I'm not sure how or when Lee Bailey first entered my life, but I am so glad he did. It's most likely that I found one of his cookbooks in the dusty stacks of a used book store or in a bin at a yard sale somewhere; however it happened, that first book lead to others, and now quite a few of his titles have made their way onto my bookshelves. My favorite of all his books, Lee Bailey's Country Weekends, is written for readers who own weekend homes in the Hamptons (or for those of us who wish we did) and is structured around a series of menus that take the generous host through the day from breakfast to cocktails, from the backyard to the beach. It's a heady mix of relaxed, Southern-style comfort (Bailey was a Louisiana native) and definitively 80's glamour, with dated but charming good-life photos of sailboats, guest houses, and sunsets from private docks. I like to turn to Country Weekends whenever I need entertaining inspiration, or am feeling nostalgic for the 80's—the great thing about all Bailey's cookbooks, particularly this one, is that they capture his beautiful life but manage to make it seem accessible to those of us in small city apartments with no dock in sight.