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FIVE RECIPES INSPIRED BY SOUTHERN LITERATURE / CHARLESTON DISTILLING COMPANY GROWFOOD CAROLINA / CAMP EATING / M&G CHEF FORREST PARKER / CHARLESTON RECEIPTS MIDDLETON MADE KNIVES / ICEHOUSE RODEO / WATER MISSIONS / HOUSE OF PRAYER

Winter 2017/18 ~ FREE

Modern Living in the Old South

Cook Out Ms. Rosa Rulack at Camp Meeting in Saint George


EDISTO ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA THE BEST VALUES IN THE LOWCOUNTRY

Edisto Island

is Charleston’s best kept secret - a relaxing 45 minute drive from Charleston and Summerville! Travel the National Scenic Highway winding among historic churches, plantations, marsh views, creek vistas, & ancient Live Oaks. Discover an unspoiled coastal community without traffic lights, hotels, or high rises, just 8 miles of pristine shell strewn beach. Over half of Edisto Island is under a conservation easement! Our laid back, family oriented beach has it all! Sail, golf, fish, dine, and unwind at this laid back, family oriented beach! You will see why we love to call Edisto home. Contact Edisto’s real estate expert, Marie C. Bost. Since 1982 Marie has assisted thousands of buyers & property owners ~ Call Marie today for the best values on the coast!

Marie C. Bost EDISTO’S REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST® EDISTO@MARIEBOST.COM|MARIEBOST.COM 843-830-8669 | 143 JUNGLE RD, EDISTO BEACH, SC


33 Whalers Court | $324,900 | Gated Community Resort Amenities | 3Br, 2Ba | Wraparound Deck

8926 Palmetto Blvd | $1,180,000 | Beachfront | Oceanfront Pool Pristine Remodel | 6Br 3.5Ba | Fantastic Rental | Hot Tub, Game Room

11 & 12 Marsh Bluff Ct. | $549,000 | Deepwater Docks Two Homesites | Over 6 Acres | 300’ Creek frontage

705 Palmetto Blvd | $398,000 | Beachview | Second Row Direct Beach Access | 3Br 2.5Ba | Large Glassed in Porch | Great Rental

3915 Lybrand Street | $658,900 | | Tidal Creek Marsh Views | Charleston Style | Beachwalk

2133 Laurel Hill Road| $549,000 | Deepwater | Pierhead & Float Cottage Getaway | 2Br 1Ba | 1.6 Acres | Buildable Homesite

362 Sea Cloud Circle | $74,900 | Golf Course Villa

Gated Resort | Renovated & Funished | Resort Pools

Marie C. Bost EDISTO’S REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST® EDISTO@MARIEBOST.COM|MARIEBOST.COM 843-830-8669 | 143 JUNGLE RD, EDISTO BEACH, SC


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KIAWAH 420 FRESHFIELDS DRIVE 843-768-4246


Fall 2017 Winter 2017-18

66 A NOVEL L O O K AT SOUTHERN FOOD

Eating our way through Southern literature

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CAMP E AT I N G

As it has for over 100 years, the annual camp meeting outside St. George provides nourishment for body and soul, encouraging worshippers to praise the Lord and pass the chicken Upper Cut A custom chef 's knife by Middleton Made Knives

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BRIDGING THE GAP Less than ten percent of the food eaten in South Carolina is grown within the state. GrowFood Carolina aims to change that

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SHARP FOCUS

A rural South Carolina knifemaker hones his talents while creating highly sought-after culinary tools

Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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CONT ENT S

/ Winter 2017-18

23 33

29 08 Editor’s Letter 12 Contributors FIELD GUIDE A brief look into our local culture 15 The Pecan 16 Q&A Forrest Parker 18 Local Product 20 Etiquette Cheese Board SOUTHERN LIFE 23 Southern Spotlight - Food & Drink 26 Southern Spotlight - Food 29 Southern Spotlight - Art 33 Southern Spotlight - Outreach 37 Southern Spotlight - Food

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53 COLUMNS 41 Natural Woman by Susan Frampton

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45 Kids These Days by Tara Bailey 49 Life & Faith by Lili Hiser

O N T H E C O V E R : / Ms. Rosa Rulack at Camp Meeting in Saint George. Photograph by Dottie Rizzo 8

AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18

53 OPEN HOUSE - Calling on a higher power for direction, Tim and Ranai Kennedy were led to the home where they would raise their family, in the heart of Summerville’s historic district 96 THE VILLAGE POET - The Widest Table

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a steamy lineup awaits.

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Southern food is beautifully unusual, governed by an orthodoxy of paradox

Beautifully Unusual Southern food is beautifully unusual, governed by an orthodoxy of paradox; steeped in both tradition and innovation, it is deeply complex yet incredibly simple. I can't think of one traditionally Southern dish that wouldn't be just as at home on a piece of fine china as it would on a paper plate. It is truly beautifully unusual. I have often wondered, though, about who had the guts to try some of these foods for the first time. Was it an accident or did they have to be bribed? I mean, who would have thought that mushy peanuts were a good idea, or that tossing a bird into boiling animal fat sounded appetizing? If you've even been in a house where collards are being cooked, you might know what I am talking about. It would take pretty good salesman to convince me that they would taste any better than they smelled. I love boiled peanuts, fried chicken, and collard greens. I am just glad that I didn't have to be the first to sample the fare. When my mother was young, she and my uncle were being watched for the day by a family friend. When lunch time came around, the menu was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and milk. My uncle was the first to take a bite. With a look of disgust, he spit it out of his mouth and asked what was on his plate. My mother pulled the sandwich apart to see that what was supposed to be the usual peanut butter and jelly was peanut butter and mayonnaise. She began to laugh uncontrollably, which infuriated my uncle. My mother leapt from her seat and ran down the hall to her bedroom with my uncle chasing her like a mad man. She got to her room and slammed the door, just seconds before my uncle kicked his foot through that same door. The family friend had made a mistake that day: adding mayonnaise to bread instead of jelly. The hole in that door remained there for forty years, not only a reminder of my uncle's embarrassment, but of a wonderful mistake. Peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches are a favorite in my family now. It sounds gross, I know, but so does the idea of mushy peanuts. I'm no salesman, that's for sure, but hear me out. Get out your best china, place a freshly made peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich on there and give it a go. If you like peanut butter and you like mayonnaise, I think you will like them together. And if you do, there's a new, simple yet complex recipe you can add to this beautifully unusual thing we call Southern food.

Will Rizzo Editor in Chief


Simply home Come home to the place you’ve always wanted to be. A thoughtfully planned community that celebrates the simple pleasures and gentle pace of life in a Lowcountry town. Quiet, tree-lined streets flow seamlessly among beautiful parks, lakes and miles of trails. And carefully crafted homes reflect the beauty and timeless grace of the Lowcountry. Ideally located minutes from I-26 and downtown Summerville, Carnes Crossroads is the simply perfect place to call home. CarnesCharleston.com

Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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Will Rizzo Co-Publisher and Editor in Chief will@azaleamag.com Dottie Rizzo Co-Publisher and Managing Editor dottie@azaleamag.com Susan Frampton Senior Editor Jana Riley Senior Editor & Copy Editor Lewis Frampton Distribution Manager Contributors Tara Bailey Elizabeth Donehue Susan Frampton Lili Hiser Ellen Hyatt Cassandra King Jana Riley Jason Wagener Photography Intern Patrick Baird Advertising Susie Wimberly susie@azaleamag.com 843.568.7830 Laura Fletcher laura@azaleamag.com 843.991.0446 Subscribe *Available for $16.99 a year (4 Issues). Visit azaleamag.com for details. REGISTER TODAY AT

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It’s more than a Walk. It’s an event that will change lives around the world forever through the gift of safe water. Join thousands as we Walk so others won’t have to. 3.17.18 · 9AM · Riverfront Park · N. Charleston

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AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18

Azalea Magazine is published by

114B E. Richardson Ave. Summerville, SC 29483 info@azaleamag.com www.azaleamag.com 843.478.7717


Gathering is always in season. This is Summers Corner. Where the best times are the ones spent with each other. Dorchester District Two schools. Beautiful architecture. And homes from the mid $200s–$400s. Models open daily. Homes available for quick move-in. BE S T NE W C OM MUNI T Y O F T HE Y E AR —2016

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CONTRIBUTORS

JANA RILEY Writer

SUSAN FRAMPTON Writer

JASON WAGENER llustrator

CASSANDRA KING Author

TARA BAILEY Writer

Jana Riley alternates her working time between interviewing people about their passions, writing inspiring stories as quickly as her fingers can type, and editing some of the most interesting magazines she has ever read. The rest of the time, you can find her immersed in love for her family while exploring places near and far.

An accidental writer, Susan Frampton lives in Summerville, SC. Along with a fluctuating number of wiener dogs, chickens, turtles, snakes, and the occasional pig, her husband and family provide endless material for her musings on life, love, and laughter. Her life is full of adventure and comedy, and some days she contemplates having wine with breakfast.

Jason started his illustrious art career when he won a coloring contest in third grade, subsequently entitling him the proud owner of a Mickey Mouse dry erase board. He moved to the Lowcountry in 1990, before attending The Savannah College of Art and Design.

Cassandra King, the author of five novels, a book of nonfiction, several short stories, and numerous magazine articles, was raised on a farm in L.A. (Lower Alabama). Her latest book is The Same Sweet Girls Guide to Life: Advice from a Failed Southern Belle. She resides in Beaufort, and is currently at work on a memoir/cookbook about life with her late husband, Pat Conroy.

Tara Bailey lives in Summerville with her husband and three daughters, assuming the one in college comes home to visit. She has worked as a naturalist, a teacher, a writer, and an editor, balancing her love of the outdoors with her compulsion to alter sentences. She enjoys natural history, horror movies, and reads anything in print. She can usually be found on her bike or behind a coffee mug.

Leviner Law Firm provides thoughtful consideration and a personalized approach in matters of family law, small estate planning, and probate. 207 West Ric hardson Ave. / Sum m e rville (843) 5 01-0 602 / info@ levine rlawfirm .com

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AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18


A B R I E F L O O K AT L O C A L C U LT UR E

Some of the largest pecan shellers process 150,000 pounds of pecans a day. The pecan capital of the world is Albany, Georgia, which has more than 600,000 pecan trees. It's widely belived that the pecan pie was developed by French immigrants after settling in New Orleans. A pecan is not truly a nut, but a drupe: a fruit with a single pit, surrounded by a husk. It takes twelve years for a pecan tree to mature. When grown in ideal conditions, a pecan tree can live and be productive for up to 300 years. Native Americans used pecans to make a fermented drink called Powcohicora.

The Pecan

Whether they are raw, roasted, covered in chocolate, baked into pies and breads, or atop a salad, the tasty and versatile pecan is the South's favorite nut.

Featuring: The Pecan pg. 15 / Q&A with Forrest Parker pg. 16 / Mix Master - Bittermilk #3 pg. 18 / Etiquette: Say Cheese - Building a Cheese Board pg. 20

Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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surrounded by a world-class team that makes it easy and leadership that doesn’t glaze over every time Chef starts talking about his magic beans again. But, reopening the Edisto Motel as a destination restaurant has crossed my mind from time to time. Is there a motto that you live by? “Thank you Chef ! I’m sorry Chef ! I was wrong Chef ! Don’t give up on me Chef !” may have been uttered a time or two, but I always try to encourage my team mates to “make an informed, data driven decision, NOT an intuitive one.” And when I’m cooking for selfish reasons, it’s usually something like “anything to make it marginally better…” Who or what are you a fan of? Any of the Charleston OG chefs: Louis Osteen, Frank Lee, Donald Barickman, Phillip Barden, “Hoppin’ John Taylor. I still geek out, and rightfully so. Coffee or tea? Yes.

