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Charleston Sets the Bar for the Southern Food Revival

The Vendue

A Story on Every Plate

‘Sweetheart of the Center Ring’ oil on canvas By John C. Doyle


125 Church Street ∼ Charleston, SC 29401 ∼ 843-577-7344 ∼

Celebrate the grandeur of wildlife with this whimsical collection from Vietri. 1000 William Hilton Pkwy • Hilton Head, SC 29928 (843) 785-7171 •






8 Editor’s Letter

9 Contributors


Off the Docks

Life in the Lowcountry

14 Whiteboot Heroes Meet the Locals

38 Gatherings Thanksgiving By the Sea

18 Vanishing Fleet Oyster Factory Boat

46 Porch Life Signs of the Seasons

20 Local Born Free at Wassaw Island

48 Art in the South The Personal Gift of Art

22 Dock Dogs Companions Always Ready

52 Artist Spotlight Artist Mary Edna Fraser

24 Seasonal Harvest Searchin’ for Clams

54 Let’s Set the Table Yuletide Brunch

26 Conservation West Fraser

60 Celebrations A Greek Inspired New Year’s Dinner

11 Correspondence

90 Seasonal Eats

76 Farmstand Fresh Raising Cane 78 Roadside Retreats That Yemassee Country Club 80 Cookbook Review Soulful Harvest 82 Restaurant Review Road Trip: Coastal Hot Spots

Columns 90 Ebb Tide Down South You’ll Be Glad You Did 92 Lowcountry Sporting Life Hunting in History’s Footsteps 94 Literary Corner Dream of a White Christmas 95 Cook and Tell Oh, Lane Cake! How I Love to Love Thee (And Hate Thou Layers!)

64 Inspired Seaside Christmas Harbor Side 67 Characters The Crab Man 68 Photo Essay Angela Trotta Thomas


70 Interview Natural Noel





Winter 2017 • Volume 1 • Issue 4


A Story on Every Plate The Vendue | Charleston’s Art Hotel


At Christmas All Roads Lead Home Magic is in the Air at Cedar Hall Plantation

Hulling Home Rice by Jonathan Green.




e. shaver, bookseller In Savannah, one of America’s great bookstores. Offering an extensive selection of hardbacks and paperbacks. Specialties include:

• architecture • children’s books • decorative arts • rare & collectible • regional history books


Easy to reach on historic Madison Square, behind the DeSoto Hotel.


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326 Bull Street Savannah GA 31401

(912) 234-7257 Serving the reading public as Savannah’s Indie Bookstore.

Copy Editor KAT WALSH

Contributing Editors Angela Stump, Kris Williams, Aileen Goldstein, Cecelia Dailey, Tom Poland, Janis Owens, the late Ken Burger,


Chef Timothy Grandinetti, Chef Forrest Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Smith


CEO ANDREW BRANNING Published by SCG LIFESTYLE LLC No Part of this publication may be reproduced. All Rights Reserved.

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The Celebrations Issue


ith the arrival of November, farmer’s markets

overflow with gourds, pumpkins and salt-misted

Brussel sprouts still on the stalk, collards, turnips

and kale. For those of us who share the experience

of the holidays on our sea islands, there is an

overwhelming sense of appreciation for the bounty from the sea and the richness of our farmlands.

As days get shorter the treasured historic demeanor of our towns and

villages takes on a special glow. We decorate doorways and window sashes with a mix of evergreens, magnolia leaves, boxwoods, fruits and island-inspired

decorations. Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers in Boone, N.C., joins designer Jana Qualey of Bluffton, S.C. to share decorating ideas inspired by nature.

Savannah Event designer Sebrell Smith takes us along South Carolina

back roads past miles of country stores, old barns and clapboard weathered

homes to Cedar Hall Plantation, circa 1843, in Barnwell, S.C. Inspiration lives

here – stories and history, along with time-honored Yuletide treasures that beckon us to settle in and rejoice in the pleasures of home and hearth.

We visit the famed Magnolia’s Restaurant on Charleston’s Bay Street

for fresh ideas on how to create our own Thanksgiving feast. We take you to coastal Georgia and South Carolina for a close-up look on how clams are

raised at Sapelo Island Farms and along the shores of Beaufort County. And a visit to Karen Hagan’s Art Gallery, on King Street in Charleston, provides plenty of gift-giving inspiration.

North Carolina Chef Timothy Grandinetti, of the award-winning

Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar in Winston-Salem, has been

nourishing souls since 1998. Now he shares his culinary secrets in his new book, Soulful Harvest.

Chef Forrest Parker of Charleston’s The Vendue has a passion for the rich

culinary heritage of the South. Charleston’s food and beverage scene is hot and getting hotter every day. Still, there is a craving for authenticity and a return

to reverence for our roots. Historic influences, such as Carolina Gold Rice and ancient grains, and ingredients such as benne seeds and African peanuts, are important elements in his dishes.

gatherings of neighbors and friends around a crackling fire. We present ideas for your gatherings and celebrations believing there’s a natural sense of camaraderie this time of year.

There is much to be thankful for on the Atlantic-splashed shores of this

special place.

Our Shrimp, Collards & Grits team encourages each of you to take time

during the rush of the season to count your blessings. As we close 2017, we

celebrate our first year as a magazine. We count you, our readers, among our cherished blessings. Thank you for your support as we move into 2018 with

plans to continue to bring the heart and soul of the South alive on our pages. We thank you, our readers, our many writers, artists, photographers, chefs

and others who contributed generously to the cultural collective we celebrate and explore.

From our Shrimp, Collards & Grits family to yours, we wish you a

Happy Thanksgiving, the merriest Christmas ever and a New Year filled with happiness.

Patricia Branning Editor-in-Chief

The recipes featured throughout this issue are an assortment of foods that

are festive and flexible – along with a splurge of savories and sugarplums before the quiet, cozy months of winter set in.

As we begin to feel a crisp chill in the air and see the froth of winter

waves at the ocean’s edge, Christmas shopping tends to mellow into pleasant







Tom Poland: “I have

Cecelia Naomi Dailey:

Director for the John C.

back roads. Follow me

has written The Batik

has served as the Gallery

Doyle Art Gallery for the past decade with a grace

and style fitting for one of

the most renowned galleries

long felt the pull of


as I exit the interstate.

South Carolina Press,

due out in 2019. Her essays and photographs on

Anthropology degree with a focus on art and

as unique restaurants serve up vintage scenery and

She collaborates with botanist Richard Porcher,

knowledge. One of her passions is writing not only

back roads, waiting for you and me.”

culture, gives her a depth of understanding and fiction and non-fiction but also poetry. Over the

past months she has gained an impressive following


Fraser for University of


in the city of Charleston. Her background, an



Art of Mary Edna

Follow me down lessertraveled roads where


service stations reborn

great food. The past isn’t past. It’s hiding along the

amongst readers of Shrimp, Collards and Grits with

Sebrell Smith: Creative Savannah Designer

in the city from an insiders perspective. For more

of natural elements found in the South – oranges,

her up close and personal look into the world of art of Angela’s articles visit

Sebrell Smith incorporates an interesting array pheasant feathers, shotgun shells, antlers, and

more – into the décor on these pages, and, as you can see, the results are stunning.


beaches have been featured by and is a master’s student in biology at the Citadel.

Research projects include a new urban pollinator garden on upper King Street. As a naturalist, she leads ecology walks and lectures on edible wild

plants. Dailey is involved in a variety of civic and

environmental issues, and works with the Coastal Conservation League and Butler Conservation

Fund. She's also an exhibiting artist and musician.



CONTRIBUTORS Ken Burger: Well-loved Southern author from

Aileen Goldstein: Aileen is a freelance writer

raindrops with nowhere else to go.” Burger wrote

Beaufort, South Carolina. ”Learning about

Allendale, S.C. “a swampy catch basin for

for the Columbia and Charleston newspapers for 40 years and is the author of several books including

Baptized in Sweet Tea. “Everyone knows Ken was Janis Owens: Janis Owens is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and southern folklorist. She is

the author of four novels and a memoir cookbook, The Cracker Kitchen: a cookbook in celebration of

cornbread-fed, down-home family stories and cuisine. Part-cookbook, part-family memoir,

Cracker Kitchen celebrates the backwoods

resilience of a much maligned section of Southern culture: the hapless, toothless Cracker.



a great sportswriter, and he has plenty of national and local awards to prove it” said former Post and Courier Executive Editor Larry Tarleton. “But he

with a passion for storytelling. She resides in

the clam farming business was fascinating. I had very little prior knowledge and came

away with deep respect for the clams and for Charlie. An added bonus was I discovered my new favorite seafood.”

was much more than that. Ken was a great writer,

Kris Williams: Kris is the Director of the

wrote with compassion about people and lifestyle

a nonprofit organization that has pioneered

period. He didn’t necessarily write about sports; he because he knew that was much more important.” Special thanks to publicist Lynda Bouchard for

Caretta Research Project in Savannah, Georgia, loggerhead turtle research and conservation.

submitting Ken’s work.



The magazine is superb. A great representation of the lowcountry. Loved the stories, recipes and tablescapes. They are tasteful, beautiful, and out of this world. Louis W. Gordon Jr. Graniteville, South Carolina

Fall 2017 We discovered Shrimp, Collards, and Grits while on a trip to the coast and loved the coverage on the Southern artists. The articles were beautifully written and the photography luscious. Holly Bjorkstorm Edmund Oklahoma My husband and I love this magazine! We picked it up during a trip and we fell in love with the writing, the photography, the art and we love the recipes. Marilyn T. Gripon Beaumont, Texas We love having the Shrimp, Collards and Grits books in our store. Now we are thrilled with the new magazine. Kathie Smith Fort Mill, South Carolina

This magazine is a must for all who live and love the lowcountry lifestyle. Jeannie Davis Brantley Georgia It is beautifully written and illustrated. And I appreciate Andrew Branning personally reaching out to me to resolve an order issue I had. Thank you so much. Lynn Gomez Charleston, South Carolina LOVE the magazine – photographs are impeccable! What a unique and welcome publication. Diane Hefner Macon, Georgia About good people saving our heritage, lifestyle and love for life and each other. Sharon Darley Savannah, Georgia

How to reach us: Email: Emails should include full contact information. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and brevity. Subscriptions: Call 843.505.5158 or visit SCGLIFESTYLE.COM









MEET the LOCALS Townsend, Georgia by Aileen Goldstein

A Sapelo Sea Farms employee loads baskets clams off the boat into a tumbler to remove mud and debris from the clams. 18





n these times of Targets and Walmarts, the

Texas chasing shrimp and up to Chincoteague,

resources, getting them something that is healthy,

sense of place is being lost. What could be

West in January, because it was the only place to

antibiotics added like the farmed fish from China,”

distinction of community with its unique

more placeless than a cookie cutter world of strip malls, fast-food chains, big box

Virginia searching for sea scallops and onto Key find shrimp in the winter.

fished sustainable and doesn’t have chemicals or he says.

“When the University of Georgia approached

stores and franchises. It’s happening more and

“When the

me in 1997 and asked if I wanted to grow clams,

Sea Farms in Townsend, Georgia, has become

University of Georgia

told us was to go put the clams on a sandbar. It was

scene, working hard to preserve the clamming

approached me in

more. Captain Charlie Phillips, owner of Sapelo something of an ambassador for the local culinary

Sapelo Sea Farms was born. The first thing they the last place you want to try and grow a clam, the

sand just packs the clams in and they suffocate,”

industry and building upon that. In doing so he is

1997 and asked if

explains Phillips. Through many years of trial and

Captain Phillips looks out over the Sapelo

I wanted to grow

reliable, solid method to growing clams.

crash into the water, aiming for food. The vibrant

clams, Sapelo Sea

preserving the distinct culture of his home town.

River from the dock. Seagulls cry overhead and

green spartina grass blows with the breeze and

the brilliant blue sky is without a cloud. A couple of dolphins pass, chasing mullet down the river. “Hey, look out there at those old fishermen,” says

Farms was born. Phillips carries a deep respect for the

Phillips. “That’s what we call ‘em around here - an

seafood he pulls from the ocean and portrays that

he explains.

“I enjoy getting the resource to the people.

old shrimper term given to dolphin out of respect,” A clam skiff loaded with nearly 5000 pounds

of freshly harvested clams travels slowly down the Sapelo River, passing close by. “This is the first of

two harvests of the day,” says Charlie. The boat is

admiration through his passion for clam farming. Commercial fishermen give the public access to

error, success and failure, Phillips has developed a Phillips starts with clam seeds, tiny 4mm

baby clams from a disease-free facility. These

seeds are loaded into mesh bags, belted together in lengths of six bags and rolled up. Phillips loads

these rolls onto his airboat, an unusual sight itself

on the Georgia coast. The bags are unrolled onto the mud flats in the direction of the tide in Sapelo Sound. The mesh bags protect the baby clams from natural predators, such as conchs, horseshoe

crabs, stingrays, stone crabs and red drum. After

The original sign for the restaurant, built by Phillips' father, still hangs as a tribute to the well-known seafood house, famous for the seafood buffet.

heading to the dock of the Sapelo Sea Farms - the oldest clam farm in Georgia.

Once it arrives, Phillips oversees the crew

pulling the heavy bags of clams onto the dock.

“We’re standing on the very dock once owned

by my father and over there is the restaurant he built, Pelican Point. We all grew up on these

waters. It’s all I’ve ever known. Why I’ve captained

shrimp boats for as long as I can remember. I’ll never forget the day my college professor refused

to excuse me from a test on the first day of open shrimp season. That’s the day I quit, came home and I’ve been shrimping ever since.”

