Summer Recipes Provide Hot Eats, Cool Treats

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It’s hotter than July. What does that even mean? A friend tried to sum it up for me when he exclaimed, “It's too hot to wear a watch!”

Even when it’s hot in Tennessee, we still like to cook out, play ball and work in our gardens. We grow our tomatoes, fire up our grills and look for shade tree canopies to enjoy our picnics. Sure, it’s 90-plus degrees. We don’t care. We don’t wear watches in the summer anyway.

There is only one tea plantation in North America, just outside Charleston, S.C. We drink so many gallons of tea in the summer, it would seem that we need a tea plantation in every Tennessee county. We like it over ice. We like refills. We stand in one of two camps: sweet or unsweet.

Sparkling Lemon Herb Tea combines savory and fresh flavors with plain tea and honey. It brings together the two tea camps on flavor-filled middle ground.

Patriotic and pretty Red, White and Blue Nachos are perfect for summer holidays like the Fourth of July, along with Homestyle Hot Chicken, which is all the rage.

Born in Nashville and famous everywhere, the cayenne pepper/lard paste that coats the fried chicken when it’s removed from the iron skillet is what makes hot chicken hot. Flaming taste buds are only slightly tempered by white bread and a pickle. You may feel like there should be steam coming out of your ears, but that means you did it just right.

Home gardeners have many choices in varieties of seasonal sweet corn in the summer.

Slightly charred sweet corn, the star of BBQ Corn Salad, is heavenly all by itself. The sweetest corn you can find will help balance out the heat of the chicken.

Lemon Berry Cream Pie is bursting with flavor from fresh lemon juice and berries. There are many flag cakes that celebrate our independence. This recipe is similar, but the three stars salute the Tennessee flag.

Enjoy this collection of recipes together or on their own. It doesn’t matter what time, it’s all summertime.

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