Q& A

Forrest Parker Chef de Cuisine at Drawing Room

What is your favorite thing about living in the Lowcountry? My favorite thing about living in the Lowcountry IS the Lowcountry, with all that it entails: the slow progression of seasons, the people, the beaches, the marsh, the cuisine, the diversity, the history. The smell of jasmine in the spring, the smell of campfires and low tide in the fall. Watching the sunrise over the back dock or the moon rise on the harbor. Oh, and the ghosts—I’d be remiss for leaving them out. What is your dream job? Probably sounds like a cop-out, but really I’m doing it: feeding guests delicious food surveying nearly 500 years of the Lowcountry distilled into an evening of dining,

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What's one thing you've bought in the last five years that you couldn’t live without? An original hardcover of Jules Arthur Harder’s 1885 Physiology of Taste—Harder’s Book of Practical American Cookery, vol. 1. The remaining 5 volumes slated for publication never seem to have surfaced but this one original book just refocused my entire understanding of Lowcountry cuisine. It’s available on Google Books, but just holding the actual tome is such a kinesthetic experience. Huge thanks to Dr. David Shields and Sean Brock for pointing me to it. What's one thing you've bought in the last five years that you could go the rest of your life without? Kombucha. What is your favorite music? Pass. This is an entirely separate article. What is your dream vacation? Picasso’s Spain and Gauguin’s Tahiti. 6 months in each. Minimum. What is your fondest memory of growing up or living in the Lowcountry? Geography is my wound. Wait! Someone else already used that. Another tough one because there are just so many, but definitely marrying my wife Kim in the gazebo at White Point Gardens on a beautiful October day is chief among them. AM


ARTISAN CRAFTED JEWELRY

DOTTIE LANGLEY

T H E C O O P E R - h a n d c r a f t e d , s o l i d b r a s s o y s t e r n e c k l a c e . d o t t i e l a n g l e y. c o m


TASTE

High Spirits

Bittermilk No. 3

Mix Master Bittermilk cocktail mixers are designed for the modern day cocktail enthusiast, to help mix up unique, quality cocktails. Bittermilk revived this old classic by smoking honey over bourbon barrel staves. Mixes best with bourbon. bittermilk.com Available at Four Green Fields $18

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Experience the Pinewood difference. Be our guest this winter! Performing Arts Workshop: January 27

Open Houses: Lower School - February 22 Middle School - February 26 High School - March 19

ETIQUETTE

Say Cheese Winter Shadow Day: March 16

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

21st Century Programs for Pre-K3 through Grade 12 • • • • • • • •

College preparatory curriculum Idea Lab engineering program Visual and performing arts Smaller class sizes Interscholastic athletic teams Community service opportunities Extracurricular clubs and organizations Experiential learning through class trips

Voted Summerville’s Best Independent School!

Learn more: www.pinewoodprep.com Confirm your visit today!

843.873.1643, ext. 2001 admissions@pinewoodprep.com 22

AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18

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.

• 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.

• 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.

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

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

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

• Bring cheeses to room temperature for optimal flavor.

• Identify the cheeses. Note each variety. AM

ELIZABETH DONEHUE

Arbiter of social graces, with a heart for simple hospitality and tendency for adventure. Elizabeth lives in Summerville with her husband, Wesley, baby boys, Harlowe and Tennyson, and yorkie, Gucci.


 Wine Bags + Beer Carriers

er 9! b em c e ning D g i S k Boo

Dress up a host/hostess gift for the beer and wine lovers in your life. Made from up-cycled truck tarps and military tents, and genuine leather. $19.95 - $29.95

your reserve Call to n adv ance copies i

Tippleman’s + Bittermilk Mixers 

Turn an average home bar into the talk of the neighborhood with these Charleston-crafted mixers. $16 - $24

Carolina Glassware 

Show your Palmetto State pride with this stylish seeded glassware. Go for a matched set, or mix styles. Monogram designs also available to order. $17.50 each, or 4 for $60

 Microwave Bacon Cooker

Just hang your bacon over the sides, and microwave until crisp. When you’re done, pour off your drippins and stick the whole thing in the dishwasher! $55

TASTE of the SOUTH

 Shrimp, Collards + Grits

Pat Branning’s southern lifestyle series features museum quality construction, artist approved color accurate prints, and some of the most mouth-watering recipes from Georgia and the Carolinas. $29.95 - $39.95

 Coastal Custom Knifeworks Shuckers

Handcrafted in Summerville―no two are exactly alike. Visit the store to see our ever-changing selection, or give us a call to be sent pictures of current stock. starting at $185

 Bacon Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Bacon. Bourbon. No surprise, this is one of our best-selling sauces.

$9.50

Bacon Jam 

Handmade in Summerville, this sweet & savory jam contains a whole pound of bacon in each jar! $15

Smoked Sea Salt 

Lowcountry solar evaporated sea salt, smoked with local oak wood. Adds a smoky (dare we say, bacon?) �lavor to your favorite recipes. $10.95

See more at FourGreenFieldsGallery.com / Four Green Fields / 117-A Central Avenue, Historic Downtown Summerville / Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm & Sunday afternoons Oct-Dec & Apr-Jun


Up For Downtown You will find charming shops, a vibrant night life, live theater, and a wide array of unique dining. Here is how one young couple explores Historic Downtown Summerville.

Saturday in Summerville 10:30 - Shopping for Christmas gifts on Short Central 12:00 - Lunch at Eclectic Chef with parents 2:30 - Hair Appointment and manicure at MOD Beauty Studio 6:30 - Dinner at the Icehouse with friends 8:00 - Catch a live show at James F. Dean Theater 10:30 - Beers at Homegrown Brewhouse

For info about Historic Downtown Summerville, visit summervilledream.org

JA and Victoria Moore heading to Homegrown Brewhouse after a show at the James F. Dean Theater ^


Southern L I F E & C U L T U R E from O U R L I T T L E S L I C E of T H E S O U T H

Spirit Filled

A copper still at Charleston Distilling Company

Bottling Sunshine

Whisky has long lubricated the wheels of history, and been lauded by poets and statesmen as “liquid sunshine.” Steeped in the narrative of the Holy City’s past, Charleston Distilling Company’s bright spirits shine a unique light on their founders’ adopted home by Susan Frampton

Featuring: Bottling Sunshine pg. 23 / Culinary Currency - Charleston Receipts pg. 26 / Flower Girl pg. 29 / Thirsting for Change pg. 33 / Sunday Funday pg. 37 / Columns Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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Bottling Sunshine

C

harleston is a city rich in history. From its cobblestone streets to its steepled skyline, it is a place that appreciates the rich patina that time has lent, and its unique blend of long-standing tradition and modern innovation draws visitors like a magnet.

Newly arrived from months of crisscrossing the country in search of a place to launch a new business, Steve Heilman watched a horse-drawn carriage pass below his hotel window in Charleston’s French Quarter, and immediately succumbed to the Holy City’s charm. Leaving behind a successful career as a commodities trader, and fueled by the discovery that his family had once been involved in distilling, Heilman had done extensive research on the process behind the business of spirits. He decided that he wanted to try his hand in the burgeoning craft distilling industry. “You’re going to love this place,” he said on the phone to his wife, Alison Curry. From their native city of Chicago, she heard the sound of home in his voice. Arriving the next weekend, she too fell under the spell of Charleston, and when they visited the vacant 10,000 square foot building at 501 King Street, they knew that the search was over. Charleston offered the perfect trifecta – the good water they needed, a building with plenty of space, and a thriving tourism industry. They bought the building, and Charleston Distilling Company, the business he and his wife now run from the beautifully restored storefront in the hub of creativity and activity on Charleston’s Upper King Street, was born. 26 AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18

Locating two unclaimed, custom-built stills in Germany was a coupe that jump-started the business by at least a year, and seemed a sure sign that they were on the right track. The building’s 20’ ceilings provide the perfect home for the 1,000 and 2,000 liter copper vessels that glow against its original wood, repurposed throughout the distillery and tasting room. The Charleston transplants’ products begin with the best, South Carolinagrown corn, rye, and wheat that are milled and added to filtered water in a steam-heated mash tank. The resulting conversion of the grains cooked from starch to sugar is pitched with yeast to begin fermentation. Once fermentation is complete, the liquid is pumped into the copper stills. From there, clear spirits such as King Charles Vodka, with its sweet, peppery flavor, and Carolina Reaper, a smooth, corn vodka infused with Carolina Reaper Peppers, are bottled. With a reputation as the hottest in the world, the pepper created and grown in Fort Mill, SC helped Carolina Reaper Vodka garner a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for its blend of heat and sweet flavor. “It’s the distiller’s Super Bowl,” says Curry of the event that is universally recognized as one of the oldest and most influential of its kind. Entering their products for the first time, Charleston Distilling Company also walked away with a silver medal for Jasper’s FarmRaised, American Style Gin. For some of their spirits, patience is truly a key step in the process. Jasper’s Bourbon Barrel Gin is placed in vintage bourbon barrels for


Message in a Bottle

Left to right: Steve Heilman and Allison Curry; a few of Charleston Distilling Company's craft spirits; there's always work to be done; passersby stop to check out the selection

four months to achieve its perfect balance of botanicals and mellow sweetness, while ryes and bourbons like Calhoun’s Rye Whiskey and Vesey’s Straight Bourbon take years to mature into “liquid sunshine” inside barrels of new, charred American Oak. Long anticipated, and to the delight of connoisseurs, the first bottling of Vesey’s Straight Bourbon took place this past October. Available on site in beautifully designed bottles bearing the iconic palm tree design of the historic Charleston Dispensary, each brand’s label pays homage to an element of Charleston’s history. Denmark Vesey, Sgt. William Jasper, and John Calhoun are all honored on the artfully designed labels that make the products as pleasing to the eye as they are to the tongue. The rustic yet elegant tasting room offers a relaxed and welcoming setting for those longing to try a sip or two after taking the informative and entertaining distillery tour, required by South Carolina law for craft distilleries. Though the amount of alcohol per person is also limited by law, the menu of craft cocktails offered by expert bartenders is wide, and loaded with intriguing combinations of ingredients. From their usual perch atop the table in the center of the tasting room, Gunner and Lily, whose fame as “the distillery dogs” grows with each passing day, supervise the entire operation – basking in the adoration of visitors and adding a warm and fuzzy element to the space. The whole place has also become known as a special events venue, providing an inviting backdrop for parties, dinners, and other occasions. Huge barrels built to house the site’s restroom facilities have gained their own notoriety, and were once

rated the 3rd best bathrooms in America – a humorous, but much appreciated recognition, albeit one for a competition the distillery owners were not even aware that they had entered. Embracing the culture and pace of Charleston, Curry and Heilman are committed to using 100% South Carolina-based resources to produce their products – a testament of their allegiance to the state they now call home. Each brings to the table a skill set that provides exactly the right balance to their partnership. Her seasoned sales role in Chicago’s corporate catering industry prepared her well to handle the marketing for the company, and her outgoing personality is the extroverted yin to the yang of her husband’s quiet and analytical, introverted style. “We have a nice balance that works really well,” Curry says of the long hours that each puts into making the distillery a success. She splits her time between South Carolina and Illinois, the only two states where their products are available, and spends every weekend visiting the stores that carry their brand. Already, production has reached a point where they are quickly outgrowing the King Street space, and the couple has plans to expand to their John’s Island warehouse location. Embodying the spirit of the Lowcountry, Charleston Distilling Company has created a recipe for success that has one and all raising their unique, Charleston-made spirits in a toast to continued success, and to a brilliant future of bottling South Carolina sunshine. AM Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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SOUTHERNSPOTLIGHT Charleston Receipts

