The Great White Debate

As published in Palmetto Magazine Spring/Summer 2018 .

The post Labor Day ban on white clothing and accessories has long ranked among the most sacred rules of etiquette.

While strict traditionalists claim steadfast adherence to the rule “no white after Labor Day,” one would be remiss to have not noticed recent skepticism of the Labor Day law and more people than ever breaking the rule.

Where exactly did the rule come from?

In the early 1900s many of society’s elite spent their summer months at seaside homes. City clothes were left behind in exchange for lighter, whiter, summer outfits. When the well-to-do returned to the ‘real world’ those summer clothes were put away and more formal city clothes donned once more. The signal to mark the change between wardrobes was summed up in the adage “No white after Labor Day.” And it stuck! By the 1950s, women’s magazines made it clear to even middle class America that white clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day.

But does the old adage still apply?

Known for bucking tradition, it is no surprise that the fashion industry abandoned the rule long ago in favor of embracing winter whites. More surprisingly, Emily Post’s Etiquette, 17th Edition, gives the go-ahead for wearing white after LaborDay. Gasp!

The Emily Post Institute notes,

“Of course you can wear white after Labor Day, and it makes perfect sense to do so in climates where September’s temperatures are hardly fall-like. It’s more about fabric choice today than color. Even in the dead of winter in northern New England the fashionable wear white wools, cashmeres, jeans, and down-filled parkas.”

With Americas foremost etiquette expert telling us that the rule is passé, this may explain why some who would typically abide by the custom are now willing to compromise.

Ultimately, the true aim is to wear what’s appropriate — for the weather, the season, or the occasion… color not withstanding.

Take It Outside

As published in Azalea Magazine Spring 2018.

As the temperature goes up, it’s time to get outside!

Whether it’s a backyard grilling party, a more formal sit down meal, or simply gathering family and friends, the key to outdoor entertaining is keeping everyone comfortable outdoors.

Hosting an enjoyable outdoor party can be a breeze with these easy outdoor entertaining tips.

Prep The Yard. Get your yard clean and in order. Make sure the grass is mowed, raked and free of debris, tools and toys.

Keep Your Cool. To beat the heat, avoid midday events, especially those between noon and 3 p.m. If your party is during sunlight hours you will want to have plenty of shade to offer. Trees, tents and strategically placed umbrellas offer guests a place to hide from the sun. Running a fan near your dining area can also help keep your guests cool.

Let There Be Light. Once the sun goes down, you want to make sure to keep the party going. All you need is a little ambient lighting. Hang lanterns or strings of lights on the deck, the fence, even tree branches. Enjoy candlelight even on breezy evenings by using hurricane lanterns to shield the flames.

Beware Of Bugs. Entertaining outside is lovely, but make sure you access your bug situation prior. Provide insect repellent nearby for you and your party guests. Light citronella candles around your deck or patio, or stake torches in the yard.

In Case Of Rain. We all know how unpredictable weather can be. Always have a backup plan just in case — perhaps a change of venue or a rain date.

Use these tips and take your next party or get-together outdoors for some alfresco fun.

Say Cheese!

As published in Azalea Magazine Winter 2017.

Say Cheese!

Just the word makes us smile.

Cheese.  It is the perfect ingredient for entertaining. It can start
or end a meal as a flavorful appetizer or classic dessert. Best of
all, these people-pleasing platters can be easily put together. That’s
part of their attraction. Here are a few tips to building a cheese
board.

Choosing The Cheese.

•   Plan on serving three to five cheeses. Anything additional is
overwhelming to the palate. For each type of cheese, buy one ounce per
person.

•   Look for variety in taste, texture and appearance. Aim for serving
a hard cheese such as Manchego, a soft cheese like a Camembert, a blue
like Gorgonzola, and a pungent (stinky) cheese like Morbier.

Accompaniments.

•   Serve with mild flavored crackers or bread that will not detract
from the flavor of the cheeses.

•   Snip a bunch of grapes into small clusters for easy-to-grab
portions. Sliced apples, pears and figs also pair nicely.

•   In separate dishes, you might offer olives, pickled vegetables and
lightly roasted nuts.

•   To round out the food- a dried sausage makes a hearty snack.

Serving Suggestions.

•   Serve on a tray or platter large enough to keep cheeses from touching.

•   Remove the wrapping from the cheeses, but leave on the rinds.

•   Bring cheeses to room temperature for optimal flavor.

•   Serve each cheese with its own knife to avoid mixing flavors.

•   Identify the cheeses. Note each variety.

While creating a cheese platter is simple, following these tips will
ensure a winning cheese course every time.

Pregame Jubilee: A Guide To A Winning Tailgate Strategy

As published in Palmetto Magazine  Fall/Winter 2017.

Welcome to tailgate season in the South! It’s official… football has returned and the tailgate is in play. We as Southerners know that tailgating is not just a way to kill time before kickoff- it’s as important as the game itself! Make sure your pregame celebration is
ready with this simple checklist of tailgating essentials:

·      Tent- Pop up your team colored tent to provide some shade, shield, and shelter from the sun and rain.

•       Chairs- Even the most seasoned tailgaters like a place to park every once in a while. Bring your collection of stadium chairs and be sure to bring extra for guests.

•       Coolers- Can you ever have too many coolers? One for ice, beverages, and food that needs to stay chilled (or warm). Coolers also conveniently double as extra seats!

•       Paper plates, napkins, cups, and plastic ware in school colors. Disposables make for easy cleanup.

•       Lots of Food- Tailgating is all about sharing. Plan tasty foods that will travel well.

•       Décor- A tablecloth in school colors will suffice. Or if you prefer, decorate to the hilt! A silver candelabra, pack it! An over the top flower arrangement? You bet. Keep it simple or go all out!

•       Tunes- Make an upbeat playlist. Be sure to pack a set of cordless speakers compatible with your iPhone.

•       Trash bags and wipes for quick cleanup.

Tailgating is a tried and true Southern tradition. Whether your team is winning or losing, you can always have a championship tailgate!