Phillips now owns the dock and the

restaurant, which he renamed The Fish Dock to better represent the freshness of the food served.

“In 1980 I bought a new boat, a fiberglass

boat so I could range further, and I wanted a bigger

kitchen,” he says with a laugh. Phillips says he ran that boat all over the place, from Corpus Christy,





In reality, Phillips is running a flourishing clam farm on the Georgia coast, providing three quarters of all of Georgia’s clams and beyond. Bags of little necks are tagged and ready to be shipped. Sapelo Sea Farms harvests clams as needed to fill orders to ensure the freshest shellfish to buyers.

six months of growth, the clams are transferred

on mud flats that previously had no production.”

The clams are harvested after a total of two years

filtering algae out of the river,” he says. “Few people

to bags with larger holes to continue growing. growing on the mud flats. The resulting clams fall

into three size categories: little necks, mid necks

“Just like oysters, clams clean the water,

would even realize the mud flat is a working farm.”

“I think there are a lot of people who care

and pasta clams.

what the story is behind their food,” says Phillips,

size, the crew takes strange-looking boats built

it on that table.” He points to one of the fishing

Once the clams have reached the desired

for harvesting clams out to the mud flats. “The

boats are built off the design of old gill netting boats, with a motor mounted at the front and

the back is flat and open. Although not the best

“and I want to bring fish in on that boat and put boats tied to the dock outside the window of the restaurant overlooking the peaceful, picturesque Sapelo River.

Phillips does not think of himself as a clam

maneuvering vessels, the boats are superior at

farmer, though. “I consider myself a fish monger

The bags are dragged up the ramp at the stern of

about 15 hand high, you just let me know and I’ll

hauling thousands of pounds of clams each trip. the boats and brought back to the dock, where

they are tumbled, cleaned and sorted by size,” he

and a horse trader, so if you want an appaloosa find it for you,” he says with an easy laugh.

In reality, Phillips is running a flourishing

says. Phillips harvests as orders come in to ensure

clam farm on the Georgia coast, providing three

The sustainability of clam farming is

The work is tough and at times, the conditions

the freshest clams available.

quarters of all of Georgia’s clams and beyond.

impressive, an element that is vitally important to

are harsh. “It’s a lot of work, but to me, it’s a good

and do things commercially, it is not an either/

you’re watching the sunset while you are working,

Phillips; “I believe you can be an environmentalist

or in my humble opinion.” Phillips’ enthusiasm and passion for farming such a healthy resource is

way to make a living. When you are out there and it’s a hell of a nice office,” he says with a smile.

palpable. “We are buying seeds, growing them out Captain Charlie Phillips 20






Hurricane Matthew Aftermath.





Riding Out the Storm

The Southeast and Caribbean Continue to Dig Out


arely a year since Hurricane Matthew lashed the coast of the

“I was born and raised

Irma. In neighborhoods around the

on a Carolina sea

Carolinas and Georgia, along came

lowcountry, the buzz of chain saws

island and I carried

the worst of it, our neighbors to the South were

the sunshine of the

can be heard once again. While we were spared not so fortunate.

Through it all our sense of place remains

lowcountry, inked in

steadfast. A place called home. Lowcountry. A

dark gold, on my back

where spartina grass turns from green to crimson

and shoulders.”

salt marsh – nurturer of all sea life and so many

- Pat Conroy

place where brackish waters meet salted seas, gold with the changing of the seasons. The great hopes and dreams.

Sunken Shrimp Boat after Hurricane Matthew, Hilton Head, SC


Oyster Factory Boat by Doug Grier




Born Free at Wassaw Island A Savannah Nonprofit Helps Georgia’s Loggerheads Make a Comeback Kris Williams, Caretta Research Project Director, in Conversation with Pat Branning


ith over 10,000 acres

Many years after hatching, female turtles

tide and during any moon phase. Loggerheads

mothers did, but what happens in between?

in one summer at intervals of about 14 days.

of salt marsh, coastal

return to the beach to bury eggs, just as their


Once hatch-lings go into the Atlantic and start





National Refuge,

a group of barrier islands just south of Tybee Island and fifteen miles southeast of Savannah,

is one of the few nearly unspoiled natural areas of Georgia. Behind its seven miles of beach is a low

ridge of dunes and old growth forest where sea

turtles come to nest and lay their eggs. “This is my

growing into adults, they travel to the Gulf

Stream and stay in the North Atlantic Gyre, passing the Azores and Canary Islands before heading back to the eastern United States. This

trip can take 10 to 15 years. After nesting, the mothers leave southern waters and head up north

office,” says Kris Williams, director of the Caretta

Loggerheads will nest

Savannah that has pioneered loggerhead turtle

on an average between

Research Project, a nonprofit organization in

will nest on an average between four to six times Then they will not return again for two to four

years. Each turtle can lay up to 150 eggs each

time, essentially burying the ocean’s nutrients on shore,” says Kris.

“A turtle deep into nesting typically will not

move once her eggs begin to fall. Weighing as much as three hundred pounds, her shell covered

with barnacles, she’ll sit quietly while laying her eggs. Wet eggs slowly drop into a hole as tears

seep from her eyes,” explains Kris. “But the tears are not of sadness, merely a way the turtles rid

research and conservation.

four to six times in one

years, since the time of the dinosaurs. For much

summer at intervals of

Using magnetic cues, a turtle can find her way

shadows of the Atlantic, sinking deep into the

about 14 days.

hatched. Incubation lasts about two months, then

Females nest up to seven times in one season;

to their foraging grounds, within and around the

in two weeks to lay their next one.

approaches and waters cool, they head back south,

Sea turtles have been around for 110 million

of their lives, sea turtles remain in the black ocean, keeping their world a secret from us.

they lay their first clutch in mid-May and return

Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Then, as winter off the coast of North or South Carolina. One

thing we know for certain is that once males hit

back to lay eggs in the same area where she was babies will burst from the earth and make their break for the ocean, just like their mothers did.

They chase the same moonlight over waters their ancestors traveled millions of years before them, long before humans set foot on these shores.

As the mother makes her way back into the

surf and quickly disappears beneath the dark,

arriving at dusk and staying on the beach until

of what has just taken place.

the wee hours of morning. If the moon and stars

cresting blue Atlantic, one can only stand in awe Survival rates are low for baby sea turtles,

are bright, the search for telltale signs of the

with only about one out of every 1,000 hatch-

to the dune line, is easier,” says Kris.

coastal Georgia, there is a team of passionate

loggerhead, such as tracks from the water’s edge There’s always a sense of mystery and

adventure on Wassaw. “We tend to see more nesting at high tides, but turtles will nest at any


It is truly one of the miracles of nature.

the water, they never again set a flipper on land.

“Finding a nesting sea turtle requires


their bodies of excess salt.”

lings making it to adulthood. In the heart of

biologists dedicated to studying and protecting

threatened loggerhead sea turtles on Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge.


The first goal of the Caretta Research

eggs with screening so that predators, such as

activity. The second goal is to release as

eggs hatch, volunteers excavate each nest to

Project is to monitor loggerhead sea turtle

many hatch-lings into the water as possible, by protecting eggs and hatch-lings from predators. Their third goal is to educate the

public on issues related to conservation.

Volunteer participation lies at the heart of this

raccoons and foxes, don’t eat them. After the

get a hatching success. No matter what their

role, volunteers leave the island exhausted but feeling great, knowing that they’ve helped a protected species.

Volunteers from the public participate

To volunteer or learn more,

a group to patrol the 6.5-mile beach all night

please visit their website at

data from each individual turtle, as well as samples for collaborative research projects

with the University of Georgia, Georgia

Southern University, University of Florida and Armstrong Atlantic University. When the

turtles are done nesting, volunteers protect the


already has everything? How about a threatened

species! Support the Caretta Research Project by adopting one of the selected loggerhead sea turtles

that has nested in previous years on Wassaw Island and was last seen during the 2014, 2015 or 2016

four year nesting cycle, we expect that these turtles

we can make a difference.

long looking for nesting turtles. They collect

What do you get someone for Christmas who

season. Since loggerheads typically have a two to

science and conservation initiative. Together,

in all aspects of the project. They go out as

Adopt-A-Turtle Program

may return to Wassaw to nest during 2018.

For a donation of $30.00, you will receive an adoption kit that includes:

1) a list of adoptees and an adoption form; 2) A beautiful glass sea turtle ornament; 3) our semi-annual newsletter; and 4) a bumper sticker.

After you choose your turtle, we will send you

an adoption certificate and a complete Nesting History for your adoptee.




Dock Dogs Companions Always Ready!








Searchin’ for Clams Living and Loving the Lowcountry by Pat Branning


oving the shores of our beloved Lowcountry means getting outside and getting a little pluff mud between your toes. It’s

part of what defines us. It’s gooey, smelly and pulls the topsiders right off your feet.

When I first spotted Craig Reaves, owner of Sea Eagle

Market in Beaufort, South Carolina, he was crawling on hands and knees through the mud banks of the Broad River heading back to his boat.

I watched as two of his men literally leap frogged baskets of clams through

the boggy marsh. Craig’s dug clams in these estuaries, boggy tubes and rivers

for as far back as he can remember. And where did he start? As Craig says, “I didn’t pick fishing. I was born into it.” His father Laten began shrimping off of

the North Carolina coast during the heyday of the industry, in the early 1960’s. “I clammed all the time with my grandmother as a boy. She dug down in

the mud, put the clams in her bathing suit and kept on searching for more,”

says Craig. “Clams bury down in the mud. If they’re not up close to the top,

Captain Craig Reaves

you’re probably not going to find them. Even clams just under the surface of a mud flat can be tough to spot because they’re always up on their edge with just one edge of the shell showing,” he said.

Enemy of the clam farm

Captain Craig Reaves sorting and cleaning clams from his St. Helena Clam Farm. 28



Steamed Clams with Spicy Sausage Serves 4-6


alty and plump, these clams are the pride of coastal Carolina and Georgia. A delicious, cold

weather crowd pleaser, this dish is best served with crusty bread to soak up the juices. 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed 1/2 cup chopped shallots 4 garlic cloves, chopped 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 4 pounds littleneck clams (about 3 dozen) 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley Heat olive oil in heavy large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages; sautĂŠ until

almost cooked through, breaking up with fork, about 10 minutes. Add shallots, garlic and dried

red pepper. SautĂŠ until sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Mix in broth and vinegar. Add clams, cover and boil until clams open, about 8 minutes (discard any clams that do not open). Mix in parsley.




A Story on Every Plate The Vendue | Charleston’s Art Hotel

Author Oscar Wilde: “After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.” by Pat Branning Photography by Andrew Branning

Charleston, South Carolina 30




s the hush of Christmas Eve settles across the land, celebrate the blessings of this

wondrous season at historic Charleston’s The Vendue, 19 Vendue Range. ‘Tis the season

when our city streets take on a special glow with doorways and window sashes garlanded in evergreen, magnolia leaves and bright red holly berries. Historic Charleston is small, intimate and well preserved. A festive vibe is everywhere as you stroll down Vendue

Range, a palmetto-lined street nestled into Charleston’s French Quarter Art District that ends at the

edge of the Cooper River waterfront where a large fountain forms one of the most popular features of Charleston’s Waterfront Park.

Looking Back

Made up of several warehouse buildings

dating back to the 1780’s,

the Vendue still

maintains it’s original historical character.

The name, ‘The Vendue,’ comes from the

vendue masters (or auctioneers) who worked in the area. French merchants utilized The Vendue,

originally known as Prioleau’s Wharf, to conduct trade. Prioleau’s Wharf quickly became a favorite, until the trade business halted at the onset of the Civil War.

Dedicated to the Arts

The Vendue and Robert Lange Studios have

collaborated on the current exhibit titled Cats

versus Dogs, where forty artists from around the world each feature one piece that is dominated by

the theme and based on whether they identify as a “cat person” or a “dog person” in a tongue-in-cheek

competition to finally determine the better species.

Greece at the College of Charleston. He later took

be donated to the Charleston Animal Society

program, Harvard University’s Science and

A portion of all sales from the exhibit will

and The Vendue will match the donation dollar for dollar.

It’s here that Chef Forrest Parker works

his magic presenting us a celebration of local ingredients.

Star Tastemaker

As traditional art is reimagined for the

modern eye, Parker likewise reworks classic

ingredients into his menus, bringing a passionate

dedication to terroir (from the field and the coastal waters) to the table. An Anderson native, he was

schooled in classical studies of ancient Rome and SCGLIFESTYLE.COM

Chef Parker

classes at Stanford University’s business incubator Cooking lecture series, and the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. In 2016, he was named a

South Carolina Chef Ambassador. Also a licensed tour guide, Parker proudly refers to himself as

the “chief culinary evangelist for the Lowcountry of South Carolina” with a mission to reveal the history of the Holy City through food.

While in college, he sought part-time work

in the kitchen of Louis’s Charleston Grill in the

Omni Hotel (now Belmond Charleston Place),

where he found a mentor in Louis Osteen. Later he learned from chefs Elizabeth Terry, Frank Stitt and Mark Militello, all recipients of the James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast award. Winter 2017 SHRIMP, COLLARDS&GRITS


Carolina Gold Rice

African Peanuts

Benne Seeds

“Much of West African rice coast culture,” according to Taylor, “even things that were originally from the New World such a peanuts, sweet potatoes, and hot peppers came to us via the slave trade. 32


Nostrale Rice 1748 SCGLIFESTYLE.COM

Charleston’s chefs are increasingly going back to those old heirloom seeds and culinary traditions forged in Charleston’s much younger days. Attention to local sourcing and indigenous heirloom ingredients

The city’s unique Southern spirit is infused into every bite of Chef

Parkers’s flavor driven dishes.