Culinary Currency The lasting popularity of Charleston Receipts proves it to be more than a flash in the culinary pan, and for a new generation of cooks, it is the ultimate handbook to Lowcountry cuisine. by Susan Frampton

“The inheritance of a well-written recipe is as valuable as a silver spoon,” once wrote Heather Richie in Southern Living Magazine. In culinary currency, the 750 recipes compiled and tested by the sustaining members of Charleston’s Junior League in 1950 are a collection of shiny silverware that tells the story of life in the Lowcountry and transcends time. Alongside The Holy Bible, Charleston Receipts, the book referred to as “the Bible of all Junior League cookbooks,” has been named by many as most influential to the culture and cuisine of an area long heralded as unique. Though a relative newcomer by Biblical standards, Charleston Receipts has stood the test of time and proved that its relevance to life in the Lowcountry was far more than a flash in the pan. Defining its contents as receipts in order to “designate time-honored dishes,” the organization’s cookbook committee set it apart from the outset. Each recipe was a voice of the Lowcountry, and represented far more than simply a list of ingredients and preparation instructions. Today, it is the oldest Junior League cookbook in print, and was inducted into the Walter S. McIlhenny Community Cookbooks Hall of Fame in 1990. Whether your copy is brand new or passed to you by loving hands, listen closely and you will hear voices of those whose recipes are found on its pages, and of those who have treasured them through the years.

Better With Age A well loved and used copy of Charleston Receipts

Talking With Tassie

A voice long silenced speaks from the pages of a worn cookbook, offering a glimpse of a remarkable woman. Catharine “Tassie” Frampton was a woman seldom at a loss for words. A nurse and mother of three rambunctious boys, I am told that she was a pistol, and a force to be reckoned with. It saddens me that though my mother-in-law was an integral part of my life for the first few years of my marriage, she suffered a stroke that robbed her of speech long before we met. We never chatted over a bubbling pot, or talked over a rolling pin of the experiences that made her who she was. But in the quiet of my kitchen, I have come to know her. From her tattered green and white cookbook, held together by crumbling brown masking tape, Tassie tells me about her life. She speaks of dinner parties and bridal showers, church socials and cotillions. Through spills and stains on dog-eared pages, she shares stories of family meals at the house on Summerville’s Main Street, of

picnics at the lake and summer afternoons shrimping at Edisto. Scraps of paper tucked here and there walk me through preparations for sweet treats and powerful punches. They offer solutions for a garden overflowing with vegetables, and tell me what to do with an excited boy’s catch of the day. The placement of her sister’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe, hand-written on the inside back cover, is an important sidebar to the conversation. Keep this recipe close at hand, she seems to say. Love is the unwritten but vital ingredient in every recipe. Though its sound never fell on my ears while she was with us, when I need a recipe for shrimp, the Jerusalem artichokes are in season, or the figs are fat and brown on the tree, I know that I can turn to her beloved book, carefully turn the yellowed pages, and wait for Tassie’s voice to guide me—to tell me about her day, to talk to me about living in the Lowcountry, and to remind me that no matter what I’m cooking, to always remember the love. AM


Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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In Full Bloom Artist Claire Kendall. Next page: a sample of Kendall's orginal work

SOUTHERNSPOTLIGHT Artist Claire Kendall

manages to take the art of collage to a whole new level--without ever picking up a pair of scissors or bottle of glue.

Flower Girl

Originally from Virginia, Kendall moved to South Carolina to attend the College of Charleston, where she majored in Corporate Communication and minored in both Spanish and Art. She went on to work within the wedding industry of Charleston, including a one-year internship with Cory Winn Lambert of Sage Innovations and later, at Branch Design Studio and Gathering Floral and Event Design. While lending her creative talents to the fabulous fetes of Charleston, Kendall became immersed in the world of florals, and quickly became adept at identifying flowers and assembling beautiful arrangements. She loved her work, but came to realize one debilitating issue: she was allergic to the very medium that brought her so much joy. She opted to finish out the wedding season, but when it came to a close, she found herself looking for other ways to

With a focus on fabulous florals, a Charleston painter shares her flourishing talent by Jana Riley

Claire Kendall is not your typical artist. Squarely centered in the Millennial generation, the Daniel Island resident approaches artistry in a way that would have simply been impossible in previous decades; relying heavily on her phone, computer, social media, and internet connection, Kendall

express herself creatively. As a child, Kendall had exhibited quite the artistic talent, and she took private art lessons for years to bolster her skills. In high school and college, she often created artwork for assignments, but it wasn’t until she was relatively free of commitments that she truly flourished as a painter. With her wedding seasons behind her, Kendall found inspiration in the florals she worked with previously, as well as her lifelong interest in fashion. The artist was soon combining her passions, painting surreal images of fashionistas with singular blooms emerging where their necks and heads were expected to be. She loved the unexpected nature of the work and the positive reactions her friends and family members had to the paintings, and with the support of her loved ones, she decided to pursue her art full-time. Still in her twenties, Kendall grew up with technology at her fingertips, and she utilizes

Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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it often to aid in navigating her creative vision. She traverses the internet for photos that inspire her; swiping through Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google Images, she collects the images that compel her to create. Sometimes, it is an outfit or a pose that catches her eye, while other times, it is a flower arrangement or color palette. Then, with her oil paint, acrylics, and water soluble crayons, she combines the inspiration into one cohesive canvas, allowing the mediums to take her in whatever direction they may. The work of Claire Kendall evokes a sense of simplicity, calling to mind vintage paper dolls and collages while still retaining a strong element of sophistication. The natural world is present in all of her works, while color, pattern, light, and linework are viewed through different lenses, often ambiguous or subtle. Her flower head paintings are arresting, a compilation of things that simultaneously do and don’t make sense, inevitably causing the viewer to linger on the unusual juxtaposition.

The work of Claire Kendall evokes a sense of simplicity, calling to mind vintage paper dolls and collages while still retaining a strong element of sophistication.

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At present, Kendall is a rising star in the Charleston art community, with the bulk of her work shared on social media channels and in local coffee shops. She paints commissions and original works, consistently offering both larger and smaller pieces in an effort to make her art accessible to all. She has hopes to work with local fashion designers or boutiques, showcasing their work on her flower head models. And, of course, there is no telling what may inspire her around the bend, resulting in a new and unexpected path for the creative soul. Wherever her unique mind takes her in the future, one thing is certain: witnessing the painter blossom into a household name in the Charleston art community will truly be a sight to behold. AM


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Body of Water A group of staff and volunteers at Water Missions; a child gets fresh water from a newly installed system

SOUTHERNSPOTLIGHT Wa t e r M i s s i o n

Thirsting for Change A North Charleston-based nonprofit is on a mission to change the world by Jana Riley

It’s a rainy day in Charleston, and in a large warehouse near Park Circle, the air is thick with productive energy. Employees work at desks, in conference rooms, and in a heavilyused production area, and volunteers are peppered about, lending their skills wherever

needed. There must be nearly a hundred people in the building, yet every single one of them seems to share a similar efficiency, gratitude, and understanding of the impact of their respective jobs; working together in this warehouse in North Charleston, they are saving lives and changing the world. This is the world headquarters of Water Mission. Water Mission is an aid organization dedicated to combating the global water crisis in both developing countries and disaster areas. Its story begins in 1998, when the owners of a local environmental engineering company felt compelled to help the victims of a devastating hurricane in Honduras. As Molly and George Greene prepared to write a check to send to the disaster-afflicted country, friends implored them to instead offer their engineering knowledge and connections, hopeful that the Greenes could come up with a solution to the increasingly poor water quality in Honduras. The couple obliged, and set to

work with their team of engineers to build a sustainable water treatment system for those in the disaster-stricken areas. After coming up with a viable solution, they brought six of their systems to Honduras and installed them in the communities that needed them most. At first, the locals were skeptical that the water from what they deemed the “river of death” was safe after treatment, but their fears were diminished when Molly Greene herself drank from the tap. The couple was deeply impacted by their journey to Honduras, and as they learned more about the global water crisis and the 1.8 billion people who lack access to clean water and sanitation, one thing became certain: they’d never be able to go back to their old lives again. They sold their environmental engineering company and started Water Missions International, later shortened to Water Mission, in 2001. In the 16 years since the Greenes founded Water Mission, the impact the couple has had on the world is truly immeasurable. Tasking themselves

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Thirsting for Change

with the responsibility of addressing one of the planet’s most monumental issues, the couple is notorious for not backing down from a challenge, and they have assembled an astonishing array of like-minded individuals to further their cause. Today, their company consists of over 250 staff members in ten different countries including in South and Central America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and of course, the United States. These team members have provided safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions for people in more than 50 countries over the years, bringing sanitation to over 128,000 people and safe water to over 3,300,000 people. At any given time, the organization has hundreds of projects underway, and countless individuals on the ground working to educate people all over the world.

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Water Mission sets three main focuses in their work: safe water, sanitation, and disaster response. When implementing their safe water initiatives, they use a five step approach: first, they develop a water source - be it spring, river, or drilled well. Next, they test the water and set up a treatment system. Then, they build a protected storage solution for the water, often going with a setup similar to a water tower. They also create access points to distribute the water and install solar panels to power the whole operation. All of their work is assisted by locals; carrying heavy equipment through impossible terrain, working with minimal tools at maximum efficiency, and utilizing the skills of all involved, it often truly takes a village to get the project completed. At the same time, Water Mission staff is educating the people of the surrounding areas on the importance of clean water, and helping the villages to set up bank accounts and plan for their financial future with the possibility of water taxes or fees now implementable by the residents. In doing so, Water Mission helps villages prepare for setbacks—a bad crop season, a flood—enabling them to use their saved money to rise above the issues, empowering them to dream bigger than they ever have. As they work on equipping people with safe water solutions, the Water Mission team also educates about sanitation. According to a recent study published in the Tropical Medicine and International Health journal, diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 per day, including 760,000 children. Other medical journals, including Environmental Health Perspectives and The Lancet, found that by improving water quality and increasing its quantity, a 45-85% reduction in diarrheal illness is possible, and simply introducing handwashing with soap can

reduce the illness by 42-47%. With those astronomically impactful numbers in mind, Water Mission staff works tirelessly to cross geographical and language divides to teach people about the importance of sanitary practices. They use flash cards, posters, translators, and other methods to get their messages across, and offer courses to women in rural areas, equipping them to educate their family and friends on how to prevent the spread of disease. As the second part of their mission, the focus on sanitation solutions has resulted in the development of the “Healthy Latrine,” a sustainable, freestanding bathroom that helps to contain human waste, reduce illness, and restore dignity to those who use it. Together with community members and volunteers, Water Mission has built over 20,000 Healthy Latrines all over the world, improving sanitation for over 128,000 people. Well Wishes Villagers carry buckets of clean water

Though the workload of the Water Mission team is large, that does not stop them from offering every ounce of support they can manage when a natural disaster strikes. Since the initial hurricane that was the catalyst for the whole organization, Water Mission has streamlined their disaster response operations, enabling them to help citizens acquire clean water after the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and more. Most recently, Water Mission was one of the first aid organizations on the ground in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria struck in 2017. Throughout their work, they continue to evolve and seek the best practices, making sure that they utilize their skills, knowledge, manpower, and money as efficiently as possible. Five years ago, the City of North Charleston gifted Water Mission with their current building and parking lot, enabling them to spend more time and money focused on their important work. The staff members embraced the gift, hanging flags in the lobby representing the 10 different countries where they have staff


members, setting up shop in the production room, and creating an informational walkthrough area complete with photographs, examples of the Healthy Latrine and water treatment systems, and important facts and figures. Support came from people and companies near and far, including a whole solar field donated by SolarWorld with the assistance of SMA America, Mountain View Solar, and dozens of volunteers. The solar field powers the building, allowing the money that would have been spent on energy costs to flow toward the organization’s important missions. Generosity is in abundance at Water Mission, not just in the way that the team members help people all over the world, but in myriad other ways. Volunteers come in droves whenever there is a call to help, and many come in daily, weekly, or monthly to help with tasks big and small around the headquarters and across the world. Churches often dedicate services to talking about Water Mission, and raise money constantly for the organization. Every year, fundraisers for Water Mission bring in donations from countless individuals, ensuring even more people can have access to clean water and sanitation solutions. Perhaps the most highly anticipated fundraiser each year is called the Walk for Water, an annual event inspired by the fact that millions of women and children walk an average of 3.5 miles a day to collect unsafe water. On the day of the event, participants carry a bucket or two along a roughly three mile course, stopping to fill it halfway in a symbolic recreation of the journeys undertaken by millions of people each day. The Walk for Water events, for which countless teams and individuals raise both awareness and money, happen all over the nation and help support the efforts of Water Mission worldwide.

