I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Fun Finds for Summer 2012 – Southern Edition

It’s time again for this Summer’s Fun Finds. These are just some ideas about personal favorites – no one has asked me to promote any products. And this year, I’m focusing on the Southern products, food and books.

Everyone deserves a little pampering in summer.  So why not take a long soak and scrub that skin ready for a golden glow with Bourbon Bubbler Body Scrub from Farmhouse Fresh.  Then smooth on a little Honeysuckle Custard to keep things smooth.  And relax with a Southern Belle candle from Frisky Bumblebee, scented with peaches and magnolia blossom. And now that you’re ready for summer parties, show off that glow with a monogrammed acrylic necklace in a summer bright colors from Moon and Lola.

Save some time in the kitchen during the hot and steamy months with some simple Southern shortcuts.  All your vegetables, salads and grilled meats will benefit from T.Lish’s Sweet Garlic Vinaigrette. And when it’s too hot to cook, a sandwich always fits the bill.  Try a new twist with delicious Pecan Butter, from the Pecans Project, which supports youth in Birmingham learning important job skills.  Spread on some Blackberry Jam from Blackberry Farm and you’ve got a real treat.   And when guests pop by, serve up some of Aunt Lizzie’s Cheese Straws with a pitcher of cold peach iced tea.  And if you’re a griller, you know how useful rosemary is, so why not make it beautiful too with a Rosemary Bonsai tree from Brussel’s Bonzai.  Recreate some real Memphis barbecue with sauces from Central Barbecue, or have some of my favorite Interstate Barbecue sent by FedEx. Then you can cool down with some High Road Craft Southern ice cream. And carry all that cool food in the ultimate Southern seersucker lunch bag, monogrammed, of course.

Summer means farmers market fresh fruit and vegetables to me, so a cookbook like The New Southern Garden Cookbook comes in handy. Or travel around the South and around the world with The World in a Skillet: A Food Lover’s Tour of the New American South or the New Southern Latino Table.  And if you are ready to fire up the grill, you’ll really want Jennifer Chandler’s Simply Grilling.  Or explore the possibilities with Barbecue Nation.  And don’t forget dessert with Nancie McDermott’s seminal Southern Pies.

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