“Every time a new chef steps into my kitchen, I give them John Martin

Taylor’s book and tell them it’s mandatory reading,” says Parker. “The book, Hoppin John’s Lowcountry, helps them understand how rice, food, and slavery

are inextricably combined in Charleston and have been since the beginning. The rice culture, not just the ingredient, was huge in Charleston. It affected our

language, our cooking, our arts, our idioms, our folktales, and how we think about ourselves, whether we are black or white.”

“Much of West African rice coast culture,” according to Taylor, “even

things that were originally from the New World such a peanuts, sweet

potatoes, and hot peppers came to us via the slave trade. The stewpot cooking

of Africa was more of an influence than any ingredient. Think of dishes such as

the gumbos, pilaus and fish stews that went on to become the defining dishes of the entire South with little bits of meat strewn in and compare them to the

big roasts of meat that were standard fare in England and France,” says Taylor. Charleston’s chefs are increasingly going back to those old heirloom seeds

and culinary traditions forged in Charleston’s much younger days.

Culture. Tradition. History. For Chef Forrest Parker, these are the

go-to ingredients essential for memorable Southern dining. But the pantry here is global as well as Southern, honoring The Vendue’s legacy as a wharf

and warehouse in the 18th century. Often sauces of Bordelaise, Diane, and Persillade frame his dishes.

Responsibly Sourced There is a deep appreciation for the ingredients that go into their Southern

food and for the farmers who grow them. Responsibly sourced ingredients are

the foundation of every dish. From ethically raised meats to vegetables pulled and picked with the earth in mind, Chef Parker is committed to the best of every season.

“My vision for The Vendue is not to re-create historic menus, but to

incorporate culturally important ingredients into contemporary dishes that suit the relaxed elegance and artistic ambiance of The Vendue.” Forrest Christian Parker

A Very Vendue Christmas Southern hospitality lives here. They mind their manners and pull out

your chair. So tuck in your napkins and get your forks ready, Charleston –

there’s always something new coming out of the kitchen at The Vendue. It’s sure to make you declare, “Shoo Mercy, that was good!”







PAT CONROY’S PICKLED SHRIMP Pickles for Passing by Chef Forrest Parker


s much as Christmas to me signals a time of reconnection

with those near and dear, it also represents a period of quiet

contemplation, thinking of those who have gone on. Here is Pat Conroy’s recipe for pickled shrimp. Marcel Proust had madeleines, I have pickled South Carolina shrimp.

1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion 4 bay leaves, crumbled in your fingers 2 oz bottled capers, drained and coarsely chopped 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

(Proust’s madeleine is the cliché cookie – a highbrow reference that’s

1 cup cider vinegar

and probably in our mouths, too.) Recipe from The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes

1 tsp garlic, minced

penetrated pop culture. The great French author put madeleines on the map,

1/2 cup olive oil

and Stories of My Life by Pat Conroy

1 tsp salt 1 tsp celery seeds 1 tsp red pepper flakes 2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

“When a good friend dies, I take two pounds of shrimp for the mourners. When a great friend dies, I go to five pounds. When I die, I fully expect all the shrimp in Beaufort to be pickled that day.”- Pat Conroy


Mix all ingredients in a large ceramic or glass bowl, except for the shrimp.

Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water abundantly. When the

water is rolling, add shrimp and cook until just pink- about 2 minutes. Drain

and immediately transfer to the marinade. (The shrimp will continue to “cook” in the marinade.)

Bring shrimp to room temperature, cover tightly, and marinate overnight

in the fridge. Transfer shrimp and marinade to a glass serving compote or bowl. Serve chilled.



FEAST OF SEVEN FISHES PIRLOU On Carolina Gold Rice Mrs. Samuel G. Stoney, Charleston, S.C., Dec 1901 from The Carolina Rice Cookbook, compiled by Mrs. Samuel G. Stoney reprinted in facsimile in The Carolina Rice Kitchen by Karen Hess


n Italy, it is not infrequent for Christmas Eve to be celebrated with the famous Feast of Seven Fishes, or Festa dei Sette Pesci. “At

The Vendue,” says Parker, “I have combined them in an artful and delicious rendition.”


1 cup rice 1 ¾ cups water pinch salt 1 bay leaf

2 small lobster tails, split and deveined, shell on Any other local, fresh fish or shellfish such as sheepshead Good quality extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper White wine This is really more of a process than a recipe per se, but the long and short

of it is that you’re searing or grilling all the seafood, holding it and warming it briefly before presenting in the finished dish.

Bring a large non-stick or cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Season

any fish or shellfish liberally with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of cooking oil to the skillet to the pan and begin laying in the assorted seafood. Allow to

cook until the edges have browned and the meat releases from the pan freely. Do not rinse the rice. Combine rice, water, salt and bay leaf in a medium

Turn and repeat for 3 minutes, then remove to a sheet tray. Any bi-valves such

Turn off the heat and rest for 10 minutes. DO NOT LIFT THE LID TO

beer to aid in getting them open, so cook separately just until they barely open.

pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 13 minutes. LOOK. When finished, fluff with a fork. Allow to cool.

Heat a nonstick skillet to medium high. Add oil, then place a half cup

of cooked rice in the skillet. Using a heat proof silicone spatula, mash the rice into a disc. Allow to cook undisturbed until rice has browned slightly and

become crispy around the edges. Flip and continue cooking until both sides

are browned and crispy. Remove from heat and repeat, allowing one disc for each guest.

Note: this is also a great vehicle for leftover rice. If using leftover rice,

follow the same process but add a teaspoon water to refresh the rice as it cooks in the skillet.

For the Seven Fishes 8 South Carolina shrimp, peeled and deveined. (Head on shrimp not only make for a dramatic presentation but are also delicious if you’re so inclined.) 8 clams, oysters or sweetwater mussels 4 pieces of octopus, canned or cooked and frozen Lump crab 8 - 2 oz. portions of grouper filet



as clams, mussels or oysters will require a generous splash of wine, stock or

Broth 1 cup white wine 1 cup shrimp stock or good quality clam juice pinch of saffron threads 3 tablespoons unsalted butter sliced cherry tomatoes sliced mild chiles, such as padron, shishito or fresno salt and pepper to taste Combine the first three ingredients and reduce by half over a medium

flame. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, tomatoes and chiles-residual heat will warm them through without hammering them. Season to taste. For the Presentation:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the sheet tray of cooked fish. Line

up 4 bowls for plating, slide a warm disc of rice into each. Remove the fish

from the oven and place on top of the rice discs, dividing into 4 equal portions. Ladle or spoon the tomato / chile / saffron broth over each.

Chef Parker likes to add toasted benne seed and a modicum of microgreens

or foraged chainey briar to the dish for color and flair.





Why Elvis? “The first time my family attended a music

festival was in Memphis the weekend of the Great

Red Velvet Cake 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Nashville Flood,” says Chef Parker. “Originally

4 large eggs, at room temperature

a service at the Reverend Al Green’s church.

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

we’d planned to visit both Graceland and attend

2 tablespoons red liquid food coloring

The flood pre-empted our visit with the good

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

Reverend, but we were able to visit the Arcade, the oldest restaurant in Memphis, said to have been a favorite of The King’s.”


2 1/2 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour (such as White Lily) 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

his dessert is inspired in equal

measure by the Arcade’s famed

peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich (“The Elvis”) and the

1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon table salt Preheat oven to 350°. Cream together the

softened butter, granulated and brown sugar. Add

ubiquitous air brushed paintings

eggs, one at a time, then add red food coloring and

The South. You’ve seen them; the reoccurring

Stir together sour cream and 1/2 cup water

mixture. Spoon into 8 individual ramekins or dessert molds. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 1 1/2 hours or longer.

Carolina Runner Peanut & Benton’s Bacon Brittle 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 cup light corn syrup 1⁄3 cup water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 3/4 cups unsalted Carolina Runner peanuts 3 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ pound of par cooked Benton’s bacon,

on velvet one finds at flea markets throughout

vanilla, beating until blended.


motifs- hands clasped in prayer, The Last Supper,

until blended. Sift together White Lily flour,

Line a ½ sheet tray or cookie pan with a non-

King! The Vendue is, after all, Charleston’s Art Hotel!

butter mixture, then add the sour cream mixture.

For the Presentation

cookie sheet lined with parchment.

bullfighters, dogs playing poker and of course, The

cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to

stick silpat or parchment paper.

Pour batter onto a well greased half sheet tray or

syrup and salt to a boil over medium-high heat,

Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until a

Salted caramel or chocolate sauce Mixed berries, lightly bruised and tossed with powdered sugar Mint leaves Cut red velvet cake into the same shape

and diameter of the molds in which the banana

wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Benton’s bacon.

1 lb. ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

caramel, chocolate or both. Lay the brittle next to

2 tsp. lime juice

top with the unmolded semifreddo. Drizzle with the plated dessert or crumble on top, add bruised

1 C. heavy cream

the Charleston Gallery Association Artwalk with over 40 Art Galleries participating. The event is free of charge. For more information go to www.

When mixture reaches 250° on a candy

Roasted Banana Semifreddo 2 Tbs. dark rum


medium and continue cooking.

thermometer, stir in peanuts. Cook, stirring

semifreddo is frozen. Place center on the plate,

Friday, December 1, 5-8 p.m.

stirring just until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to

Allow to cool on trays completely.

1/4 C. firmly packed dark brown sugar

berries around the plate and accent with mint.

In a large saucepan, bring sugar, water, corn

1 Tbs. granulated sugar 1 pinch salt Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast bananas

until soft and black, about 15 minutes. Peel and combine bananas, brown sugar, rum and lime juice

in food processor. Puree, then transfer puree to large bowl. Beat cream in small bowl until frothy.

occasionally, until mixture reaches 300°. Stir in Immediately remove from heat, and stir

in butter, baking soda, and vanilla. Pour onto

prepared pan, and spread to an even thickness. Let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Note: alternately, the brittle may be made without the bacon, and the bacon seasoned with salt and

pepper, rubbed liberally with brown sugar and cooked to a “candied” crisp consistency.

After the Artwalk enjoy the Rooftop Bar

at the Vendue. It’s hard to feel more festive than sitting at the top of the city, letting the peninsula’s breezes riffle your cocktail napkin as you take in the view.

Gradually beat in granulated sugar and salt until Photo by Sandy Dimke 38


soft peaks form. Gently fold cream into banana






West Fraser

An Artist’s Mission to Preserve the Waters for Sustainable Harvests


Artist West Fraser

est Fraser arrived in the

Lowcountry as a young

boy not quite 10 years

old. His backyard and playground was what is

now Harbour Town. His parents, the late Joseph

Bacon “Joe” Fraser Jr. and Becky Fraser, worked

with his aunt and uncle, Charles E. Fraser and Mary Stone Fraser, to bring an environmentally

friendly and successful development to this

beautiful island, Hilton Head. He talks about

playing with his brothers in the woods where today the PGA Tour comes to battle it out at the Harbour

Town Golf Links in a tournament created by his family and now overseen by a nonprofit board

originally chaired by his father, and now by his brother, Simon.

“I see my role as that of a preservationist,”

he told me from his studio in Charleston. “I’m

Bluffton Oyster Factory by West Fraser.

optimistic, though I think you can see in my book (“Painting the Southern Coast: The Art of West

Fraser”) a certain amount of sadness.” Time has a

way of bringing change. Beaufort historian Larry Rowland calls it “a Carolina classic.” It’s the

compilation of over 30 years’ worth of paintings of a place where saltwater, marsh, the land and sea meet the struggles of mankind.

Fraser documents the back-breaking work

and challenges of the Lowcountry’s commercial seafood industry, showing us an old pickup truck parked by the McClellanville shrimp docks, and

a rare look inside the Bluffton Oyster Company

on the May River. Here Gullah women, just as their mothers and grandmothers before them, stand for hours on cinder blocks and shuck those

sweet, briny delicacies. Often when you drive



down Wharf Street, just as you start to descend

Named for his late parents, the mission of

toward the river, you’ll hear gospel hymns rising

the endowed fund at the Community Foundation

that’s been going on through the generations.

conservation to help keep the waters around

in the air as the women sing and shuck in a ritual

Fund For Sustainable Seafood Practices

Prints of his painting, “Bluffton Oyster

of the Lowcountry is to fund research and Beaufort County viable for sustainable harvests into the future. For





Factory Shuckers” will be sold to honor the

reproduction go to

foundation Fraser has endowed to preserve

call directly 904-335-1389.

women and other workers and help fund a new

the waterways and prolong the sustainable

You may e-mail or

harvesting of seafood.

West Fraser has established the Joseph

Bacon and Carolyn “Becky” Fraser Memorial Fund for Sustainable Seafood Practices in the Port Royal/Beaufort County Area.


Life in the Lowcountry Charleston, SC.





Thanksgiving By the Sea No Color is as Magically Effective as White in Bringing an Ethereal Mood to your Home by Pat Branning (Tablescape by Beth Blalock)


risp apples, crunchy leaves and a cool nip in the air – all

Our tablescape takes its cue from a

now as our landscape changes from verdant greens to

wintry landscape. Decorations glisten

signs of autumn in the South. Those signs are everywhere

vibrant yellows, reds and oranges. The marsh grass takes on a golden glow as the sweltering summer sun cools down and

winter is yet to unveil its chilly grasp.

