in bartender R.B. Brown’s signature cocktail, to the flavorful mix composed by Executive Chef Ben Hankey, of Sago at Sea Palms. Chef Hankey also gave recommendations for a salt-brined pork chop entrée and a side dish of oven-roasted potatoes and asparagus. The recipes in the feature for the main and side are not Hankey’s, but rather, they’re straight from my cookbook. This way, anyone can replicate, but not exactly duplicate, the Sago at Sea Palms’ recipes. Enjoy.

Growing up in a family of gardeners, but not having been graced with even the tiniest green thumb, I’m envious of people who can make things grow, and I talked with a couple of those people for this issue’s Coastal Home feature. With assistance from Dawn Hart and Theresa Fouché, of ACE Garden Center, and Karen Summers Welsh, of Coastal Bloomers, we look into the how-tos of container gardening. Containers are ideal for homes with limited garden space and provide a pop of color wherever they’re placed.

As always, we’ll introduce you to interesting people. Our Local Q&A features Melissa Bagby, longtime owner of the Market on Newcastle. Melissa shares her love of animals and her store. In fact, she can’t imagine being in any other field than retail. In her rare downtime, she likes to prop up her feet and read a good book. Connor Burke, a former educator who’s now a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper, is also a Golden Isles native. Before he settled down, he spent 13 summers leading canoe trips in the Canadian wilderness and traveled for some time. Now the parents of five children, Connor and his wife, Jessica, still find their favorite times are outdoors with their family. Our Affiliate Q&A shines the light on Gary Wise of Yates Astro. Gary also has five children, and he loves to spend time with them and his girlfriend, Daphne, particularly in the outdoors. Active with the Exchange Club of Brunswick, Gary supports its mission to help children.

Literary columnist Cary Knapp has a page-turner for us this time, which is a good thing, because she chose Maggie Shipstead’s “Great Circle,” which is 600 pages long. The book spans more than 100 years, and connects the lives of a female aviator and a Hollywood rebel trying to jumpstart a career. It hits all the high notes, including celebrity scandal, acts of wartime courage and the promise of eternal freedom. Cary says it left her wanting more.

And, now, what we’ve all been waiting for – events to attend and then report on, so you have a front-row seat to all the fun. We have photos from Cabaret to benefit the Coastal Symphony of Georgia, held at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, and STARgazing to benefit the STAR Foundation, , the recent Drivin’ and Cryin’ concert, both held at Village Creek Landing. You’ll see lots of familiar faces in these pages.

Until we meet again, get out and do something fun, and as always, don’t forget to wash your hands.

Enjoy the issue!