Carefree Cookless Summer Days

Vacation with the 21 closest members of the immediate family in a mountain house called a “cottage” that holds all of us. Lots of white porches and dirty bare feet and sweaty kids. The moms take the opportunity to drink instead of eat, and the kids scarf junk all day and all night until they collapse in their tracks.

There’s a dining hall on the grounds, run by Nashville’s renowned Emily Frith, offering fresh, small-batch, handmade, knock-your-socks-off food each day. It’s impossible to gather/convince all 21 people to go, but we make a point of eating at least one lunch, and it never disappoints. Every day there’s freshly handmade gazpacho, black beans and yellow rice, and a great salad bar. The hot entree for the day was beefy mac-n-cheese, and the grills were fired up for grilled chicken and burgers.

Sweet Cheeks ate vegetables without being asked, so she earned a Ghirardelli brownie. Every table was full, and since we eat slowly, the brownies were gone by the time we got there. Once we told Emily how disappointed we were, she herself brought us one from the back. She’s got the heart of a servant, and the whisk of Martha Stewart. If you loved her sesame vinaigrette from back in the day, or you’ve heard of its deliciosity, you can buy it at the Chevron at the corner of Page Road and Harding.