There’s no better blessing at Thanksgiving than being in the company

of family and friends. Spending time with ones you love creates wonderful

like morning frost with a color palette that relies on gold and white. It all adds up to a visual feast.

memories that will last long after dessert is served. Gone now is the autumn

foliage along with summer traffic and bikini-clad tourists. Morning fog creates a peaceful feeling while the damp chill of the ocean is everywhere

with its sometimes piercing shiver that sends us scurrying back home to the warmth of a wood burning fire.

Along the towns and villages of the coastal South, snowflakes are a

rare sight, however with a little imagination, you can assemble a winter wonderland in your own home. A soft and serene mix of crème and white

with a touch of gold presents an understated elegance. When mixed with a beautiful array of silver and crystal glassware, the scene takes on an icy sparkle.

Back in the kitchen, the grocery shopping is done, the pies are made and

the dinner is prepared. You are so completely organized that you have time to

known for their abundant layers of delicate, crepe paper-thin petals with alabaster-hued roses. Choose your favorites for your centerpiece and rely on

antique accents to complete the look. A mix of cream and white dinnerware looks lovely alongside an array of silver and glassware, which lend an icy sparkle to the scene.

Linen napkins say “thanks” adding a special touch while vintage gold

flatware completes our Thanksgiving theme.

Use white assertively in rich combinations of textures and materials.

You may even have some makings on hand - such as a mohair throw from

the bedroom draped across the back of a chair or a creamware pitcher to fill with white birch twigs.

relax and raise a glass to get your Thanksgiving festivities rolling.

It’s the season for indulgent and lavish dining, as well as for the comfort

of traditional fare. Bring both, beautifully, to your holiday table. Sparkling crystal, a fully set table, a warming fire.

Make the table as celebratory as possible, while remembering the food

is the soul of the gathering.

A table dressed in a palette of neutrals celebrates the bliss of winter’s

snowy enchantment.

Our tablescape takes its cue from a wintry landscape. Decorations

glisten like morning frost with a color palette that relies on gold and white. It all adds up to a visual feast.

For the centerpiece, we used hydrangeas mixed with ranunculus flowers,





While the turkey is traditionally the great

centerpiece of our American Thanksgiving, my

greatest culinary adventures stem from nature’s miraculous array of vegetables. Our local farmer’s

market vegetables signal the end of the farm

season by offering up local leeks, salt-misted turnips, collard greens, kale, cabbages, and

spinach. Soon the farmers will close their stands until spring; we beckon them farewell for now.

Whatever your region, look for the best of

local ingredients. For our menu we dip into our

most cherished taste-memories, then render

those old faithfuls in intriguing ways, making each a little plate of artwork in itself. Holiday

time is about spoiling yourself and those you love.

Table design by Beth Blalock

“Ah, autumn…my

favorite season, my cozy friend who

returns each and every year”

THE MENU Spicy Mustard Deviled Eggs Cornish Game Hen with Rosemary Gravy

Creamed Collards au Gratin Port Cranberry Chutney Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cake


Spicy Mustard Deviled Eggs

Chef Kelly Franz, Magnolias Restaurant, Charleston Serves 6-8

Your choice of paprika will determine this hors

d’oeuvre’s depth of flavor. You can garnish with any

kind, hot, smoked or sweet Hungarian, but use the highest quality for the most complex flavor. 6 large eggs ¼ cup mayonnaise

Cornish Game Hens with Rosemary,Thyme and Garlic Serves 4 4 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound Cornish game hens, giblets removed

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder

4 large fresh rosemary sprigs

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon minced pickled okra

3 tablespoons olive oil 24 garlic cloves, peeled

Cover eggs with 1 ½ inches of cold water in a

3-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a rolling boil,

partially covered. Reduce heat to low and cook

eggs, covered completely, 30 seconds. Remove

from heat and let stand, covered, 15 minutes. Transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to a bowl filled

with cold water to stop cooking and allow to stand 5 minutes.

Peel eggs and carefully remove yolks and

mash in a bowl with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard and cayenne and stir with a fork until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Fill pastry bag with yolk mixture and pipe into egg whites.

1/3 cup dry white wine 1/3 cup canned low-salt chicken broth Additional rosemary sprigs (for garnish) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat hens dry

with paper towels. Season cavities lightly with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge, 1 sprig thyme and 1 rosemary sprig in cavity of each

hen. Rub hens with 1 tablespoon oil. Season outside of hens lightly with salt and pepper.

Arrange in heavy large roasting pan. Scatter garlic around hens.

Roast hens 25 minutes. Reduce oven

temperature to 350 degrees. Pour wine, broth and remaining 2 tablespoons oil over hens. Continue

roasting until hens are golden brown and juices

run clear when thigh is pierced at thickest part,



basting every 10 minutes with pan juices, about 25 minutes longer.

Transfer hens to platter, pouring any juices

from cavity into roasting pan. Tent hens with foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic to

heavy medium saucepan. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency, about 6 minutes.

Cut hens in half lengthwise. Arrange on

plates and spoon sauce and garlic around hens.

Garnish with additional rosemary sprigs and serve warm.

Rosemary Pan Gravy 2 tablespoons butter 1 diced large shallot 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 3 cups cold chicken broth pan drippings from roasted game hens 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter

over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until shallots are translucent. Reduce heat,

whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in chicken broth and pan

drippings. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add salt and rosemary.


Port Cranberry Chutney Chef Kelly Franz 2 cups port wine 4 cups white balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup dark brown sugar 1 small diced red pepper 1 small diced yellow onion 4 cups dried cranberries sliced chives for garnish Mix wine, vinegar, salt and both sugars in a

medium-sized saucepot. Over medium-high heat, reduce mixture by half. Add peppers, onion, and cranberries and reduce by half again. Allow to cool completely before serving.





Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting Serves 6 to 8 Courtesy of Pastry Chef Andrea Upchurch, Magnolias Restaurant, Charleston

2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 eggs 2 cups granulated sugar 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 cups pumpkin purée pecan pie filling (recipe follows) spiced cream cheese frosting (recipe follows) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and

flour two 8-inch round cake pans. In a medium-

Pecan Pie Filling 3 eggs

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup dark brown corn syrup

2-8 ounce packages cream cheese

1/2 cup light corn syrup

4 sticks butter, room temperature

2 ounces sugar

2 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar

4 ounces melted butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

and fluffy. Stream in oil and vanilla extract, then

pinch of salt

pinch salt

pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Add the sifted dry

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

ingredients and combine, making sure to scrape

1 unbaked frozen pie shell

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

the bowl as you add the dry ingredients. Pour the

2 cups lightly toasted pecans

sized bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking

soda, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whip the eggs and sugar together on

medium speed with whip attachment until light

batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake until the center springs back when touched, about 25

Whisk together all of the ingredients except

minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on wire

pecans in a medium-sized bowl. Place the pecans

onto sheets of parchment paper.

the filling into the shell and bake at 350 degrees

racks. After the cakes have cooled, invert them Cut the 2 cakes in half to create 4 layers. With

an offset spatula, spread the pie filling between all the cake layers and place the fourth layer on

top without pie filling on top. Using a spatula,

in the bottom of a 9-inch unbaked pie shell. Pour

Note: You can substitute store-bought pecan

pies in place of the homemade. You can also make the cake nut-free by substituting pumpkin pie filling instead of the pecan pie pieces.

Cream together the cream cheese and butter.

for approximately 50 minutes, rotating halfway

Gradually add confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract,

chilled, chop the pie into bite-size pieces.

until light and fluffy.

through. Let pie completely cool then chill. Once

salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Thoroughly combine

generously spread cream cheese frosting around and on top of cake to completely cover.




Creamed Collards au Gratin Serves 10 Chef Kelly Franz 2 tablespoons olive oil 6 slices applewood smoked bacon, sliced into thin strips 1 julienned yellow onion 4 bunches collard greens, picked, washed and chopped small 4 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 dashes Tabasco sauce onion crust (recipe follows) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a 2-quart

saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.

Add bacon and onions and render until onions are

translucent. Add collards and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add heavy cream and vinegar and reduce over

medium heat for approximately 12-15 minutes, stirring constantly. Cream should be thick and

collards should be fork tender. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce.

Transfer creamed collards to a medium-sized

casserole dish and top with onion crust. Bake covered with tinfoil for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until onion crust is golden brown.

Onion Crust 2 cups fried onions 1 cup panko bread crumbs kosher salt to taste PurĂŠe together in a food processor until

combined. Season with kosher salt to taste.





Signs of the Seasons Welcome Guests with Floral Décor

Wreath designs by Sarah Perry of Branches, Hilton Head Island.


f all the features that make up

Designer Sarah Perry heads straight to

a Southern home, none is more

Mother Nature with her varied hues and textures

front porch. It’s the first thing

roll of garden wire and plenty of ribbon, she creates

iconic or cherished than the

guests see and it needs to be

warm and welcoming.

Whether you prefer traditional, edgy,

dramatic or whimsical, there’s a wealth of

botanicals to choose from for fall and right on

for inspiration. Armed with a hot glue gun, a small

a magnificent wreathe to adorn the front door

through the seasons. Using top quality materials ensures a great outcome - no red plastic bows or glitter-sprayed poinsettias here.

This year invest in one fabulous wreath full

through the holiday season. Southerners have been

of lush local foliage that can be embellished with

mixed with loblolly, longleaf, slash and Walter

live wreathes are stunning at first but soon begin to

decorating with boughs of grandiflora magnolia

pine for centuries. And don’t forget the mistletoe and holly - both are indigenous to coastal Carolina.

small touches for the changing seasons. So often wilt with the afternoon sun and must be replaced.

This gorgeous wreathe can go all the way from early fall to springtime with just a few embellishment tweaks. Simply jazz it up with additional

decorations to reflect the season’s joyous mood. Merry embellishments welcome your friends and neighbors at holiday time and anytime.

This wreath boasts a beautiful blend of artificials.

Long needle pines, magnolia leaves, hawthorne

berries, oyster shells, Spanish moss and a vintage rusty bell create a locally inspired base. 50



Museum Quality Southern Lifestyle Cookbooks

Pour yourself a tall glass of sweet tea, pull up a front porch rocker, and prepare to fall head over heels in love with the coastal South. With her distinctive voice and presence, Pat captures the power of place; the character and enchantment of our beloved Lowountry. Powerful stories, delicious recipes and stunning art and photography will keep you coming back for more. SCGLIFESTYLE.COM




The Personal Gift of Art Treasures Await

by Angela Stump, Director of the John C. Doyle Gallery


nce the majestic palmetto trees are lit up in dazzling

white lights along the Charleston streets and beyond, you know the holidays are here! Most people, despite their background or religion, get a little giddy when this time of year rolls back around. Along with cooler

temperatures arriving after several sticky Lowcountry months, visitors

(and locals too) come to town ready to explore, eat and most certainly to holiday shop. The gift of art is a very personal one, and fortunately for

Charleston and the surrounding islands, there are a resounding number of galleries to find that unique and indelible holiday gift.

With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, many of us tend to look back

on our year and what we have accomplished. As a founding member of

the Charleston Gallery Association, I have watched with pride from the front row as we have rapidly expanded along with the rest of our brimming peninsula. September marked the second anniversary of the CGA, and

2017 saw many new galleries opening their doors; such as the exciting

contemporary galleries Beresford Studios, Revealed and Miller Gallery.

We have seen prominent galleries open secondary locations, as they know it’s harder to find that one ideal large space that many seek. It is a stellar time for emerging artists, while simultaneously the traditional masters

of the world are also represented, and there is so very much in between. As in any healthy art market, the opportunity for collectors to find both

contemporary and traditional works in multiple mediums has become much more accessible.

It is a stellar time for emerging artists, while simultaneously the traditional masters of the world are

‘Southern Comfort’ Original Oil by Karen Hewitt Hagan

six years. This November marks her first anniversary in the vast new King

also represented, and there is so very

Street space. To Hagan’s delight, it even came with an inspirational hidden

much in between.

she is busy representing over 35 local, national and international artists in

A perfect example of a gallery that has bloomed with the opportunity

to expand into a much larger location is Hagan Fine Art at 177 King Street.

Owner and artist Karen Hewitt Hagan first opened her doors in 2010 in a petite gallery on State Street. Ask any peninsula retailer, and I bet they

would agree, finding ‘the perfect’ available space in historic downtown is a challenge, but Hagan made her small French Quarter gallery successful for 52


courtyard and a sizable second floor to also showcase the artists. While various mediums, Hagan is a seasoned oil painter of 25 years. She is also an

influential teacher with vast experience, having spent 20 years chasing the light all over the world Plein air painting. She organizes and teaches Plein

air workshops in Italy and The Abaco Islands, especially in Hope Town where she says is “one of the most colorful, quaint and loving places I’ve

ever been. Ther`e’s a painting almost everywhere you look.” Hagan began teaching during summers in Italy about 12 years ago, and she says “it’s



been such a wonderful life changing experience for me to be a part of those

even the most picky shopper fall in love with something! I was immediately

When you explore the impressive new Hagan Fine Art location,

Gillis, their gemologist and jewelry designer, creates custom designed semi

groups of adventuresome artists.”

you immediately feel welcomed by the open atmosphere. The natural light beams through the huge windows and 12’ ceilings, and lends itself

perfectly to all the various mediums they offer. Gallery Director Allison

Hull has had her work cut out moving to the larger space. “It has given us a

larger stage for Karen and our artist’s work, as well as provided opportunity to bring in eleven more wonderful artists, including three sculptors, a jeweler, and a chandelier maker,” she says. This diversity is sure to make

drawn to the jewelry. (I know many women will understand this). Yvonne

precious natural stones with fine white diamonds set in 18 karat yellow

and white gold. She says she created her unique interchangeable drop-in concept line “for women who want versatility in their jewelry collection.” The way her jewelry is displayed shimmering in concert with the beautiful sculptures and vibrant oil paintings is something that must be seen in

person. Hagan Fine Art will be celebrating their first anniversary on King

Street with a reception on Friday, November 3rd, and Hull says they will

‘Breakfast at Lake Assia’ Original Oil by Karen Hewitt Hagan





Diamond and Aquamarine Gold Necklace By Yvonne Gillis, Y Jewels.