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At its core, Water Mission is an earnest organization, one that is full of people who actively seek to save, change, and better the lives of their fellow citizens of earth. It is reputable and honest, even receiving a four star rating from charity watchdog group Charity Navigator, a top distinction shared by only one percent of rated charities. Water Mission is ever evolving, constantly looking for more efficient ways to use their time and money in an effort to have the maximum impact possible around the globe. Quite simply, Water Mission is good. It is a collaboration of the hearts and minds of genuine, caring individuals seeking to offer their help to those who need it. The dedicated service of these kind people results in a cleaner and better future for some of the world’s most overlooked people, all from this tiny corner of North Charleston, South Carolina. Nothing could be finer, indeed. AM Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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Curb Appeal Peter Nickle and Jeana Masula; patrons lined up for lunch

SOUTHERNSPOTLIGHT

The Icehouse

Sunday Funday Thanks to some creative thinkers at one of Summerville’s most adored restaurants, locals have an exciting, yet low key, weekend event option. by Jana Riley

In a world of connected disconnection, where relationships are maintained through apps, sites, and screens, there is something astonishingly refreshing about a good old-fashioned get together. When live music, delicious food, and friends both new and old combine, it is a beautiful thing. Bringing the community together in this way is the mission behind the recurring weekly event at the Icehouse in Summerville, a food truck rodeo of humble size packing in unlimited positive vibes. Earlier this year, Peter Nickle, who bartends Upstairs at the Icehouse, was working a whiskey tasting on a Sunday afternoon. The Icehouse is

typically closed on Sundays, and as he looked over the empty patio and bar area, he had an idea: why not open the patio and bar on Sunday, invite some food trucks, and have a musician play music for whoever shows up? He brought the idea to Woody, the owner of the Icehouse, who gave him the greenlight. Together with Jeana Masula, manager and social media consultant, Nickle planned out the first event. They lined up Rebel Taqueria food truck, set up the bar, and invited as many people as they could. After a few days of beautiful weather, the

day came, and...it rained. It was cold, wet, and utterly non conducive to an outdoor gathering, but the pair didn’t give up hope on the idea. They quickly planned a second event, which was a rousing success that went off without a hitch. “I am a huge food lover, and part of the reason I wanted to do this was to bring myself delicious food each week,” jokes Nickle. “Really, though, I wanted to give people in Summerville new options each week, and introduce them to different chefs and cuisines. I also wanted to Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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Sunday Funday

introduce the people who run the food trucks to the people of Summerville and give them a cool spot to set up. I think everyone really appreciates each other in this situation.” At first, the team at the Icehouse assumed the weekly event, which they called their food truck rodeo, would last for the duration of the spring season, but after seeing how popular it became week after week, they decided to keep going, Sunday after Sunday. Masula reached out to countless food trucks and mobile food stands, and as word spread among the food and beverage circuit, Summerville began to see food trucks that rarely venture so far outside of Charleston city limits. Local favorites such as Dashi, Roti Rolls, Cuban Gypsy Pantry, and Heidi’s Bohemian have all taken turns feeding the crowd, and many are on a scheduled rotation at the event. The Icehouse team tries to have both a sweet and savory option at the rodeo, and Donut Connection, Miss Katie’s Sweets, and frozen ice vendors are all crowd favorites. At first, getting food trucks interested in the fledgling event was a major hurdle, but these days, food vendors often are the ones reaching out to attend the event. As a result, the food truck rodeo at the Icehouse consistently brings a diverse array of cuisines to Summerville. While many various musical artists have played for the friendly crowd at the Sunday event, local artist Martin Butcher is the resident musician, scheduled more often than not. For Butch, as he is affectionately called by those who know him, playing the rodeo is truly a pleasure. “The atmosphere is worth more than anything Woody could pay me,” Butch says. “I just love it. It’s a really organic thing they have going on here that just feels like home.” Truly, the atmosphere is what the regulars come back to experience, no matter what the food vendors are serving up or who may be playing a set list. Exceedingly family-friendly, the patio at the Icehouse contains an area where kids love to play, an outdoor game set, and plenty of room to run around. Many people opt to bring well-mannered dogs, and the music seems to always be at just the right volume for both talking to friends and listening to the tunes. In the summer, misters run regularly to cool off the crowd, and heaters are planned for the cooler months. The inside of the Icehouse downstairs is always open, useful in the event of inclement weather. In the past, the event has hosted face painters, balloon twisters, and various local artisans, and has held special fundraising events 40 AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18

Open Air Fun for the whole family; different treats each week; the patio is a vibrant place to gather

when they feel led to do so. After hurricanes Irma and Harvey devastated areas near and far, Woody, Masula, Nickle, Butch, and countless others put together a relief benefit rodeo, where they held a raffle, had a dunk tank, and raised a large sum of money for the hurricane victims. They’ve also used the event to raise awareness and money for the Carolina Children’s Charity, and plan to spotlight other organizations in the future. For now, the Icehouse team plans to keep holding weekly events for as long as people keep attending, and have scheduled food vendors and musicians through the end of the year, with plans to continue on through the typically mild winter season into spring. Masula has no doubt that as more people come and check out the food truck rodeo, more people will become regulars who come back every week. “Many people don’t even know we are here,” says Masula, “and many who have only heard of the Icehouse don’t realize that we aren’t just the bar upstairs; we have a very family-friendly restaurant and patio. Once people come out and see what we have to offer, they love it, and I invite anyone who is curious to head on over and check us out.” Nickle agrees. “This is the place to go for a fun day out by yourself, with a partner, with your friends, or with your kids,” he says. “It’s just good food, great music, and a real sense of community. Whoever you are, we’ve got your ‘Sunday Funday’ covered.” AM The food truck rodeo at the Icehouse is held every Sunday from 12pm to 4pm. To find out more, visit www.theicehousesc.com and follow links to social media platforms.


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Sweet Dreams and Flying Monkeys

N AT U R A L WOMAN

When airborne primates are the alternative, counting sheep may be the better option by Susan Frampton

H

ave you ever awakened to the sight of an empty cereal bowl on the nightstand, wondering who in the name of Sam Hill has been eating cereal in your bed? Me neither.

Actually, I’m lying. The truth is that I occasionally wake to find milk dribbled down the front of my pjs, with no memory of going downstairs, pouring cereal and milk into a bowl, or going back up the stairs to eat it in bed.

“Did you get up last night and eat cereal?” my husband asked me the first time it happened, picking up the bowl and pointing to the soggy Special K cereal stuck to the spoon. “Of course not,” I adamantly replied, before noticing flakes on my shirt. “Um, on second thought, it’s entirely possible that I did.” Once upon a time, I was a very good sleeper. Mom said that as a child, I seldom made it to the city limits on family trips be-

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N AT U R A L WOMAN

fore conking out. As a teenager, I could sleep until noon on any given day. Even in my early twenties, sleep came easily. It was a gift that had followed me into marriage, and I assumed it was a gift that would keep on giving. I was wrong. Everything related to sleep changed for me the day we brought our baby daughter home from the hospital. I lay awake worrying about everything from when she’d get her first tooth to where she’d go to college. I woke to every sound or movement she made. She didn’t sleep through the night until she was two, and neither did I. But while she eventually learned to sleep, I forgot how it worked. As if in retribution for the time I slumbered so easily, my ability to catch forty winks morphed into a cycle of dozing for two hours and waking with an eye twitch. While I was counting obstinate sheep, researchers were making great strides in the sleep-aid department. By the time I finally gave in and sought relief, the doctor recommended a new medication that he promised would offer eight hours of REM sleep, with side effects that were few and “relatively rare.” I was skeptical. The first night sleeping soundly made me a believer. But a few months and a few empty bowls later, I read up on those “rare” side effects, and realized it was time to weigh a good night’s sleep and side order of cereal against sleepless nights and long, drowsy days. I bought more cereal and went back to sleep. My side effects were annoying and fattening, but I could live with them. I would later learn that everyone is different, timing is important,

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and “relatively rare” is a relative term. My mom couldn’t get the hang of when she was supposed to take the pill to help her sleep. She would take her nightly medicine, get distracted, and sit down on the sofa to watch television. My dad’s re-enactment of zombiewalking her from the living room was a hilarious, but cautionary tale of how quickly the drug acted on her. Once, she inadvertently reversed her morning and evening pills, and was sitting at the breakfast table reading the newspaper when Dad stepped out of the room. When he came back, she was face-down in the classifieds, sound asleep. He heartily endorsed her decision to discontinue the medication. My husband, whose sleep routine is putting his head on the pillow, was once prescribed medication because of nightly discomfort from a bad back. I had a bad feeling about it from the get-go, since he had once awakened from a shoulder surgery convinced that he had been fitted with a cow leg. He had been asleep for about a half hour when he sat straight up in the bed and angrily inquired why a monkey was dangling from a helicopter over the bed; specifically a girl monkey. Intrigued by the specifics of his hallucination, I asked how he knew the monkey was a girl. “Because she has on a dress!” he snapped. When I turned off the rotating blades of the ceiling fan, he was satisfied, but muttered incoherently about irresponsible primates for a good ten minutes. Once she got the hang of sleeping, my daughter could sleep anywhere. I could vacuum, play the tuba or run a bulldozer through

Etc.

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N AT U R A L WOMAN

her room without fear of waking her. But like her mother, she eventually hit the sleeping wall. She proved more like her father, however, regarding pharmaceutical intercession—going wideeyed and fearful of the imaginary people in the room, and pointing out birds moving about in the painting across the room. It’s a very short trip from wacky birds to flying monkeys, so we flushed her prescription, too.

I had a greatuncle who regularly fell asleep in midsentence.

