From The Beacon: Get grilling with great summer cookbooks

Summertime puts everyone in the mood for fun in the sun and some great outdoor activities. Living in the Lowcounty, we are lucky to have such a choice of things to do outside.

One of our most enjoyed and common activities is, of course, the tradition of a feast, picnic or barbecue held in parks, alongside coastal beaches and especially within the landscaped boundaries of our own backyards.

The Beaufort County Library has a wonderfully diverse cookbook selection to pique your interest; the subset of books dedicated to barbecue alone is particularly impressive. Whether you're a seasoned cook with your own herb garden or a novice whose idea of a complex menu is something more in the line of "meat plus flame plus bun plus ketchup equals meal" -- the library has something for you.

Cheryl and Bill Jamison's "The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining" is a comprehensive guide to cuisine that is meant to be enjoyed outdoors. The book offers plenty for the beginner, with an array of tips to make something as simple as the all-American burger more interesting. What's better than a "bistro burger" topped with a poached or fried egg? Other variations include wasabi-scallion mayonnaise and pickled ginger burgers, Southern pimiento cheeseburgers and grecian burgers served in pita pockets.

"Grilling Maestros," features a collection of recipes from the internationally known Marcel Desaulniers' Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Va. The book covers everything from grilled Hungarian pepper appetizers to grilled banana splits for dessert. This after-dinner treat involves grilling bananas in a lime-molasses glaze.

Dwayne Ridgaway's "Indoor Cooking" is for those who would love nothing more than to host an all-out barbecue feast, but their living arrangements simply won't allow for the actual cooking to take place outside. If you can't cook outdoors, because you either don't have the space or grilling is limited in your community, then this title is for you. It's a collection of 50 recipes specifically for electric grills, stove top grills and smokers.

David Gelin's "BBQ Joints" is for those who love a good barbecue, but simply don't have the culinary skill or ambition to put one together themselves. It offers recipes from the barbecue belt but also provides addresses and brief histories of notable establishments for your next road trip. For those who want to bring a taste back home afterward, featured recipes for the Palmetto State include mustard-based barbecue sauce and South Carolina hash.