Diamond and Chrysoprase Gold Earrings By Yvonne Gillis, Y Jewels.

Sleeping BeautyTurquoise Acorn Necklace with Handwoven Gold Chain By Sarah Amos. ‘Italian Poppies on a Golden Morning’ Original Oil by Karen Hewitt Hagan

be featuring two of their most popular and most

The way her jewelry is

Amy Dixon.

displayed shimmering

vividly colorful artists, Olessia Maximenko and Just a few blocks away, another celebrated

jewelry designer can be found at Helena Fox Fine Art at 106 Church Street. In addition

to representing 18 fine artists that include renowned Plein air painter West Fraser and

in concert with the beautiful sculptures and vibrant oil paintings is

bronze wildlife artist Kent Ullberg, the

something that must

attention with her breathtaking display located

be seen in person.

Amos, originally from South Wales, moved to

Along with her vast experience and luminous

silversmithing. She went on to study ancient

New York she also made jewelry models for

gallery’s jewelry designer Sarah Amos demands

in the front of this cozy French Quarter gallery.

New York in 1973 after studying art, design and

techniques of goldsmithing at what is now the Jewelry Art Institute in New York, and

taught goldsmithing there for 10 years as well. 54


Handcrafted Sapphire and Gold Rings By Sarah Amos.

accolades, I found it fascinating that while in

Metropolitan Museum of Art! This all made sense after seeing her beautiful handcrafted 22

karat gold jewelry. Her one of a kind pieces are


designed with ancient coins, precious and semi

precious stones to create wearable contemporary art pieces. Please stop by over the holiday season and see these in person, and make sure to bring your holiday shopping list.

Please join the 45 CGA galleries as we

collectively celebrate the Holiday Art Walk on

December 1st, from 5-8pm (as well as the first Friday of March, May, and October each year).

You can see more details and print out your

own map at www.charlestongalleryassociation.

com. If you’ve never jumped into a Charleston pedi-cab wearing your holiday best with the wind in your hair, joyfully headed to a festive

party or CGA art walk, you will want to add that to your goals for 2018!

‘2nd Ascent of the Great Egret’ Original Oil by Karen Hewitt Hagan





Artist Mary Edna Fraser Friends, Family and a Special Plot of Land Makes Life Rich by Cecelia N. Dailey


aster batik artist Mary

Edna Fraser established

her career with aerial views of familiar East Coast landscapes. Flying

and photographing from the open cockpit of

the family’s vintage Ercoupe airplane, her largescale batiks are often translated from images

taken aloft. She is fueled by the exhilaration of

the excursions, and a love of the unaltered natural land. A native Tarheel, the coastlines of the south are strongly displayed in her Charleston studio.

You are invited to visit her by appointment or browse

Fraser’s batiks reveal geographies from

across the globe, focusing on the effects of

climate change for the past decade. But her

images are not just compelling by virtue of her artistic faculty, they also depict science, often in collaboration with leading experts. She’s explored

coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey, Global

were equal, although seated in different bodies of

expanded her vision to illustrate scenes from the

Press) and A Celebration of the World’s Barrier

research vessel, they shook hands and agreed to

coastal systems with Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey and has deep sea with Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover and outer

space with Smithsonian scientist Ted Maxwell. Fraser was featured as NASA artist of the year

in 1995 and since then has continued to work on outer space imagery. Her broad scope draws visual comparisons of patterns found in the terrestrial and celestial.

As an environmental activist, Fraser has

collaborated on two books with world-renowned



Climate Change: A Primer (Duke University Islands





synergistic relationship has inspired numerous

knowledge. Over the roar of the Duke University work together.

Pilkey says of his pairing with the artist:

museum exhibits in universities. In the minds of

“Mary Edna Fraser and I are partners in

not seem so far apart. Their first meeting in 1993

come into the partnership with experience in

the artist and geologist, their two disciplines do occurred when Fraser accompanied Pilkey on an

excursion to Cape Lookout National Seashore

to ground-truth with his students. They soon

realized that their passions for barrier islands

appreciation and concern for barrier islands. I study of the oceanographic and geologic actions of these islands and fascination with the hugely

dynamic nature of these moveable strips of sand. Fraser comes into the partnership because she


is intrigued by their forms, contrasts, historical

view the natural world. Inspired by images of

location for events. Many environmental groups,

we can play a role in preserving barrier islands for

“floating world” in which she flies.

Project (SCELP), The Nature Conservancy and

significance and beauty. We hope that together future generations.” Combined Fraser and Pilkey

Japan’s Edo Period (1615-1868), Fraser depicts the

Recently, a 100-foot banner of her batik

bring an understanding of coastal processes

“Charleston Flooded” was publicly displayed

scientifically astute and visually intriguing.

Charleston S.C. for Awakening V: King Tide,

and global change to the public in a way that is Fraser’s first task for Pilkey was to photograph

the Outer Banks. Her father, Claude Burkhead, Jr., piloted the family’s 1946 Ercoupe on a mission

to supply Pilkey with aerial images he requested in February of 1995. Thus began a continuous

collaboration. Fraser says, “The art enhances the

scientific research of the authors. We live in a time where, like Newton, fact is questioned and scoffed.

at Joseph Floyd Manor in her hometown of

hosted by Enough Pie. This huge map will be featured again at The Southern Gallery in the

exhibition “Family Ties” with her daughters Reba West Fraser of Asheville and Labanna Babalon of New Orleans, opening May 17th and closing

artist takes liberties with color and design to convey the enthusiasm with which she and Pilkey

water-testing program on Fraser’s dock. DHEC

has recently agreed to address the high bacterial levels on James Island Creek. Fraser’s activism has

coalesced a team of local and state involvement to clean up her creek and make it swimmable again.

In 2016, Fraser was presented with The

in Indonesia, Taiwan and Australia. National

up her easel and oils continues to be her dock

accessible through the lens of Fraser’s art. The

audience. Charleston Waterkeeper began their

Fraser is also an oil painter, working in the

and our future depends on honest conversations

picture, science has become more beautiful and

from her work, using her art to reach a larger

Verner Award, South Carolina’s highest honor

make sure to visit this contemporary space.

studio and plein air on location, often using a

based in empirical reality.” By capturing the big

Water Missions International, have benefited

July 8th, 2018. If you’re in Charleston for Spoleto,

Perhaps the images will help open windows into minds presently shuttered. Education enlightens

including South Carolina Environmental Law

panoramic perspective. Her favorite place to set

on James Island Creek. Traveling to national

parks across the U.S. to capture threatened

landscapes is a current passion; an exhibit about Glacier National Park is planned for 2019 at the

Hockaday Museum in Kalispell, MT. Spring

Island, S.C. will host a 3-day plein air workshop March 7th-9th, 2018. With photographer and

naturalist Cecelia Dailey, there will be a dual artists reception on March 7th and trust talk on

March 8th. Folks outside of the Spring Island community can register for Fraser’s workshop starting January 17th.

The common thread in Fraser’s four-decade

career is environmental awareness. Her blog,, is a venue for activism, from local to global. The Coastal Conservation League,

for an artist. She has lectured internationally

Geographic and Ted Turner have broadcast her

endeavors. Over 100 one-woman exhibitions are to her credit, but most often you’ll find her outside,

painting from life or photographing from the air. An acre of land on a tidal creek with gardens of camellias and azaleas is a charming existence

she shares with her “Doctor Babe” John Sperry, the love of her life. In her 60s, Fraser also has a swinging band, Lime & the Coconuts, that play

Depression-era toe-tappin’ songs during Spoleto at Second Presbyterian Church’s Tea Room. Each of the musicians are in their own bands,

but rally to her call. Bowens Island features the

band every February for the Sierra Club. Often performers gather for evening potluck suppers she calls “musicales.” The fall becomes an oyster roast

heaven. Friends and family and this special plot of land make Mary Edna Fraser’s life rich.

Charleston Waterkeeper and Edisto Island

Open Land Trust have used Fraser’s creek side




Make it Fun & Fanciful

THE MENU Southern Biscuits with Pimento Cheese Smoked Tomato & Pimento Cheese Grits Baked Brie Cranberry-Orange Scones Lavender Shortbread Cookies





Yuletide Brunch Tablescape by Beth Blalock


n marrying elegant decorations and casual holiday cheer, we find the perfect blend of the sophisticated and fanciful sides of the season.

A hearty midwinter brunch for friends provides a novel departure from the usual

evening holiday parties. As morning light filters through the windows, guests gather around the warmth of the fireplace with delicious seasonal sippers, while the host puts

the finishing touches on the food. An abundant buffet features some morning favorites, while childhood toys, Santa mugs and memorabilia adorn our table setting featuring the colors of the season.

Holly Jolly

An eclectic medley of Christmas whimsy and family-friendly fun, the celebratory

spirit of the season can be felt throughout this home. Cherished characters and motifs make appearances: delightful little gingerbread men, homemade marshmallows, even a decorative

gingerbread house. Yuletide touches

are everywhere; from this cozy tartan

tablecloth to the thoughtful guest favors – vintage, framed Christmas pictures hanging on the tree.

A lovely cranberry ice cooler mold adds a festive touch to the event. This ice bucket cooler gets our

wine, champagne and spirits chillin’ in fashion. We used cranberries, mint leaves and rosemary.





Spring House Signature Grits Featuring Smoked Tomato and Pimento Cheese Courtesy of Chef Tim Grandinetti, Spring House Restaurant, Winston-Salem, N.C. Serves 6

3-4 large tomatoes smoked and pureed 3 cups stone ground grits 2 cups heavy cream ½ gallon chicken stock 1 cup pimento cheese salt and pepper to taste Prepare the grill for smoking.

Place tomatoes (whole) on the indirect side of

In a large cast iron Dutch oven, bring chicken

stock to a boil, reduce to strong simmer and slowly stir in stone ground grits.

Stir grits continuously until combined, then

add heavy cream and pureed tomatoes and stir until combined.

Once grits have absorbed chicken stock and

all fluids, slowly fold in pimento cheese, salt and pepper. Serve as a delicious side dish.

your grill and smoke until tomatoes have softened. Tip: Stab the tomato on the top with a fork before

placing on the grill so it doesn’t explode and spray you with hot juice. Once tomatoes have smoked, pull them off the grill, puree in a food processor or blender and set aside.




Lavender Shortbread Cookies Annie Rafferty of Sweet As Pie, Okatie, S.C. Yields 50 cookies

1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash) extra sugar for sprinkling on top In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and

salt. Set aside.

In a small spice grinder, grind up 1 tablespoon

lavender and 1 tablespoon sugar. You can also use a

mortar and pestle to grind the sugar and lavender together.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add

butter, ground lavender mixture and remaining ½ cup sugar. Cream on medium speed until fluffy,

about 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix on low until dough comes together. Scrape dough out

onto a clean surface and form into a ball with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Divide refrigerated dough into quarters. On a

lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a ¼-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut cookies. Brush very lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate cookies while oven preheats.

Place racks in center and upper third of

the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees. Bake about 10

minutes, just before cookies begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack.





Southern Biscuits with Pimento Cheese and Sorghum Ham Serves 4

Pimento Cheese 2 cups sharp grated cheddar 1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise 1/2 cup pimentos, drained and chopped 1/4 cup green onion, chopped, using both the

Pecan Praline Baked Brie Serves 5

1 (8 ounce) wheel brie cheese ½ cup pecans, toasted, chopped ¼ cup butter ¾ cup brown sugar ½ cup heavy cream ¼ cup baking soda apple wedges and crackers for serving Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once oven

it hot, lightly spritz baking sheet with cooking spray. Place pecans on baking sheet and toast just until they are aromatic, about 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully as they burn easily.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk in heavy whipping cream and

gently stir until mixture starts to bubble

green and white parts 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

around the edges.

1/2 teaspoon salt

minutes. Stir in baking soda and take mixture off

dash of Tabasco

Allow it to bubble without stirring for 2

the heat. Cool the mixture for 20 minutes. (It will thicken during this cooling time.) Bake brie for 15

minutes until it feels like the inside is melted when you gently push on the top.

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Just mix and serve or stash away in the fridge

to let the flavors blend together overnight.

This appetizer uses feather light biscuits made

Remove from oven and transfer to a serving

with buttermilk and heavy cream - they’ll bring

wheel of Brie. Brush apple slices with lemon juice

flour will make them tender and moist and the

dish. Arrange apple slices and crackers around

you a standing ovation every time. White Lily

to prevent browning.

use of a wet dough will create steam, making these

Place pecans on top of the wheel and pour

Southern biscuits lighter-than-air.

praline sauce over top. Serve any remaining sauce over ice cream or brownies for a decadent dessert.

Feathery light yet rich scones with an

attractive, tart contrast of cranberries and orange zest.