It’s true that there are two sides to every coin. I had a great-uncle who regularly fell asleep in midsentence. It was pretty disconcerting, and proof of the downside to that extreme. In retrospect, he may have actually been faking it to tune out my chatty great-aunt, but no one was ever willing to ride with him, or let him operate heavy machinery. In light of stories I’ve heard about people taking sleeping medication and doing things like walking around in their boxer shorts to drop in on startled neighbors, wrecking cars, and robbing banks, my serial cereal compulsion seems like small potatoes in the side effects department. If that’s the worst of it, the benefits of sleep are worth the occasional bowl of Cheerios. But rest assured that the minute neighbors begin hinting about strange nocturnal visits, or monkeys start flying over the bed, I’ll give serious thought to going back to counting sheep. Well, maybe. AM


K ID S THESE D AY S

Cringe and Keep Going by Tara Bailey

I

I’m listening to my oldest daughter host her first radio show on her college station. She sounds like a natural, and hearing her voice live (well, on a slight delay) fills a mother's heart. Yet I couldn't help but notice that she accidentally played the same song two times in a row. She obviously noticed the same thing, as the twice-played song faded into another one, presumably when she realized the mistake. Other glitches followed here and there, which is to be expected during one’s first time at the controls. She texted me after each mistake saying, “I have no idea what’s happening. I don't know what I’m doing.” I texted back that of course she didn’t, these things can only be resolved through experience—and that it was okay. I also texted that I really liked the current song she was playing. She texted back, “Good, because I didn't mean to play it.”

Despite all of that, she was doing a great job; her voice was strong, and her music selections were fun and funky­even the ones she didn’t mean to play. It’s never pleasant to fumble in public, but the person who doesn’t cringe at remembering an embarrassing mishap is a person who doesn't get out in the world very much. Even staying safely inside is not without its perils. I recently had the displeasure of remembering once such awkward occasion when I was cleaning windows and noticed that a screen was missing from one of its frames. The screen has actually been gone for quite some time­twenty years, to be exact­but I rarely notice it. I guess we just don't open that window very much. The screen vanished one afternoon when I was hosting a wedding shower for a friend. Then a new bride myself, I had attended several bridal showers and even co-hosted a few,

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KIDS THESE D AY S

but I had never given one alone. This shower would be my first solo venture, and many of the guests were friends of the bride’s mother, fancy downtown Charleston ladies. If you're getting a sense of dread imagining what’s to come, then you’re good at recognizing foreshadowing. I was excited to use my silver but also borrowed a few serving pieces from my mother to make everything as nice as I could on my newlywed budget. My mom even contributed some food, which I drove three hours to pick up in order to impress my guests. I bought fresh flowers, created a beautiful table of treats, had chairs strategically arranged, and was ready and excited. The guest of honor, along with her mother and sister, were the first to arrive, and I took their coats and purses and placed them in a nearby bedroom. I did the same with each subsequent guest, and soon, elegant ladies had filled my house, making small talk while holding little plates of little food. We then sat around the bride and marveled at her gifts, and I remember thinking that I was glad this was almost over. But before I could complete that thought, a guest rose to leave and asked for her coat and purse. I was happy to oblige, thinking I would soon be able to relax and maybe snack on some leftovers, so I went to the bedroom where everyone’s things were kept. The bedroom door was locked. Somehow, I had accidentally locked the door handle and trapped everyone’s belongings inside the bedroom. Back then I was better at suppressing panic, so I just casually excused myself and went to find a tool to pick the lock. I used a number of kitchen utensils, to no avail. By then, a few other ladies were eagerly standing around the bedroom door like they were waiting for the Hale-Bopp comet. I smiled 48 AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18


and asked if anyone had a bobby pin. An obliging lady removed one from her coif, and I dug it around in the lock like I was fishing a splinter from my foot. No luck. By now the entire party had encircled me, offering kindly suggestions in refined South of Broad voices. “Dear, maybe you should remove the lah-ahck?” “Have you tried an ice pick? Do you have an ice pick?” “What time does your huz-bin get home?” Partly because I had no other ideas and partly because I needed to get away from everyone, I told the ladies I would be right back and ran outside to the bedroom window. I scrambled up to the pane and ripped the screen down, pushing the unlocked window open enough to hoist myself through. I then opened the bedroom door from inside like a magician, and all of the ladies gasped and cheered with surprise. I proceeded to pass out purses like Oprah and thanked everyone for their patience. My gracious friend and her mother embraced me and thanked me for the day. But I might as well have greeted everyone naked for how embarrassed and exposed I felt; I was red-faced for about three days. The next time I hosted a shower it went much more smoothly, though I obviously never replaced that screen. I share this story—and I have dozens more—to let my daughter know that today I hardly ever think of that embarrassing moment. However, I am in touch with my friend regularly, and we don't talk about our past mistakes but rejoice in each other’s lives. When I listen to my daughter’s voice on the air, I think only of how proud I am of her for getting out in the world, mistakes included. Life will inevitably embarrass you, but it’s a small price to pay for the returns. AM Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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The Vacation Revelation by Lili Hiser

T

his past summer, upon returning exhausted from a weekend getaway, my husband and I realized that the expectations we create for our trips are rarely—if ever—met. Weeks prior to our highly anticipated trip to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, I had researched the events calendar and had a list of highly praised restaurants to sample. I had visualized a trip exploring the coast while eating unique meals at local dives and shopping the artsy stores. One evening would be spent watching the kids enjoy their first fireworks show overlooking the beach, all while sharing approving glances with my husband. It was perfect—in my mind. In reality, after a day simply trying to survive the three-digit heat index followed by an evening of toddlers fighting over glow sticks, my husband and the three kids fell asleep in the hotel—before the fireworks had even begun. Having only eaten some packed snacks, I quietly escaped the room to hunt for an open restaurant. I eventually found a drive-thru and, after receiving my food, noticed the firework show starting in the distance. There, sitting in my vehicle and snacking on soggy fries, I watched the sky light up alongside the

fast-food cashier leaning out her window. I was disappointed by this anticlimactic moment, yet not surprised. When reflecting on vacations past, I recall some of our biggest obstacles: waiting hours for a locksmith to unlock the car, forgetting to bring my suitcase, at least half a dozen public vomiting stories and epic exploding diapers. Yet my husband and I remain true optimists, or maybe we suffer from traumatic amnesia because we continually book another vacation on a quest for memories—and memories we always get! Just never quite the memories we expect. I know my husband and I are not alone in our desire to escape the everyday norm and just relax. But this pursuit often proves so difficult! The majority of our challenges revolve around having young children, but others’ obstacles can be due to finances, physical limitations, illness, depleted vacation days, or any number of other restrictions. So what do we do? Because we cannot change our situation, we have a choice to either become bitter with our inability to travel or become better in our perspective of what defines a vacation. We had to change our thinking, which resulted in our vacation revelation. Neither

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LIFE & FA I T H

frequent flyer miles nor a trunk filled with suitcases have to be in the equation. Who says you have to go far—or even leave the house at all? In recent months, my husband and I have toured multiple destinations (Canada, Ireland, and England) all while sitting on the couch watching tourist documentaries and enjoying food to match the “vacation” theme of the evening. These vacations are the least stressed getaways because they require no passports, no long lines, and no screaming children (it’s past their bedtime). These kinds of “couch tours” take a little preparation, such as searching the internet for recipes and videos or getting DVDs from the library, but the adventure of it all scratches that travel itch and allows our minds to drift and de-stress in a way our physical vacations fail to do in this season of young children.

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Greg and I are learning to be content and find leisure in simplicity instead of sulking in our inability to travel far. Laying out a picnic in the rediscovered backyard, turning a humble bathroom into a “spa” with nice candles and soaps, or the entire family spending a day in pajamas playing board games and ordering take-out sometimes make our weekends at home the most enjoyable experiences. The rules are simple: put away the “to do list,” ignore the work emails, and forget about the household chores. The goal is simple, as well: to take a break from the daily grind that can, if unchecked, weather our bodies and spirits. Part of life’s work and play balance is to identify what brings you rejuvenation and take steps to make those things happen. Don’t live a life of wishing or waiting for that dream vacation to happen before you finally unwind. With some change of perspective and creative planning, relaxing “vacations” are achievable, and you really don’t have to look so hard to find them. AM Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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Local & South Carolina food products, including Charleston Tea Plantation, Gullah Gourmet, Sallie’s Greatest, Shealy’s, Charleston Gold Rice, Geechie Boy Grits, Young Plantations Pecans & more.

Sterling Silver w/Freshwater Pearls with Earthy Sterling Jasper Pendant; Labradorite Sterling Silver Earrings. Starting $20~$75. From My Favorite Things.

Jewelry Boxes. Upcycled Vintage Shabby Chic Jewelry Boxes. $24 and up. From My Nana’s Nook.

Locally created fused glass pieces both functional and artistic starting at $30. Each piece is unique. From Sass ‘n Glass.

Antiques & Artisans 2 Locations For Antiques, Vintage, Retro, Repurposed, Salvaged, and Primitive Finds, As Well As Crafts By Top-Notch Artisans Stunning bar. Mirrored back. Lots of storage. $9000. From Kudzu Keepsakes.

Zsa Zsa ~ Ole Hollywood Glam. Made with Green Colorized Swarovski Crystals. Set is $275; May be sold separately. From Beadin’ Down South.

Artfully handcrafted wood bow ties with adjustable strap. $75 & $95. From Parson’s Bench.

Vintage Gossip Bench. $165. Beautifully refurbished and offered by Serendipity Designs.

Adorable tu-tu picture frames for the princess or dancer in your life. $16 -$21.Many styles & colors available. From Wisteria Timeless Treasures.

Large selection of Revolutionary War and Civil War era artifacts. Coins, Bottles, Currency. From Addam’s Artifacts.

140-A W. Richardson Ave. Summerville, SC 29483

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843-900-5702 Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-5pm Sat 10am-5pm Sun 1pm-5pm

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Ceramic coasters and mug with images from Summerville & Charleston, past & present. $6.95-$10.95. From Atlantic Coasters & Pieces of Late.

Many fabulous antiques from South Carolina farms. Varying prices. From Susie’s Corner.


OpenHouse Watchdog Bowman keeping an eye on the grounds

House of Prayer Calling on a higher power for direction, Tim and Ranai Kennedy were led to the home where they would raise their family, in the heart of Summerville’s historic district by Susan Frampton photos by Dottie Rizzo


ne gets the idea that builder Henry Oliver knew a thing or two about construction when he bought the ¾ acre plot of land at the corner of Doscher and Taylor Streets in Summerville and built his home. The land, first deeded in 1811, had been held by auspicious hands, including Reverend Phillip Gadsden, the historic founder and first rector of St. Paul’s Summerville. After Henry Oliver bought the parcel in 1887, he would go on to follow in the Reverend Gadsden’s footsteps, to a point, shaping religious life in the Lowcountry as a builder of Charleston’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Though it would continue to be known as The Oliver House, the owners of the home would change many times over the next century, as would the names of the Summerville streets that flanked it. The pale yellow, late Victorian-era home now stands grandly at the corner of Charleston and Rutherford Streets; its distinctive mansard roof line and ornate trim making it a well-known and much-photographed ambassador of historic Summerville.

