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Around the table | The joy of gathering

Experiencing the different seasons and flavors through food

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but with summer right around the corner, I am daydreaming about lazy pool days and backyard cookouts. 

There is nothing better than coming together for dinner after a day in the sun when everyone’s face is tan and sun-kissed, and the smell of sunscreen lingers in the air. Plates are full of tangy barbecue, and sweet and crunchy farm-fresh corn, washed down with a tall glass of sweet tea. For dessert: watermelon that drips down your chin as you sink your teeth into its sweetness. 

Honestly, give me all those foods now! 

For those warm days ahead, share foods like fire-roasted s’mores and ice pops, and use the grill for all the cooking. Add shareable appetizers, a key to outdoor entertaining. 

Cowboy caviar has been a staple dip of mine since I was in college. It’s easy to toss together and is always a crowd favorite. Double it for a large group and serve with your favorite salty tortilla chips!

HEATHER BILYEU, raised in southern Kentucky, is the owner and voice behind the food blog, Fueling a Southern Soul. 

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