Combine brown sugar and stir for a minute until the sugar almost completely dissolves.





Southern Biscuits Serves 6

Nonstick cooking spray 2 cups White Lily self-rising flour 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup sugar 4 tablespoons shortening 2/3 cup heavy cream 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup bleached all-purpose flour for shaping 2 tablespoons butter, melted Sorghum syrup for drizzling over country ham Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray an

8-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the self-rising flour, salt and sugar

in a medium mixing bowl. With your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the shortening into the flour mixture until there are no shortening lumps larger than the size of a pea.

Stir in the cream and buttermilk and let stand

for several minutes. This is a wet dough that will look like cottage cheese.

Pour the cup of all-purpose flour onto a plate.

Flour your hands well. Spoon a biscuit size lump

Cranberry – Orange Scones

Annie Rafferty Sweet As Pie, Okatie, S.C. Yields 10 scones 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

of wet dough into the flour and sprinkle some flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

dough into a soft round and shake off any excess

½ stick butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

over the wet dough to coat the outside. Shape the

½ teaspoon salt

flour. Because this dough will not hold its shape,

1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

place the rounds into the pan tightly against each other. This allows the biscuits to rise up and

not spread out. Continue shaping rounds in this

manner until all of the dough is used and the pan is full.

Bake just above the center of the oven until

nicely browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Take out of oven and brush with the melted butter. Split the

biscuits in half once they are cooled and fill with pimento cheese and a thin slice of country ham drizzled with a little sorghum.

1 tablespoon grated orange zest 1 large egg 1 large egg, separated ¾ cup heavy or whipping cream

Lightly beat the whole egg and egg yolk

together in a small bowl. Whisk in cream until blended. Add to the flour mixture and stir until dough begins to hold together.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and

knead gently until smooth. Roll out the dough 1 inch thick. Cut out with a 3-inch round or heart

–shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.

Beat egg white until foamy and brush over the

top of each scone with a pastry brush. Sprinkle the scones lightly with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature

Lavender flowers can be used in cooking

fresh or dried. The flowers have an intense flavor, so they are best used sparingly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking

sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Place flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the baking powder,

salt and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to

a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cranberries and orange zest.







A Greek Inspired New Year’s Dinner The Allure of the Black and White Palette Tablescape Design by Beth Blalock.


hortly after Christmas Day, I become tired of the

constant coupling of red and green. Gardening catalogs start pouring in and I become anxious for the freshness

of spring. The dark winter skies come early in the

evening and have me longing for the bright light and

green colors that come with the change of seasons.

Designer Beth Blalock uses a gold Greek urn, once owned by

Versace, from her personal collection as the centerpiece. She has

filled it with grape leaves and grapes pushed into floral foam from her husband’s small vineyard.

Gold-rimmed glassware, candlesticks and napkin rings formalize the gaiety of the centerpiece. The table is filled with decorative appointments such as

candlesticks made to look like brass columns. The white Greek statues are Dionyus Baschus, Greek gods of Wine and Joy, and

Demeter Ceres, the Goddess of Harvest. Bright color will be absent for now, but textures fill the void.

Our New Year’s table is set with cream china in a gold Greek

key pattern, mini butter pats with Greek gods, silverware with

Greek emblems, and 24 karat gold Greek god napkin rings with linen napkins embossed with Greek key designs.

Lovely glassware also carries the Greek key design along with

antique Bacchus stemware used for champagne.








Why do Greeks Eat Cake with a Coin Baked Inside on New Years Day?

Greek Inspired Rolled Collard Greens Yields 2 dozen stuffed leaves 1 large bunch collard greens 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 large red onion, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced kosher salt to taste 1 teaspoon sugar 3/4 cup basmati rice, rinsed well in several changes of water 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts 1 (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained (retain juice) 1/4 cup dark raisins 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 1/4 cups water


2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint Juice of 1 lemon

small statue holds the good luck coin that will be inserted into a cake and found by the lucky recipient. That person is

Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil while you stem the collard greens,

said to have good luck all year long.

leaving the leaves intact. Fill a bowl with ice water. Once boiling, salt the water

Pie, named for Basil, the Greek bishop of Caesarea who

Drain and squeeze out excess water and set aside.

It’s a time honored tradition called Vasilopita, or Basil’s

lived in the 4th century AD, and the Greek word, pita, for pie. Basil eventually became St. Basil the Great, one of the most revered saints in both eastern and western Christianity.

The cake commemorates a Christian legend when Basil, who was bishop

and add the leaves in batches. Blanch 2 minutes and plunge into the ice water.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add

the onion. Once tender, add the garlic, salt and sugar. Add the rice and pine nuts and stir until the rice is coated.

Stir in the tomatoes, raisins, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper. Bring to

at the time, called on the citizens of Casarea to raise a ransom payment to

a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat

embarrassed by the act of collective giving that he called off the siege without

Heat oil in a large saucepan. To fill the leaves, place them on your work

stop the siege of the city. When the ransom was raised, the enemy was so collecting payment.

and cool down. Stir in the mint.

surface, vein side up and the stem end facing you. Add about 1 level tablespoon of filling on the bottom center of each leaf. Fold the sides over and roll up tightly, tucking the sides as you go. Place seam side down in the pan, fitting

the stuffed leaves in snug layers. Drizzle with remaining olive oil, and pour on the lemon juice. Barely cover with water.

Put a plate over the leaves to weigh them down during cooking so they

will not open. Simmer 45 minutes. Carefully remove each leaf from the pan with a slotted spoon. Allow to drain. Serve warm or cold. SCGLIFESTYLE.COM



South Carolina Yacht Club Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 68




Christmas Harbor Side SCGLIFESTYLE.COM




Bernie Maley

Life on the water with Sunbury Crab Company owner, Bernie Maley and his top-secret location.





The Crab Man by Pat Branning


ut of the way and off the beaten

path, Sunbury is an incredible foodie haven adventure. Views here will leave you breathless, especially





sundown. So bring a hearty appetite, roll up your sleeves and head on out to Sunbury, Georgia to do some real crab crackin’ at Sunbury Crab Company,

which has been owned and operated for over 20 years by Bernie Maley and his family.

Bernie greeted us at the door and seated

us on a partially open and perfectly elevated balcony high above the river system. It felt more

like a treehouse sitting above the landscape with

unobstructed water views as far as the eye could see. This place is hands down the most unique dining experience in all of South Georgia. Once

Bernie seated us, he excused himself and came

right back with lemonade, lots and lots of fresh squeezed lemonade. Sunbury Crab Company is a

staunchly no frills seafood dive with a menu that couldn’t be simpler: sweet fried or steamed shrimp

and seafood year round, calamari, the best coleslaw

ever and, when the chill hits the marshes, fireroasted oysters. Bernie prides himself on pulling

his blue crabs right out of the marshes in front of the surrounding waters and serving them the same

day. In fact, at the local pier and boat ramp out front, you can even drop your own line. It’s a great spot for river fishing or just enjoying the views.

Our steamed blue crab arrived in buckets

cleaned and ready to eat. Bernie gave us a wooden mallet for crackin’ and a big piece of parchment paper as a placemat. He waited until we were through with our meal, then came up to us and said, “Come on down to the dock and get aboard

the boat while I check the traps.” There was

hardly room to sit down amidst the yards of line, SCGLIFESTYLE.COM

bait and buckets that filled the 17-foot aluminum

of the creek. Our adventure was about to end. So

the creek out towards the first crab pot - a large

and hang out on the docks with Bernie Maley

skiff. Suddenly we took off full throttle down trap attached to a line down in the water with

a white marker. The first trap was full of blue

crabs. Bernie dumped it all into a black plastic

next time you’re down this way, grab a cold beer

and watch the sun go down. There’s no other experience like it. No place. No where.

bucket on board and grabbed some Menhaden baitfish to refill the pot, then slowly lowered it

back into the blue waters. A seasoned waterman,

Bernie had a passion for his work as he moved on to the next trap and then the next, all the time talking with pride about his family, his land, his

restaurant and his love for serving the freshest, most delicious seafood in all of South Georgia.

For this was his inheritance, these primitive vistas untouched by civilization. There’s a timeless

appeal here reflecting the history and character of a community and the generations of fishermen and their families who went before him.

Darkness was settling in as the tide ebbed,

exposing miles of black pluff mud along either side Winter 2017 SHRIMP, COLLARDS&GRITS



Angela Trotta Thomas Memories of Christmas Past Come Alive through the Art of Charleston artist Angela Trotta Thomas by Pat Branning


s I raced for the Christmas presents under the tree, I scurried through the dining room where Dad had set up

a shiny 1957 Santa Fe Lionel train. It clicked around an

oval track, had smoke coming out of its smoke stack and

the whistle blew as it approached a little village made up

of figurines ice skating on a pond and strolling through tiny streets. These

miniature figures inhabited the town. Along the track was an oversized metal tunnel, a bridge and several signal towers. Dad was a good teacher: “Not too fast around the curves, go slowly through the tunnel and over the bridges, and slow down when you approach the settlement.”

Since that morning, it’s never seemed like Christmas without the

clickety-click and whistle of a train. Each of my three children learned to take

the throttle and run the train at least once every year. If ever I suggested not bothering to set it up, there would be groans, “You have to!” The tradition of going into the attic to find the boxes, the sounds of the cars going clickety-

click, the nasal horn blowing as it rounded the bend, and smells of oil and smoke from the smoke stack, became as much a part of the holiday as our Mesmorized

stockings, nativity scenes and sugar cookies. I believe no matter how old we are, there will forever be magic when the train appears each year.

The paintings of Angela Trotta Thomas evoke similar cherished memories

of Christmas. She is the only artist licensed by famed toy train manufacturer Lionel Trains, Inc. Her toy train art has been exhibited in many museums,

including the Smithsonian and Everhart. Her Rockwell-like paintings have earned her the title “The Train Lady.”

The lynch pin of Angela’s art is her ability to bring emotion into her work. Mary Martin Gallery, 103 Broad Street, Charleston, S.C.




Concordian by Angela Trotta Thomas SCGLIFESTYLE.COM




Natural Noel

Bring the Elements of Nature Inside


any a current of Southern

pine cones and evergreen foliage. A bouquet of

Old Town Bluffton, a

antique sleigh. Votive candles twinkle on a table




charming village on the

banks of the May River

between Savannah and Hilton Head. There’s

fresh cotton is displayed in a tin vase next to an

adorned with fresh cut greenery, adorable little Santas and lovely linens.

something ageless here with an authenticity not

often found. A stroll along Calhoun Street and down to the river is shaded by ancient live oaks

laden with moss. The iconic trees are everywhere,

their long branches hanging over tin-roofed cottages, shops and park benches, offering respite from the midday sun.

A quick turn off Calhoun onto Church Street

takes you to the Bluffton General Store, where we found proprietor Jana Qualey and designer Kelly Perry getting ready for some holiday fun.

Jana and Kelly looked to the world around

them for decorating inspiration. Natural elements,

with their natural hues and varied textures, are given star treatment. Their settings blend rustic

elements with refined accents in displays of true Southern gentility.

In a front window stands a fir tree, all decked

out with little birds, tin stars, wooden beads and

garland made with wine corks. Nearby on a rustic

wooden bench is an old handmade basket filled

with pine cones and a wreath of magnolia leaves,








Kelly (Left) & Jana (Right)

Designer Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers in Boone, North Carolina, reveals her secrets for making a gorgeous table centerpiece for Christmas. “I think of arranging flowers like decorating a room. First you create the room. There are walls, a ceiling and floor. You establish the shape and size, which determines what and where your other items like furniture and accessories will live.” - Kelly





What did you use in this arrangement? “This arrangement started with pine from the backyard of my mountain

home and lamb’s ear from the front garden. To this I added Christmas-themed ingredients — Star of Bethlehem, Christmas rose, million star, snowberry and snowflake roses. You’ll also see amaryllis, a classic Christmas-time flower. ”

What advice do you have for someone who is new to arranging flowers? “You don’t need to have the same ingredients to create an arrangement like

this. Instead, consider the way the ingredients are used and make substitutions

accordingly. You will need a branching ingredient to establish the shape and size of the arrangement and something to cover the rim of your container. From

here think about taking color and texture to the edges of the arrangement and

then work your way in. A focal point is always nice. We used amaryllis for this, but you could use any large flower in your desired color palette.”

Do you have a quick tip for maximum vase life? “Yes, my quick tip is a product called “Quick Dip” by Floralife, available

on Amazon. This product is simple to use, just follow instructions on the label.

Quick dip aids in floral hydration which is the number one reason for flower failure. Have a floppy rose? Quick Dip will perk it up. Flowers cut from the garden drooping when you bring them inside? Quick Dip is a lifesaver! Also, clean water makes a big difference for your flowers. After making hundreds of

arrangements, I’m convinced you can skip the pennies, bleach, sugar and floral

preservatives. Just refresh water daily by placing your flowers under the sink and flushing old water out.”

What you will need Vessel with a wide opening (6-8 inches in diameter is ideal),

a flower frog secured with floral putty or a ball of chicken wire secured with waterproof tape and clippers (Joyce Chen makes my favorite type).











Raising Cane Sweet on Sorghum


t isn’t honey, it isn’t molasses and it sure isn’t sugar. It’s purer

than molasses and more common below the Mason-Dixon

line than maple syrup. Those born in the Appalachians

know that sorghum tastes of home and hollers, chilly crimson

autumns days and wood burning fires. It tastes of community

and tradition. This homegrown Southern sweetener is in a class all by itself.