O

When Tim and Ranai Kennedy began their search for a home for their young family in 1995, both had a fascination with old homes, and had looked at a wide variety of houses from John’s Island, to Charleston, to Summerville. They were torn between the convenience of Charleston and the small-town, neighborhood feel of Summerville. “We didn’t want to be a family that moved,” says Tim, a commercial builder. “We knew that we wanted a place to put 56 AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18


Living History Clockwise from top left: The welcoming committee; the front entrance; the property has beautiful, mature oaks; a graceful fountain; a charming gazebo covered in creeping flora; a white grouping on the side porch

down roots and grow, a house that our children could always come home to.” They were down to the wire when Ranai confided their uncertainty to a friend, who asked the young woman of deep faith, “Have you prayed about it, Ranai? Have you really, really prayed about it?” And she did. The couple had a counter-offer pending on a house in Charleston when realtor Dan Beauchene took them to the Rutherford Street home. The contrast between the two locations was startling. College students peppered the sidewalk outside the Charleston home, their language far too salty for the ears of the Kennedys’ young children. “In Summerville,” says Ranai, “the birds were singing and flowers were blooming.” Beauchene said simply, “I know you’re looking at a house in Charleston, too. But this really is the perfect place to raise your family.” Ranai says that she knew in that moment that her prayers had been answered. “That’s it. I think God wants us to buy this house.” The house had been beautifully maintained, but had not been renovated since the mid-1970s, so the Kennedys set about making the changes that would update it for their growing family. The town and the neighborhood proved to be all that they had hoped for, with good schools that their children, Christopher, Matthew and Lizzie, could walk to, wonderful neighbors, and by


Warm Welcome The wrought iron gate on Taylor St.


Family Room Clockwise from top left: The formal living room; an elegant bouquet adorns the dining room table; the main hall; a bay window in the master bedroom; a perfect spot to watch the game; Tim and Ranai Kennedy; the bright and comfy living room; the newly remodeled kitchen. Opposite page clockwise: The back entrance; the family china; fresh blooms.

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LET US CATER YOUR EVENT

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Light Show Wild flowers on the kitchen island; the family room is flooded with natural light

From day one, the Kennedys envisioned the stages of their lives that would play out on lawn and brick walkways... happy coincidence, a church family at St. Paul’s Summerville, the church founded by Reverend Phillip Gadsden. From day one, the Kennedys envisioned the stages of their lives that would play out on lawn and brick walkways, and the most dramatic vision finally came true this past year, when son Christopher and his fiancÊ Holly chose the home as the site of their wedding. The event spurred the latest renovation of the house, one that added space and light and offers room enough for children and future grandchildren. The airy, white kitchen is lit by three bay windows original to the house, designed with squares of colored glass surrounding a clear, center panel. It


House of Prayer

provided the perfect setting for the home’s second appearance on the Dorchester Children Center’s Annual Scrumptious Kitchen Tour. The tour is one of the many worthy community projects to which Ranai has lent her leadership, and her understanding that the event provides the principal funding for the agency was a deciding factor for the couple to open up their home.

December 1-17

...the Kennedys look forward to making many more happy memories on the wide porches and in the happy halls of their corner of historic Summerville... With their two youngest children still at home, the Kennedys look forward to making many more happy memories on the wide porches and in the happy halls of their corner of historic Summerville, and to continuing to give back to the community that has brought their family such joy. Truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. From Psalms 66:19, the words speak to the truth of the power of prayer. It is a truth that Tim and Ranai Kennedy trusted in when they turned to the wisdom of a higher power to guide them, leading their family to Rutherford Street, and a home that is in its truest sense, a house of prayer. AM

Get your tickets today for these upcoming shows.

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A Z A L E A

M A G A Z I N E

F E AT U R E S

A NOVEL L O O K AT SOUTHERN FOOD p g. 6 6

CAMP E AT I N G p g. 7 6

BRIDGING THE GAP p g. 8 4

SHARP FOCUS p g. 9 0

Hot Chick Deviled Egg with Pepper Jelly & Bacon


Golden Brown Fried pickled okra with Dijon mustard and crushed red pepper

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foreword by C A S S A N D R A K I N G photos by D O T T I E R I Z Z O

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The Help (Deviled Eggs)

Deviled Eggs with Pepper Jelly & Bacon


A Gracious Plenty by

C AS S AN D R A K I N G

M

y paternal grandmother’s family came from St. Gallen, Switzerland, to settle in the deep south, where most of them would end up farming the land. My grandmother, who was raised a Southern lady through and through, had a wonderful saying when she welcomed guests to her table: “Please help yourself. We have a gracious plenty.” For me, that saying is the essence of Southern hospitality. It sums up all my memories of gathering around the table to share a meal—whether it be a cozy family supper, a celebratory feast, a scrumptious holiday spread, or a festive night on the town at a special restaurant. There was always a gracious plenty of family and friends, but even more so, of food. Although it’s the occasion that brings us together, in the South it’s always about the food. We have plenty and we share graciously, or not at all. I was fortunate to be raised on a farm which had been in the family for generations. By necessity, we were into the farm-to-table movement before it was cool. Everything we ate, we grew—vegetables, fruit, berries, poultry, pork, beef, fish. Harvest was a time of celebration, when neighbors called each other to say they had a bumper crop of butterbeans, field peas, tomatoes or peaches. Come over, was the cry. We have a gracious plenty. Sometimes it was harvest of a different kind: My father would drive down to the coast and return with oysters, shrimp, or saltwater fish. He’d bring back enough to share for a neighborly oyster roast, or a fish fry, served up with dishpans of hushpuppies and coleslaw. A lot of pride went into the preparing and presentation of food. Cooks sought to outdo each other at occasions like

family reunions and church suppers, much to everyone’s delight. Whose pies had the highest meringue or the flakiest crusts? Which chicken was fried to a crispy perfection, and which buttermilk biscuits the fluffiest? The cook’s reward comes more from the enjoyment their special dishes brings to others than from the accolades. The preparation and sharing of food is the Southern way of showing love and grace to one another.

Things have changed since those days when most Southerners lived off the land, yet the essence of hospitality in the South remains the same.

Things have changed since those days when most Southerners lived off the land, yet the essence of hospitality in the South remains the same. We invite friends and family to sit with us and have a meal. It doesn’t matter if it’s in our home, on a picnic table, at a church supper, or a newly-discovered restaurant. The point is to get together to share food and good times. We tell stories, and many of them center around shared memories of food. Maybe the hostess serves up a dish that’s her take on an old family recipe. Or the chef of the new restaurant learned to cook at his grandmother’s knee. We might recall the last time we were together, and what we ate that was so good. Even the disasters turn out to be fun in the retelling. Whatever the memory, we want to hear the story. In the South, food memories always come with a story. And here, we have a gracious plenty of both. AM

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Secret Life of Bees (Okra)

Fried Pickled Okra


To Kill A Mockingbird (Pound Cake)

Praline Pecan Pound Cake

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Gone With The Wind (Collard Greens)

Collards & Rice Pot Liquor Soup

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To Kill A Mockingbird (Whisky & Lemonade)

Whisky Ginger Lemonade

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Recipes DEVILED EGGS WITH PEPPER JELLY AND BACON Ingredients 6 slices bacon, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 10 hard boiled eggs 3 oz cream cheese, softened 3 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tsp Dijon mustard ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar Pinch of salt Cayenne pepper Rina’s Mild Pepper Jelly Pepper to taste Crushed red pepper (optional) Preparation

Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cut eggs in half and remove egg yolks. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and cayenne. Mix well. Stir in 2-3 tbsp Rina’s Mild Pepper Jelly and mix well. Set aside 20 pieces of the cooked bacon pieces and stir the rest into the egg yolk mixture. Evenly spoon the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Garnish eggs with a piece of bacon and a drop of pepper jelly. Sprinkle cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper over top of eggs.

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FRIED PICKLED OKRA Ingredients Vegetable oil for frying 1 cup yellow self-rising cornmeal mix ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp ground red pepper ¼ tsp seasoned salt ¼ tsp ground black pepper 2 16-oz jars pickled okra, halved lengthwise, ½ cup juice reserved 1 large egg Dijon mustard Preparation

In a cast iron skillet, pour oil to a depth of 1½ inches. Heat oil over medium heat to 350°. In a shallow dish, combine cornmeal mix, flour, garlic powder, red pepper, seasoned salt, and black pepper. In a separate bowl, combine reserved pickled-okra juice and egg, whisking to combine. Dip pickled okra into egg mixture, then dredge in cornmeal mixture. Place in oil and fry in batches for 2-4 minutes per batch or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Dijon mustard. PRALINE PECAN POUND CAKE Ingredients 4 sticks unsalted butter, softened 3½ cups sugar 10 eggs, room temperature 4 cups flour, sifted

1½ tbsp vanilla extract 1¼ cups pecans, finely ground 1 cup buttermilk Topping: 1 cup lite brown sugar, packed 5 tbsp butter ¼ cup milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1½ cups powdered sugar ¾ cup pecans, chopped Preparation For Cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Pulse the pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Set aside. In a large bowl, add the butter and blend with hand mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix. Once all eggs are added, add the flour and ground pecans and mix until blended. Stir in the vanilla extract and buttermilk. Pour into a well greased bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes on middle rack or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Once finished baking, set aside and allow to slightly cool and then turn onto a cooling rack or plate and allow to finish cooling completely. For Topping: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar and milk and stir. Bring to a rapid boil over medium heat and allow to boil for a minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and pecans. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Allow cooling for 5 minutes.


While the glaze is still loose, pour on top of pound cake. Allow the icing to set and serve.

COLLARDS AND RICE POT LIQUOR SOUP Ingredients 4 liters water 2 smoked neckbones (can substitute 2 bone in pork chops) 1 large bundle collard greens 1 tbsp + 2 tsp salt ¾ tsp pepper ¼ cup + 1 tbsp white vinegar 3 tbsp sugar ¼ tsp garlic salt 1 cup white rice Rina’s Chow Chow Preparation Pour 4 liters of water into large stock pot. Add 2 smoked neckbones or 2 pork chops. Heat on mediumhigh until boiling. Wash greens well. Cut each leaf vertically down both sides of stem. Remove stem and discard. Roll 4-5 leaves together at a time and cut into 1 inch strips. Once all leaves are cut, add to stock pot. Stir in salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar, and garlic salt. Turn down to low, cover and cook 2 hours. Remove neckbones or bones from pork chops. Add white rice and continue to cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Spoon into bowl and top with 1 tsp of Rina’s Chow Chow.

