Summer Southern Soiree
Some things are just institutionally southern; friday night football games, mommas sweet iced tea, country music, tailgate parties, a devotion to good manners, front porch swings, appreciation for fresh crops, harvest time and hometown festivals.
Who’s to say just because maybe you weren’t born below the Mason-Dixon line, you don’t have a little southern in you. There’s surely a little southern in us all and if not, we should definitely sprinkle it around everywhere we go. Some things reach across borders like good manners, gathering with friends for sweet fellowship and hospitality, God bless yous + genuine smiles, hugs…big tight squeezes that speak ‘I’ve missed ya’ and ‘Love ya’, a good time under the summer sun through til hours after it sets.
So for those who were born into this sweet region and for those who’d still like to throw a little southern soiree, here are a few things you need to know to make sure it’s a hit for all.
Effortless style. As every southern belle knows, you can never be too overdressed, but at the same time practicality is key. Think a swing dress paired with monogrammed chucks and a string of pearls. Or seersucker trousers with a crisp white button up — you get the idea. It’s the casually-elegant and timeless-class that we’re after.
Comfort food. Biscuits n’ gravy, grits and that sweet lady from church’s famous banana pudding, has delicious written all over it. There’s something uniquely comforting about food from the south. If you’re hosting an afternoon affair you’ll be best sticking with something simple like a Sweet Baby Rays style pulled pork slider paired with homemade slaw (coleslaw) and macaroni and cheese. If you’d like to throw in something to add a fancy kick, go for the raw oysters. They’re sure to be a hit, so long as you ensure you have enough crackers, lemon slices, and tabasco sauce to go around. As for the dessert, you can’t go wrong with a trifle banana pudding, a key lime pie or the classic smores cooked to perfection on the hot coals from the BBQ.
Sip away. As for the drinks of choice stick with a simple dispenser full of freshly brewed sweet iced tea, a gallon of fresh lemonade and if you’re wanting to up the ante throw in some mimosas for the ladies and a cold one for the gents. Another southern anomaly is the mason jar which can be used for a number of different reasons but makes the perfect glass for your drink of choice. You could also opt for something a little different and purchase bottled coke (the regular kind) and throw in some salted peanuts – you’ll thank us later.
Southern hospitality. On this side of the Mason-Dixon no one is a stranger. Southern hospitality is second nature and the “how ya doin’ darlin”s and “bless your heart”s are a vital part of the language. Hosting a southern soiree means that the guest are treated like family and it’s important that the decor reflects that laid-back down-home look. Every southerner likes her monogram so incorporate a sprinkle of that, perhaps in the table setting.
Lastly, put the handshakes away because in the South it’s always hugs. And if you really want to bring out the good southern like atmosphere throw in a guitar or two.
Here’s to endless summer days filled with a dose of southern y’all!
Photo credit:Tablescape, Oyster bar, Drink Station, Welcome