It’s sweet but complex enough to hold your interest. It’s also the sweetener of

the moment among chefs who are digging deep into the Southern pantry and coming up with new ways to cook the food they grew up with.

Unlike molasses, a byproduct of sugar production, and cane syrup,

which is boiled down from sugar cane juice, sorghum comes from squeezing

the green juice from the tall stalks of a cereal grain and boiling it in open pans until it’s thick and golden.

In her book Sorghum’s Savor, North Carolina based food writer Ronni

Lundy says, “Whenever my mother made biscuits, she placed a jar of

sorghum syrup in the center of the table. Tradition called for us to slap a big pat of sweet softened butter on a saucer, pour the amber elixir over it, and use the backs of our forks to combine the two. Grown-ups ate theirs with a

fork, but I picked my biscuit up and ate it with the melted butter and syrup

running down my fingers, making a big sticky mess.” They ate it on pancakes

and hoe cakes and it softened the saltiness in country ham. It does wonders for roasted butternut squash soup, gives cakes depth and adds character to

browned butter that dresses up our holiday sweet potatoes. It’s delicious

The South has a handful of sorghum syrup



products every bit as delightful as the finest Vermont maple syrup or Tupelo honey. The one favored by Chef Fleer comes from Muddy Pond, a Mennonite farm, located midway between Nashville and Knoxville, deep in the hills of Tennessee.

Mark Guenther and his family have been working the soil at Muddy Pond

since the mid-1960’s and continue to win raves for their outstanding sorghum syrup. Imagine taking the best qualities of a floral honey, a rich molasses, and a

deep maple syrup and combining them all together. That’s what Muddy Pond’s

syrup tastes like. Next time you’re up that way in the fall, stop by and watch the horses walk around the cane mill, squeezing the juice out of the sorghum cane.

You may even hear a train whistle as the wood fired, steam locomotive boiler makes the steam that boils the juice down to syrup.

So why not whip up a pecan pie, a brisket of beef and a batch of

biscuits? Grab a bottle of Muddy Pond sorghum and gather around the table with friends and family for a whole lot of Southern love. Mercy, but this pie is good!

Sorghum Fields by Shannon Smith Hughes.

spooned onto a baked sweet potato, cooked into a risotto, in salad dressings

and on waffles. For a really special treat, it is out-of-this-world wonderful on baby back ribs and brisket of beef.

Sean Brock of Husk in Charleston, South Carolina, grew up going to

sorghum-making parties where everyone brought a dish and people took

turns stirring and skimming. Today he uses the sweet syrup in his apple stack cakes and cocktails.

When Chef John Fleer opened Rhubarb in downtown Asheville, North

Carolina in the winter of 2013, he stocked the kitchen with extra-large jugs

of Muddy Pond sorghum syrup. The chef with the easy smile grins big when he says, “I wouldn’t have a restaurant without it.” Of course, anyone who knows Fleer’s background recognizes his talent. In addition to four James

Beard Award nominations, Fleer boasts a fourteen-year stint as the chef at

Blackberry Farm, an exclusive resort in eastern Tennessee and a long-time culinary powerhouse of the Appalachian region. 80




Sorghum and Bourbon Pecan Pie Sorghum’s Savor by Ronni Lundy

Sorghum Beef Brisket 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 9-inch pie crust

freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ cups pecan halves

4 tablespoons sorghum

pinch of fine sea salt

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon paprika

½ cup sorghum syrup

pinch of cayenne pepper

¼ cup half-and-half

1 (4-5 pound) brisket flat and trimmed

1 cup sugar

1 large onion, halved and sliced thin

2 tablespoons white cornmeal

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 garlic cloves, chopped

4 eggs

1 cup beef broth

1 tablespoon bourbon In a small bowl stir together first 7 ingredients

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place crust in

and form a paste. Rub this all over the brisket until

To roast pecans, lightly spray cookie sheet

for 1 hour.

9-inch pan and flute to make a raised edge.

with oil. Spread pecans in a single layer and very

covered and allow to stand at room temperature

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cook onion in

lightly salt. Put back in oven and roast for 5 more

hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high

smell fragrant, they are ready. Turn them out into

6 cloves garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Remove

minutes. If pecans are just starting to brown and

a bowl. If not, you may need to roast them for 1 to 2 more minutes before turning out.

Turn heat up to 350 degrees. In a small pan,

melt butter and stir in sorghum to blend. Remove from heat and add half-and-half. Set aside.

heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until tender. Add

from heat and add beef broth, stirring to loosen

any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Place brisket in Dutch oven, fat side up. Spoon onion mixture over brisket.

Bake, covered, at 250 degrees for 4 to

In a small bowl, blend sugar, cornmeal and

5 hours or until fork-tender. Set aside for 30

and whites are fully blended. Whisk in the

grain. Serve with Horseradish Cream or your

salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until yolks sorghum mixture. Whisk in the sugar mixture.

When all is blended, add the pecans and

the bourbon and stir to incorporate. Pour into

piecrust. Bake on the middle rack for 40 to 50

minutes, until the center is set. Remove and cool on rack before slicing.

minutes to cool. Thinly slice brisket across the favorite barbecue sauce.

Horseradish Cream 1 cup sour cream 3 tablespoons prepared white horseradish ½ teaspoon honey ¼ teaspoon Tabasco kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper In a medium bowl, whisk together sour

cream, horseradish, honey and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.





That Yemassee Country Club One of the Best Dive Bars in the South by Tom Poland


hop, skip and jump off I-95 and dissected by US 21, Yemassee, though small, straddles both the Beaufort and

Hampton county lines. It’s close by the Colleton and Jasper

county border as well. If you get the feeling this town is a

close to everywhere”—resides in the heart of locals who love a fine meal at an American South original.

Where, exactly, might you find this legendary haunt?

Harold’s sits off Highway 21 at 97 Highway, 17A. Look for a faded,

crossroads, well, that is the case. Some, in fact, consider

yellowed sign that, though it’s seen its share of Lowcountry sunlight, is

And the heart of the Lowcountry enjoys eminence. Yemassee claims

of the sign, a frosty mug of beer the other; in the middle is a circle around a

Yemassee the heart of the Lowcountry.

the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Auldbrass, Old Sheldon Church ruins,

Frampton Plantation and a country club like no other. You won’t need clubs,

you won’t need a caddy but you might pick up a cue stick. And for sure you’ll need a fork, for Harold’s Country Club—“in the middle of nowhere but

nonetheless colorful. A grill full of ribs, chicken and a huge steak fill one side bespectacled Harold with the words: “Harold’s Country Club ... Bar & Grille, Est. 1973.” The likeness of Harold Peeples makes the sign. He looks like a sheriff from a tough county in South Georgia.

Fittingly, at the right front corner stands an old rusty red Fire Chief gas

pump, a throwback to fill ’er up days. Inside, rules catch the eye. “You are

required to pay for every steak you order.” “Please clear table.” In the poolroom,

improper behavior is not tolerated. “No Smoking.” “No Hitting Sticks On

Tables.” “No Sitting On Pool Tables.” And in lowercase: “follow the rules or you will be barred from playing pool.”

Rules, stools, cue sticks, steaks and more, Harold’s has unique interior

collectibles, genuine auto parts and down-home Southern cooking. You’d expect all of this and more from a Chevrolet dealership turned gas station

turned restaurant. On one wall you’ll see a horseshoe, fan belts, trophies, a US flag, a rack of Lance crackers and Fritos, and a Pabst Blue ribbon beer clock.

Don’t be surprised to see a colorful assortment of birthday balloons floating over a royal French blue tablecloth, for Harold’s is the go-to celebration place.

What began in the 1930s as a Chevrolet dealership became a garage and

gas station, which Harold Peeple’s bought in 1973. In the late 1970s, friends

and neighbors began gathering there for covered dish suppers on Thursday nights. Over time the group began cooking and eating in the garage to avoid

bad weather and infamous Lowcountry gnats and mosquitoes. As gatherings grew, Harold took over the cooking, charging a small fee to cover expenses.

The new car smell of Chevrolet Masters with 206-cubic-inch engines

faded long ago, replaced by sizzling steaks, baked potatoes and sautéed onions. Add to that shrimp, fish, and burger baskets, wings, and extras that include jalapeño poppers and hush puppies.

Chevy engine smoke gave way to a no smoking atmosphere, a sign of the

times. Over near the bar you’ll see a sign offering some advice: “Win or lose, stick with booze.”




Harolds Country Club by Nancy Ricker Rhett

The restaurant is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I eased into

atmosphere and evidence of its DNA. Then fire came calling on May 9, 1999,

sat around the bar. “Like a scene from Andy of Mayberry,” I mused. On the

stuff to restore the unique décor. A room for extra seating and private parties

the Country Club on a Friday at 3:30 in the afternoon. A cast of characters

flatscreen a NASCAR race was underway. No one paid it any mind. At the bar’s opposite end, a big plastic parrot on a perch leaned back to study the race. So it appeared.

Fame visits this venerable old dealership-gas station. When you walk into

Harold’s, you’re stepping in high cotton. Harold departed this world in 2003

but in his day he had a special friendship with movie producer Joel Silver who

destroying the bar, hoses and belts. Harold rebuilt and friends donated car

morphed into the bar, and Harold’s was up and running within a week, though two weeks passed without meals. That proved to be too much. Customers brought covered dishes, and the food was back. The rest is Lowcountry history. Harold’s Country Club ascended to legend.

But wait. Hold on. We have one more steak to grill.

What about that name, Harold’s Country Club? Well, a tale’s behind

owns Auldbrass Plantation. Joel would stop by on Sundays to chat with Harold

that too. Harold played on, coached, umpired and supported the local softball

In 1994, Dennis Hopper transformed Harold’s into a biker’s bar for his

the Yemassee Athletic Association. They bought land and built a ball field

over coffee.

movie Chasers. Coastal Living, Esquire and Southern Living magazines have

all covered Harold’s. Garden & Gun called it one of the best dive bars in the South.

People dive in on a regular basis. Thursdays feature a different meal

each week. Fridays bring “wings and things:” seafood, fish, chicken, steaks,

team. When that team needed a new place to play, Harold and friends formed beside what today is the Country Club, known then as Peeples Service Station. After games ended, announcer Charles Jackson had a habit of saying, “Now, let’s all go over to Harold’s Country Club for a cool one.” Soon people started calling the business Harold’s Country Club.

Harold helped friends, strangers and stranded motorists, rich or poor.

hamburger baskets and extras such as jalapeño poppers, fries, fried mushrooms,

He valued good times and wanted everyone to have just that. A good time.

cut ribeyes. Meals include baked potato, sautéed onions, salad, and a roll.

banned troublemakers from his old Chevy dealership “for life and a day.”

hushpuppies and onion rings. Saturday nights usher in 12- to 14-ounce choice How Harold’s became an eatery is a tale worth telling. In earlier days,

But then there were all those rules. He didn’t tolerate tomfoolery. In fact, he

That sounds like forever, but it wasn’t. A sincere apology got offenders

folks pushed and drove cars out of the garage to make room for tables and

back through the door. They had to be grateful to be reinstated at Harold’s

a garage. Popping grease guns gave way to twanging guitars. The old lube rack

dine once again in a place where a Saturday night carries the aroma of grilling

chairs. The cars left for good when changing times ended the building’s run as is now a “stage” commandeered at times for live music. (Harold built that stage over the “grease rack”).

As the garage evolved into a bar and restaurant, no one bothered to take

the radiator hoses and fan belts off the wall, a good thing. They gave the place


Country Club smack dab “in the middle of nowhere.” They had to be relieved to steaks coated in Harold’s special rub. Once again they could join locals and talk about movie stars and old cars, while eating steaks beside walls sporting black cast iron skillets, equally at home with an old Coke box, Conestoga wagon, and fan belts. Fan belts donated by? Fans.




Soulful Harvest New Southern inspired deliciousness from the awardwinning Spring House Restaurant Kitchen and Bar, Winston-Salem, North Carolina by Chef Timothy Grandinetti.










House Restaurant Kitchen and



Salem, North Carolina by Chef Timothy Grandinetti.

“My cooking is a ref lection of my

soul, an approach to the culinary arts

deeply rooted in tradition. My cooking style includes the desire and commitment

to utilize ultra-premium, fresh ingredients driven by the seasons.” Chef Grandinetti.

Chef Grandinetti has been tending to the earth, nourishing souls and cooking professionally since 1998. Chef Grandinetti has been tending to the

earth, nourishing souls and cooking professionally since 1998. He brings his top notch culinary

experience along with a fervent passion for

seasonally-inspired, fresh, natural food to the

award-winning Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen

& Bar located in downtown Winston-Salem. Since the very first dish found its way through the Spring House kitchen’s swinging door to be

served to the first dinner guest, Chef Grandinetti 84


has infused passion and culinary excellence into

approach to New Southern cooking, inspired by

menus. A fourth-generation culinarian, he has a

markets,” says Chef Tim. “I still walk the dining

his decidedly-Southern and seasonally-inspired

passionate approach to food and the total dining experience, which he loves to share through guest cooking demonstrations and classes.

Against the backdrop of this iconic one





seasonal ingredients fresh from the farm and local room and touch tables every night. I love when the

guests ask, ‘You’re still here at this time of night?’ And I respond, ‘Yessir!’ For me, this is the most magical place on earth.”