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

WHISKY GINGER LEMONADE Ingredients (makes 8 cups) ¾ cup granulated sugar ¾ cup water 1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice (from approximately 6 lemons) ½ cup fresh mint leaves 2/3 cup whisky 6 cups ginger ale Additional lemon slices (for garnish) Preparation In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water and heat over medium heat. Heat until sugar dissolves into water and mixture is clear. Simmer 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat. Add lemon juice, mint leaves, and Bourbon, then let mixture cool. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a large pitcher to remove solid particles and mint leaves. Add ginger ale and stir to combine. Add ice, lemon slices, fresh mint leaves, and serve cold. (Optional) To add a bit of sweetness, add a bit of water, to a shallow plate. To another shallow plate, add coarse white sugar. Dip the open end of glasses onto the liquid plate, then onto the sugar plate to create the sugar rim. AM

- Mark Twain

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AS IT HAS FOR OVER 100 YEARS, THE ANNUAL CAMP MEETING OUTSIDE ST. GEORGE PROVIDES NOURISHMENT FOR BODY AND SOUL, ENCOURAGING WORSHIPPERS TO PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE CHICKEN by S U S A N F R A M P T O N photos by D O T T I E R I Z Z O


Country Fried This page: Frying up a fresh batch of fried chicken. Opposite: a tent at Indian Field Camp Meeting

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The day is hotter than usual for October. On a remote plot of land a few miles north of St. George, the afternoon sun is a tangible force, relentlessly beating down on the tin roofs of the unpainted wooden structures that form a circle. Dust from the dirt road hangs in the air without a breath of wind to move it along. It is the first time in many years that I have been here, and though the faces around me are different, it is as though time itself has been suspended since my last visit. Ninety-nine cabins stand shoulder to shoulder on the hard-packed soil to form the framework for Indian Fields Methodist Camp Ground, and to provide shelter for the families and friends that gather annually for the collective religious experience known as Camp Meeting. Founded nearby prior to 1810, the camp moved to its present location in 1938, and its numbered “tents” have passed from generation to generation since their construction in 1848. Initially established in rural areas to provide common meeting space for small communities where physical churches were few, Camp Meeting has continued as a revered week-long tradition each October. The simple dwellings are all constructed similarly, with the dining room providing the common area, and usually one long table that seats around two dozen diners. Most have a single bedroom downstairs to accommodate anyone that cannot climb the stairs to a honeycomb of rooms, each with enough built-in bunk beds to sleep a village. The front porch of each cabin faces a grassy, pine-shaded area where an open-air tabernacle with seating for 1,000 stands awaiting the guest speakers that will rejuvenate the spirit of participants. The close proximity of the structures to each other encourages an unhurried atmosphere of community that is rare in an age of hustle and bustle. It is a delightful step back to a slower pace. Neighbors, friends and family reconnect as snippets of conversation drift from doorways. Young mothers cradle infants, and old-timers smile with remembrance of years past. Free from the distraction of electronics and the limits of concrete sidewalks, children swarm like bees in the open space. Numbers pinned to the back of their shirts help identify the tent where each should be returned at mealtime or the end of the day. A gaggle of youngsters turning cartwheels and flips forms a circle of 80 AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18

worry when one of their own twists an ankle and goes down. They fan his red, sweaty face until someone comes running—most likely an aunt, cousin or mother, and he quickly recovers to rejoin the fun. Teenagers promenade in groups of four or five, and it is easy to imagine their great-parents walking the same Traditional Meals paths, dressed in their Sunday best. Top row: Fresh and hot fried chicken; the Jordans gather for supper; families mingle in the late afternoon. Middle row: Fresh and hot fried chicken; Ms. Debra Davis; dinner is served. Bottom row: Giving thanks; the back of the tents; made with love

If faith is at the forefront of this gathering, food is not far behind. On the back side of each primitive tent, open-air kitchens steam and sizzle with ageless flavors that have drawn joyful “Hallelujahs” from generations of worshippers. They are the center of a flurry of activity this afternoon as local cooks, some of whom have cooked for the same families for many years, prepare the evening meal. Cast iron cauldrons bubble furiously on the flat surface of brick woodfired stoves, and floured chicken is swallowed up by boiling oil. The unmistakable perfume that rises above it is the sensory signature of Camp Meeting. The tantalizing scent is weighty enough to touch and I’m tempted to stick out my tongue to taste it in the air. Ms. Rosa Rulack has been an institution at the stove of Tent # 27 for 15 years. “If they don’t call me, I call them,” she says, proudly raising the lids of the simmering pots in her kitchen to reveal the Southern classics that will feed over 25 people tonight. When I ask her specialty, she answers without hesitation, “Anything you want. I just love to cook.” It is only the second year for Ms. Debra Davis, a few tents down, but the crinkle-cut rutabagas she slides into the pan prove that she has already made the kitchen her own. A love for cooking is the resounding motivation of the ladies of the ladle, and one can imagine that there is


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Southern Fried Ms. Rosa Rulack shows off her famous chicken; tools of the trade


an unspoken competition for bragging rights for their various specialties. Most tents serve only the evening meal, but the families that take the week off to stay on-site enjoy three meals a day.

Field Feast An array of Southern favorites; one of the highlights is the nightly sherbet

It is dinner time, and I’ve been invited to join the Jordan family in Tent #24 for the evening meal. “Faith, family, friends, and food—that’s what Camp Meeting is all about,” says Mrs. Miriam Jordan, whose family has occupied this tent for over 40 years. As soon as “amen” sounds at the end of the blessing, heaping platters begin to make their way around the table. Sliced ham and pulled pork, tomatoes and cucumbers, rice with rich brown gravy, grits, macaroni and cheese, and fruit salad are passed from one end to the other. The conversation is easy, and the spirit of Mrs. Jordan’s words is evident in the family’s collective embrace of a newcomer in their midst. And then, the stars of this cooking show appear on the table, fresh from their baptism by fryer. The golden fried chicken that I have followed with my nose all afternoon is finally a reality on my plate, along with fried pork chops and fried side meat—thick cut slices of bacon, dredged in flour and deep fried. Praise the Lord and pass the side meat—if there is a restaurant in heaven, I am positive this culinary phenomenon will be on the menu. Ms. Johnnie Mae Riley has run this kitchen for 32 years. She and Ms. Mary Hart—a relative newcomer of only 14 years, are the hands behind the platters and bowls, which like the miraculous loaves and fishes, never seem to run out.

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I am tucked into the table amidst at least four generations of the Jordan family, and when the desserts began to appear it is my fervent prayer that the laws governing cholesterol are suspended for this meal, sodium has the day off, and sugar has no power. Caramel, red velvet, and chocolate cakes are dished up,

along with a huge bowl of banana pudding set aside for me to take to my husband. Despite having eaten the equivalent of a week’s calories, the experience is not complete without a trip to the stand where Archie Braxton’s whirling machine cranks out his


family’s secret recipe for orange sherbet. The icy, once-a-year treat is a Camp Meeting tradition and a perfect finish to the day. The air begins to cool as night falls on the circle of tents, and little ones are rounded up to get ready for bed. Though it is hard for

me to even contemplate another meal, in the kitchen of Tent #24, where the pots and pans hang, washed and waiting for the coming day, Mrs. Jordan, Ms. Johnnie Mae and Ms. Mary sit planning the menu. As the weekend approaches, they will come

from far and near for this time-honored tradition of faith, family, friends and food. Honored to have sat at their table, I bid goodnight to my gracious and generous new friends, and leave Camp Meeting with both body and soul nourished—with an open invitation and a grateful heart. AM

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f e . th h e at Gr f ow oo . Fo d ea te od Car n in South olin a t

t

o t a en t c s e r pe he ng t n te in cha n ha th o Less t n wi t Caro lina is grow aims

by S U S A N F R A M P T O N

photography by D O T T I E R I Z Z O

by JANA RILEY ph ot os by DOTTIE RIZZO & Andrew Cebulka


Green Space A naturally lush entrance

Local Bounty This page: Local sweet potatoes. Opposite:A fresh dish from Butcher & Bee

Dr. and Mrs. Dwight Beavers’ country home is an unexpected gem in a setting designed by nature

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Farm Fresh This page: GrowFood Carolina general manager Sara Clow. Opposite clockwise: Wabi Sabi Farms in Cordesville; working the land at Lowland Farms; Clow in one of the refrigerators at GrowFood; fresh red onion

t began as a vision from the executive director of the Coastal Conservation League, Dana Beach. Since founding the organization in 1989, Beach and his team have accomplished amazing things across the region, protecting millions of acres from overdevelopment. Beach imagined a future for the Lowcountry, a place consisting of a dense urban core surrounded by a flourishing greenbelt, protected from urban sprawl. The team at the Coastal Conservation League has worked tirelessly to head in the direction of such a vision, and while doing so, have identified many productive landscapes within the prospective and established greenbelt: family farms. In order for the farmed land to remain undeveloped by larger entities, the farmers have to keep growing, keep selling, and resist offers from real estate giants; a tall order for many rural families struggling to make ends meet. In 2007, the Coastal Conservation League decided to increase programs, and added, among other things, a focus on Food and Agriculture. During their information-gathering phase for this new program, team members from the Coastal Conservation League applied a grassroots effort to their work, visiting farmers and discussing the issues that threaten their ability to maintain their green, productive landscapes within the greenbelt surrounding Charleston. Time and again, the same issue came up: farmers often had trouble managing the gap between themselves and the community. The more digging the Coastal Conservation League did, the more they realized it came down to one thing: infrastructure. The farmers, toiling in their fields all day, simply did not have the time, money, or experience to market themselves and get consistently connected with restaurants, grocery stores, and institutions. They needed a bridge, so the Coastal Conservation League built it for them, establishing GrowFood Carolina that same year. For a number of years, growth was slow and steady as the Coastal Conservation League tried to pin down exactly how GrowFood Carolina could operate most efficiently. In 2011, a longtime supporter of the Coastal Conservation League bought a building on Morrison Drive in Charleston

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and donated it, and GrowFood quickly moved in. The organization conducted a nationwide search for a person who truly embodied their mission, someone who could help create a powerful business plan. Enter Sara Clow, a New England-born former West Coaster who left her home in California to take the job with GrowFood. With the addition of the building and Sara Clow to the project, the impact of GrowFood Carolina has exploded, changing the landscape of food in the state more every day. Under the leadership of Clow, GrowFood Carolina now operates as a food hub, a USDA-defined term that means, essentially, an organization that works to move local food products in efficient ways. At GrowFood, this translates into moving produce, dairy, nuts, salt, honey, and grains from the fields and farms to restaurants, retailers, and institutions. “We look like a wholesale produce company on paper,” says Clow, “But we are really a service organization, especially for farmers. We bring the value back to the farmers and back to local food. We help the farmers maximize their acres and their profits so they can stay on their land, so their land is not used for improper development.” Crucial to the organization’s mission is building a relationship with farmers, and the GrowFood team works with over 85 to date. They visit every one of the farms with which they work, getting to know the land, the workers, and the family. Regularly, they sit down with the farmers and have a crop production planning meeting, counseling them on the types and quantities of crops they should plant in order to maximize their profits in the coming seasons. Diversity is key, so the GrowFood team suggests variations on commonly grown produce. The result: instead of dozens of local growers trying to sell, for instance, yellow squash, some of them will grow zucchini, some will grow patty pan squash, and some will grow yellow squash according to the recommendations of GrowFood Carolina. In doing so, the value of the produce increases, and GrowFood is able to bring a wider array of products to the buyers. When the time is right, GrowFood issues purchase orders to the farmers, and after harvest, the farmers, traveling from all over the state, deliver their crops to the warehouse on Morrison Drive. Everything is inspected and boxed up, and a sticker listing the name and location of the farm is affixed to each box before being stored in their coolers, aiding in single-source traceability and helping to build each farmer’s brand. All the while, the GrowFood team is working on sales, marketing, and preparing for distribution. Some of the product is presold, but most of the time, GrowFood sends availability lists to chefs and retailers, who then order what they’d like to feature that week. Their current distribution radius for their delivery


vehicles is thirty miles, but they work with partners to get the produce and other goods to cities and states far beyond the limit. After loading up the trucks, the product gets delivered: some boxes will go to food trucks, while others will go to award-winning upscale restaurants downtown such as Husk. Some will make it into the hands of produce workers at grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and Harris Teeter, while others will be handed to the cafeteria staff at the College of Charleston. At many of the destinations, the proprietors proudly list the farms from which they receive products, helping to place an emphasis on the value of locally produced items. The GrowFood team only keeps twenty percent of the sales revenues to keep up its operations; eighty percent is returned to the farmers. Time and again, studies both scientific and anecdotal have shown that thriving local food systems are exceptionally beneficial to their communities. When fresh food grows locally, the personal health of the area’s citizens is measurably better than in food deserts. Farmers tend to be better stewards of the land in comparison to large developers and corporations, and lessening the number of miles food has to travel from farm to fork is always beneficial to the environment. Additionally, productive farms aid in the health of the rural economy, creating job opportunities in areas that may be struggling. Without a doubt, the efforts of GrowFood Carolina are overwhelmingly positive, and the organization has returned over 3.5 million dollars to small and mid-sized farmers across the state. “We eat 11 billion dollars worth of food in South Carolina each year,” says Clow. “Less than ten percent of that is South Carolina-grown. For every percentage point we can increase that number, millions of dollars flow back into our economy. So a locally-grown tomato may be a few cents more expensive than a tomato picked green in another country, artificially ripened, and shipped in, but really, isn’t it worth it to put that money back into our communities, and into the pockets of these South Carolina farmers, some of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet? You can bet it’s more delicious.”AM Growing Green This page: Microgreens at GrowFood Carolina; Kenneth ‘Skinny’ Melton at Lowland Farms, fresh local plates at Butcher & Bee. Opposite: Rustin Gooden of Bulls Bay Saltworks

