There’s only one way to describe Georgia in the summer and that’s hot, hot, hot. Now that it’s July I can hardly go outside without the humidity flattening my hair like a pancake, or smearing my mascara across my eyes. Instead, I watch out my kitchen window as everything that can move draws back into the shade, including my sweet yellow lab, and our tomato plants droop on their vines, thirsty for cool water.
There’s only one escape for this kind of misery, and that’s the lake.
I’ve spent summers at Lake Burton since I was a little girl. My grandparents bought a house there in the 1950s and have kept it for all of us to enjoy ever since. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and the fact that I can share it with my own children now makes it that much more special, so whenever we have a bit of downtime in the summers we pack up the car and head north.
In my family, no trip to Lake Burton would be complete without a stop at Fritchey’s, the produce stand in Habersham, right off of Old Highway 17. Though it doesn’t look like much, Fritchey’s is filled to the brim with fresh picked silver queen corn that’s been grown on site, okra, tomatoes, squash, beans and so, so much more! My go-to staples when I’m there include a handful of tomatoes and a bushel of corn and squash to fry up once I’m at the lake. The milkshakes are pretty eye-catching too, but usually I try and save my appetite for the fried squash and tomato sandwiches we’ll be having in the near future…I say usually because I’m not always successful ;).
Once we leave Fritchey’s, Alex and I like to roll down all the windows, turn the music up, and breathe in the cool mountain air as we drift through the windy roads. It’s incredible how our stress seems to blow away in the wind as the air goes from hot and humid to cool and clean. I swear, I breathe better in the mountains.
The second we get to the lake and unload the kids from the car I head to the kitchen to whip up the very best southern delicacy there is (that’s right, I’m calling it) – tomato sandwiches! If I had to choose my last meal, it would be these heavenly sandwiches, which are as simple as they are delicious. There’s a big debate in my family about whether or not to peel the tomatoes, (my family comes down heavily on the yes side while Alex thinks it’s the strangest thing in the world) but I think either way there is nothing better than a summer tomato. No matter if you peel it or simply slice away!
With full bellies from all our farmers market bounty, we head down to the dock for a day of fun on the water.