cookout With the 4th of July coming along tomorrow, grills all over my area will be lighting up! Even though I tend to wilt in the extreme heat and humidity of summer, there is something about a good cookout that I just love. The mingling smells of grass, sunscreen and the grill just make me happy. Good friends and a little wine don’t hurt either.

And then there’s the food! Grilled veggies are a big favorite of mine, and I’m starting to really like beer-can chicken, too. And down here in Virginia, I’m pretty sure that there’s a law stating that you can’t have a social event without ham biscuits and deviled eggs. Yum! Even after getting slightly sun-warmed, they taste fabulous.

Though I eat plenty of potato salad and macaroni salad, I’m not up for heating up the kitchen any more than I have to when it’s hot, so my usual sides have to be cold. This time of year, tomatoes are wonderful, so I like to make big salads with lots of tomatoes and crumbled feta.

And of course, after all the gorging, I have to kick back with friends, look out of the park (or better yet, the river) and just be thankful for a beautiful day. Should someone feel the urge to pull out a slice of watermelon or two at this point, that wouldn’t hurt either.

So, what do you look forward to most at cookouts? And for all our American readers, Happy Independence Day tomorrow!

-Lynn Spencer

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I enjoy spending as much time as I can between the covers of a book, traveling through time and around the world. When I'm not having adventures with fictional characters, I'm an attorney in Virginia and I love just hanging out with my husband, little man, and the cat who rules our house.