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Team Building Members of the Meadors team take a break for quick photo outside of the cabinetry and millwork workshop

photo provided

AM


A Cut Above Middleton sharpens a blade; a chef's knife ready for the kitchen


J AN A RIL EY phot os by DOTTI E RIZ ZO by

A R URAL SOUTH CAROL INA K NIFEM AK ER H O N ES H IS TAL ENTS W HIL E CREATING HIGHLY SO U GHT- AF TER C U L INARY T OOL S


"I HAD A DREAM. GOD TOLD ME TO MAKE Quintin Middleton is tenacious, a man who developed a passion, cultivated it, pursued it relentlessly, and made something incredible of his life, reaching and inspiring people near and far with his talent and story. As the skilled artisan behind Middleton Made Knives, Middleton makes high-quality chef knives for some of the top names in the business. Driven and dedicated, he is one to watch as he ascends higher into his personal and professional successes. Currently a resident of St. Stephen, Middleton was born and raised in rural South Carolina. After high school, he began pursuing further education to be an aircraft mechanic while working at a knife and cigar shop in Northwoods Mall. One fateful day, Master Bladesmith Jason Knight came in to purchase a katana. The two struck up a conversation, and Quintin Middleton learned that Jason Knight made knives for a living. Middleton had always fostered a passion for knife and sword making, but assumed it would, at best, remain a hobby. For the first time, it struck Middleton that one could support a life and family as a knifemaking artisan. Recognizing an opportunity to learn from a master, he asked Knight if he could teach him how to make knives. Knight was reserved about offering free lessons to a relative stranger, and told Middleton that he could come to the house to observe, which Middleton did with great enthusiasm. At Knight’s workshop, the bladesmith gave Middleton a piece of steel to make a knife, in an effort to gauge the younger man’s skill level. Middleton quickly produced a sword, proving to Knight that while he had much to learn, he was a self-taught, eager apprentice. Indeed, Middleton had already set up shop in a shed at his mother’s house in Alvin, South Carolina, where he would practice techniques until his fingers were numb. Located right next to his mother’s washing machine and dryer, the makeshift workshop created a mess all over the clean clothes every time Middleton sharpened or ground 94 AZALEAMAG.COM Winter 2017-18

metal, but his family supported his work all the same, no matter how skeptical they may have felt at the beginning. “I’d get inspiration, and I’d run out in my robe and just start grinding away,” Middleton remembers. “A lot of people thought I was crazy, but no one tried to stop me. They knew I was passionate about it.” In Jason Knight’s workshop, Quintin Middleton soaked in any and all advice the Master Bladesmith was willing to share while he worked metal into beautiful blades. Middleton watched every move Knight made, asking questions and taking mental notes on techniques and tools used. Often, he found himself back in his own workshop after visiting with Knight, perfecting skills and attempting new ideas. After a year of hosting Middleton as an observer, getting to know him, and taking him in as a brother, Knight finally trusted the young man on his powerful machines, and Middleton’s skills flourished. For the next few years, the pair often worked side by side, creating, learning, and sharing while working on hunting knives, swords, and the like. Eventually, Middleton found his own path in the world of bladesmithing and knifemaking. As a minister and deeply spiritual man, Middleton has always found truth in dreams, and this time, it was no different. “Right before I got married,” Middleton remembers, “I had a dream. God told me to make chef ’s knives. I said, ‘Ok God, but how do I make them?’ It was never my focus, so I didn’t even know where to start at first.” Middleton quickly came up with a plan. He began poring over photos of chef ’s knives, saving the ones that were visually appealing to him. Then, he made a long list of chefs in Charleston, and called


Looking Sharp Left to right: Quinton Middleton, knives with handles made of old whisky barrels; a set of new oyster shuckers

being talked about all over town. A locally-based regional magazine reached out, and the interview catapulted him to fame. He started getting orders to make knives for famous chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Mario Batali, and of course, Sean Brock. No matter who placed an order, Middleton took the same great care and attention to detail, crafting a high carbon steel knife to their exact specifications. For Middleton, the long road to success resulted in something past his wildest dreams, but those who love him were unsurprised. “In the middle of trying to make all of this work, I lost my full time job and then, my second child was born,” remembers Middleton. “We were barely making ends meet. I wanted to just throw myself into the knifemaking and use it to support us, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it work financially. I said to my wife, ‘Babe, I don’t know if I can do this.’ And she said, ‘You believe in yourself, and I believe in you. Go for it.’ So I did.”

CHEF'S KNIVES." every last one of them, offering to make and sell them a custom knife. Each and every one of them turned him down. Middleton was disheartened, but never one to accept defeat, he tried a new strategy. He called Chef Craig Deal at Cypress Restaurant for the second time that day, and quickly explained his vision: to make the highest quality locally made chef ’s knives Charleston had ever seen. Middleton asked Deal if he would be willing to help develop a knife, and Deal agreed, asking him to come in on a particular date and time. Middleton was thrilled, and channeled his exuberance into his work, producing a set of the best chef ’s knives he could make. He brought them to Cypress Restaurant and presented them to Chef Deal and his team, and...it didn’t go well. “They looked like disappointed kids on Christmas,” says Middleton. “They were picking up the knives and quickly putting them down, saying they were cool while their eyes said something completely different. I asked Chef Deal what he honestly thought, and he said he didn’t like them. He said they were too heavy, too thick, and the balance was completely off. It was tough to hear, but I needed it. I was an amateur, and he was giving me real talk to help me improve.” With the feedback of the kitchen team in mind, Middleton went back to his workshop to create a new prototype. He brought it back to Chef Deal, who admitted it was an improvement, but that it still needed work. The process repeated until finally, Middleton produced a knife that made all of the kitchen staff happy. It was swiftly purchased by one of the Cypress team members, and Middleton walked out feeling like a million dollars. Chef Deal and the rest of the kitchen staff began to spread the word about Middleton’s knives to their friends in Charleston, and suddenly, Middleton was

Middleton’s mother is also one of his strongest supporters. From the beginning, when the metal dust from his grinder was covering all of her freshly-laundered sheets, to now, when he’s being interviewed for international magazines and rubbing elbows with culinary elite, she has always been by his side. Her support led to her making custom sheaths for Middleton’s knives, which are as beautiful as they are functional. For Middleton, the sheaths handmade by his mother reinforce the ethos of his mission. “I want everything regarding my knives to feel personal,” he explains. “I spend so much time with each piece, turning it over in my hands and working on it until it is perfect. Then, my mom makes the sheath. From our perspective, it really feels like our family is sending you love, and in that way, I hope the love touches as many people as possible.” Now, seven years after Middleton truly began his journey, his business is a household name in many important circles. He has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Vogue Italy, Tasting Table, Food and Wine Magazine, Saveur Magazine, and more. His creations stock the knife rolls of some of the greatest chefs in the world. He has branched out, offering beautiful oyster knives and unveiling a new economy line this past fall. The new line, called “Echo,” makes Middleton-designed knives more affordable for chefs of all skill levels. The expansion is another step toward a long-held dream of Middleton’s: to eventually be able to build a factory and employ people in his community. “I want to continue to build my brand and notoriety to the point that it can support a factory,” says Middleton. “Your reputation speaks for itself, and I want the type of reputation where people will support a decision like that, because they know I will follow through. I am confident I’m headed that way.” In the nearer future, Middleton hopes to open a brick and mortar store in Charleston or Summerville, where he will sell his products and offer knife sharpening services. With his outgoing and personable demeanor, awe-inspiring talent, and focused mind, the sky's the limit for Quintin Middleton. AM Winter 2017-18 AZALEAMAG.COM

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HOLIDAY LIGHTS DRIVING TOUR

NOVEMBER 24 TO DECEMBER 30 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 24-26)

Santee Cooper HQ and Old Santee Canal Park | Moncks Corner, S.C.

HOLIDAY FAIRS Dec. 2-3, Dec. 8-10, Dec. 15-17 & Dec. 22-23

Moncks Corner Regional Recreation Complex 418 East Main St., Moncks Corner

W W W. C E L E B R AT E T H E S E A S O N . O R G


TH E SOCIAL

SOCIALS, CAUSES, AND COMMUNIT Y

Sweet Tea Half Marathon The 13.1 miles began in the center of Historic Summerville, taking runners through lovely historic neighborhoods, and ending back in the center of town. Runners enjoyed live entertainment along the route. The race benefited a Fire and Police benevolent fund, as well as Dorchester County EMS. photos by P A T R I C K B A I R D


VILLAGE P OET

The Widest Table by Ellen E. Hyatt

We’ll start with pitchers of water. Water will cleanse palates, connect us to lands we’ve learned by birth, geography lessons in fourth grade, or travel. “Water,” Emerson wrote, “understands Civilization well.” At a round table—like King Arthur’s or your sister’s—devoid of sharp edges and seats of status, we’ll raise our glasses to one another. We’ll call to passers-by: “Please, come join us. Pull up a chair.” We’ll pass baskets of bliss and breads: bagels, Gullah biscuits, dinkelbrot, and naan; Hokkaido milk rolls, lavash, pita, arepe, and rusks; ficelle, tortillas, injera, and scones. We’ll try ideas and hummus, lox, poi, pimento cheese, or gingered soy. We’ll hear (and listen to) each backstory of chicken noodle soup, gumbo, bisque, avgolemono, minestone, and menudo. Their comfort heals what ails. With our appetites whetted for ritual and understanding, we’ll know. We’ll know what America needs now is neither greatness nor love. Not yet. What America needs to prep for stepping into a fresh year is this round table readied for respect and repast and for you, you, and more.

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Award-Winning Orthopaedic Care in Your Neighborhood. Charleston’s winning choice for orthopedic surgery and pain management moved in next door. Our Clements Ferry full service orthopaedic and pain management center is inclusive of experienced orthopaedic surgeons, EMG/Nerve Conduction, diagnostic and DME. Call Lowcountry Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine now to get seen fast and schedule an appointment today.

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David H. Jaskwhich, MD | Don O. Stovall, Jr, MD | Eric S. Stem, MD | James J. McCoy, Jr, MD | Keith J. Santiago, MD | Richard H. Zimlich, MD | Shailesh M. Patel, MD William E. Wilson, MD | Adam Schaaf, MD | Christopher A. Merrell, MD | James D. Spearman MD | Joel R. Cox, Jr, MD | William S. Corey, MD | F. Patterson Owings, MD


styled by Margie Sutton, makeup by Neeley Israel photographer Taylor Kennedy

Profile for Azalea Media

Azalea Magazine Winter 2017-18  

Modern Living in the Old South

Azalea Magazine Winter 2017-18  

Modern Living in the Old South