As a guest, it doesn’t take long to realize this

combines traditional elegance and old world

is much, much more than a restaurant. The house

dishes grace its tables.

to gather and create long-lasting memories. Break

charm, some of the region’s most memorable “I believe food is important, meaningful

and conjures wonderful memories. I work with a commitment to create menus in cadence with

Mother Nature, showcasing an honest, responsible

itself is a romantic, soulful place, a place for folks bread together here – partake of a Bourbon Smash

on the patio, pass the platter ‘round filled with

butter slathered buttermilk biscuits piled high,

grab a deviled egg and enjoy hush puppies filled



with their riff on Mississippi Comeback sauce or

slathered in tomato jam. Enjoy another spoonful

of pimento cheese and taste the richness of their hand pies hot from the oven. It’s an experience not long forgotten.

Theirs is a menu resplendent with everything

they associate with Southern goodness: stone-

ground grits, country ham, local sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas and turnip greens. Chef begins his cookbook with his favorite Spring House noshes.

The menus and recipes are distinctly Grandinetti,

definitely Southern and completely proprietary to Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar. Soulful




Timeless Techniques and Culinary Reflections is part cookbook, part culinary memoir.

Baker Farm Bundt Cake with Sweet Potato Caramel Drizzle Chef Tim Grandinetti

Sweet Potato Caramel Drizzle 1 ½ cups butter 4 cups brown sugar 1 cup corn syrup 2 tablespoons salt

3 cups flour

½ cup water

2 cups sugar

¾ cups sweet potato, roasted and pureed

4 cups apples, seeded and diced


1 ½ cups vegetable oil

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup dried cranberries 3 eggs 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda

Bring butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt

and water to a boil.

Take off heat and whisk in sweet potato

puree, vanilla extract and baking soda.

Drizzle over the entire cooled cake.

Beat together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at

a time until incorporated. In a separate bowl use some of the flour to gently toss the walnuts and

cranberries. Sift together the remaining flour,

cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Gradually add

to the egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the walnuts, cranberries and apples.

Bake 375 degrees for 1 hour and make sure

cake is well done. When a fork inserted into the Chef Grandinetti


middle comes out clean, the cake is ready. Set aside to cool.




Road Trip: Coastal Hot Spots Sights and Tastes of the American South Along the Coastal Highway


enturies old live oaks, covered in resurrection fern and laden

with Spanish moss, form tunnels along the beach bound back roads of South Carolina. From juke joints and dive bars to oyster bars and fish camps, there’s something to discover

around every bend on a road trip down Highway 17. Signs

appear for “Peel-N-Eat Shrimp” and “Ice Cold Beverages.” Glimpses of the

deep blue Atlantic appear between sand dunes and cottages along the way. This is the Lowcountry and you’re getting hungry.

Seewee Restaurant, 4808 Highway 17 North in Awendaw, is like Sunday

dinner at grandma’s in this general store-turned cozy restaurant where rice

and gravy, Okra soup, and butter beans vie for your attention with just-caught flounder, fish stew, and sweet creek shrimp. The setting is equally old-school

– homemade cakes look out from under glass domes, rustic wooden beams line the ceiling and silhouettes of Southern scenes rendered in iron by Lowcountry

Dunleavy’s Pub by Norma Ballentine-Cable.

artist Thomas Smoak decorate the walls. Stone crab claws caught in nearby

spent here is time well remembered, always. Dunleavy’s Pub, at 2213 Middle

Nestled at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, neighbor to the Isle of

some of the finest chicken wings and burgers around. They’re also known for

Bulls Bay make a mighty good appetizer.

Palms and mere minutes from Charleston, Sullivan’s Island calls out to beach

lovers of all ages. Whether you’re soaking up Revolutionary War history at Fort

Moultrie, relaxing with your feet up and a view of the lighthouse, or dining al fresco with the family at Dunleavy’s Pub, Sullivan’s Island promises that time

Street, promises ice cold Guinness on tap with plenty of free popcorn and some mighty fine stuffed clams and mahi tacos. The owners say this popular spot is “beach-Irish” because it gives a nod to the Irish roots of its owners.

As you make your way to Edisto Island, you’ll find no shortage of

decadent delights. Pick up some fresh coffee and cornmeal donuts at Geechee Boy Market and Mill, 2995 Highway 174.

From a roadside stand in Edisto island to the finest restaurants in

Charleston, Greg Johnsman’s grits and cornmeal are a delicious return to a

tasty tradition. You might even catch Greg himself giving a demo on one of his antique grist mills.

If you happen to be in the mood to do a little crab crackin’, just a short

drive down the road is Flowers Seafood Company, 1914 Highway 174, a little blue shack right off the highway with a colorful giant crab painted in

its side. Vincent Flowers and his family have been hauling in fresh seafood

here for more than sixty years. It’s a casual roadside stand and part of Edisto’s allure. There’s a mobile kitchen trailer out back flanked by picnic tables with a

handwritten specials board announcing “Garlic Crab, $30/dozen. Or you can

order whole fried crab for a messy feast beneath the towering pines, magnolias Edisto Beach, SC



and live oaks.


For the best seafood at a gas station look for

Whaley’s Restaurant and Bar, 2801 Myrtle Street

Edisto Beach, S.C. True to its history as a

gas station, Whaley’s still has the old pumps in front of the building, which opened for business in

1948. Instead of customers pulling up for a tank of regular or high test, they now stop for something

to eat and drink. The building evokes memories

and nostalgia from an era that has slipped away from many beach towns. And the ocean surf is just two blocks away.

Travel further South through Beaufort and

onto St. Helena Island and stop at The Shrimp

Shack, at 1929 Sea Island Pkwy – locals love the shrimp burgers at this seafood place near Hunting

Island State Park. A grey weathered sign with the restaurant’s name painted in bright bold red

letters announces its location. You can’t get shrimp that are any fresher unless you are netting them yourself along the waterway.

The trip from Beaufort over to Hilton Head

Island across the bridges and vast expanses of

marshlands and waterways reveals stunning vistas. Fish Seafood and Raw Bar, located in the heart


“of ” downtown Hilton Head, 1 N. Forest Beach

mainly for the experience at this hidden gem along

seafood. Everything is fresh and local - oysters,

darn good too. Imagine a juke joint crossed with

Drive, Coligny Plaza offers fresh sustainable seafood boils, grilled fish, steaks, pulled pork and salads – seafood with a Lowcountry-Cajun flair.

Continue heading south toward St. Simons

to experience the Old School Diner, 1080

Jesse Grant Rd, just off Harris Neck Road in Townsend, Georgia. You’ll know you’re there

when you see a parking lot full of mismatched

the Georgia coast, but the fried shrimp are pretty your favorite country kitchen.

The cavernous,

maze-like interior has walls covered with photos

of the famous athletes, actors and celebrity chefs who have visited. Actor Ben Affleck even has his own room at the diner and drops in whenever he’s in Georgia.

carpet remnants – that’s where you park. You go



At Christmas All Roads Lead Home Magic is in the Air at Cedar Hall Plantation, Barnwell, South Carolina Design by Sebrell Smith








mid all the hustle of the holidays, there is a moment when

Christmas happens. It may be the sounds of carolers in

the neighborhood that suddenly lifts the heart, the arrival home of a loved one from far away, or the jingle of bells and the twinkle of lights seen and heard on city streets.

Or sometimes it’s the simple act of lifting the wreath onto the front door.

Scents of sweet cedar and fresh cut magnolia leaves bring a rush of memories of Christmas past.

All Roads Lead Home There is a stretch of road winding up through South Carolina that makes

its way into towns like Fairfax, Allendale, Kline and on into Barnwell. The

road passes by schools, centuries-old graveyards and under shadows of ancient

live oaks. Small white wooden churches dot the landscape along with rusted,

dilapidated tractors and farming equipment, tin-roofed shacks overgrown with jungles of pokeweed and wooden sheds. Tired timbers of old barns moan

and groan in the wind as pieces of metal roofing hang on. Weathered brick 90



chimneys surrounded by weeds stand tall in open fields. Miles of abandoned peach orchards go untended, storefronts are boarded up and restaurants

closed. Welcome to the South. Like many aspects of our culture, the South is

leaves, cedar, brightly colored fresh oranges and pine cones - sets off the heavy wooden entry.

Home is never more dear to us than during this season of joy and

changing. And along back roads the pace slows down. But amongst the ruins

reflection. All is merry and bright as decorations are ready for an heirloom

that belong to the past.

family treasures – and offers such promise to build our own collections and

are treasures waiting to be discovered. Inspiration lives here – stories and ways

Fresh Magnolia for a Southern Welcome As we turned off Highway 3 onto a winding dirt lane lined with cedar

Christmas. No other holiday connects us so deeply to our past through beloved

traditions. Whether our ornaments and decorations are inherited or bought, memories are what they display each year among the greenery.

trees, it wasn’t long before we came upon a stately white wooden clapboard

Calm and Bright

of old endures here. A storied past lives on and a ghost named “The Lady in

Dark-hued wooden pine beams in the ceiling lend ambiance to the splendor of

This sends Edward running up the stairs, shotgun in hand, to take a look.

cheese straws, pickled okra and assorted snacks, while a butler’s tray is ready

house belonging to Attorney H. Edward Smith and his wife Terri. The South Black.” She loves to drop and roll things across the floor in the upper parlor. Upon entering the room – never a thing out of place.

A Merry Mansion

A step into the downstairs entry reveals a deep, rich heart of pine walls.

the house. A family portrait hangs over an entry table filled with welcoming to offer libations to all who enter. Each carefully selected accessory of this beautifully bedecked home reflects the bounteous blessings of the season.

History lives here. Isaac DeVoe built this home. Legend has it that he

Step into this centuries-old South Carolina plantation home, Circa 1843,

had been an accomplished builder in his native Ivory Coast, was brought to

and a medley of natural finds greet guests at the front door. Surrounded by a

Originally a rice plantation, the rice fields are still visible from the bluff out

that radiates Yuletide spirit at its most heartwarming. Fresh fruits of the season

lush swag of magnolia leaves, this welcoming wreath -made of fresh magnolia


America as a slave, then later freed by his owner, who lived in Charleston.

back and rickety trunks, used to let water in and out of the fields, rest in place.



Deck the Halls A family table from the late 1800’s, passed down from Terri’s great-

grandmother, proudly occupies the center of the dining room. Feelings of peace emanate from this heirloom table with little vases of flowers and touches of celebratory shimmering silver. The subdued palette of the India Tree Spode

china and natural accents highlight the season’s distinctive sparkle. Mixed metals, ranging from elegant Old Master Towle sterling silver to casual pewter water goblets and cranberry wine glasses, shine against a variety of candles glistening across the table.

A sterling silver turkey cover becomes a focal point, beautifully displayed

on an antique Chinese platter in anticipation of a magnificent dinner to be served. Battenburg lace family linens create a homey feel while signaling a special occasion.

Fresh magnolia leaves set off the hand-carved wooden mantle that forms

the focal point of the dining room. Sebrell kept the look understated so as to

not distract from the mantle’s splendor. A sideboard holds desserts on little

sterling silver platters, delicious and tempting. Perhaps most eye-catching of all are the handcrafted Christmas trees made with sugared fruits. Small pins

are used to carefully attach each piece of sugared fruit to a Styrofoam base for an elegant touch to what promises to be a festive array of desserts. To the right

of the sideboard is one of Terri’s most precious antiques from her mother: an Italian wall sconce with a cherub holding a shell with varying shades of blue, gold and yellows.

Simply Glorious Nostalgic trimmings and fresh greenery adorn the family room just to the

right of the entry hall in this beloved home dressed for the season in years of

family memories. On the brick fireplace hangs the Citadel sword belonging to Edward, (he’s a 1965 graduate) and, below that, a mounted Confederate

shotgun. It once belonged to a family member and confederate soldier and has been passed down through the generations.




All Is Bright The second floor and main entrance to the

home reveals a breathtaking entryway flanked by living rooms on either side. In the grand foyer, on

a Sheraton antique chest, is a striking Nativity scene. Barely a room in the house goes untrimmed.

Another special Nativity scene is displayed on a coffee table, given as a wedding gift to the couple by Edward’s mother.

A tree of a different type sits by the

fireplace. It’s made of fresh boxwood and brightly

colored oranges to carry out the fruit theme used throughout the home. Yuletide treasures always inspire a spirit of joy and wonder that seems to

grow brighter with each passing year. Best of all,

though, is that these beautiful touches beckon us to settle in and rejoice in the pleasures of home and

hearth, such a welcome respite from the holiday bustle.

Many thanks to Terri and Edward Smith for

allowing us into their home for this story. On a winged back chair next to the fireplace

is a piece of unusual duck hunting jewelry

representing years of memories and celebrations. This is Edward’s duck call necklace with 122

bands- evidence of all the ducks he had harvested

throughout his hunting career. These small shiny aluminum bands are placed around the leg of a wild duck to gain information on migration and

longevity. It is a rare thing to retrieve a banded bird and a real tribute to this hunter.

Cherished collections of antlers from the

grounds and shotgun shells from deer hunts, dove hunts, and quail hunts adorn both the wreath

above the fireplace and the Christmas tree filled

with twinkling white lights. “In all our 49 years of living in this house, our tree has only fallen

over once” says Terri. “But one year we decided to place it in the upstairs living room close to the

mantle. And that’s the only year it fell, breaking

my grandmother’s collection of glass ornaments.” Upon entering the room, the housekeeper said she

saw “The Lady in Black” standing by the fireplace.





Take The Long Way Home You’ll Be Glad You Did by Tom Poland, Southern writer


orn seven years before President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, I can’t recall the first time I saw an

interstate but I’m sure it frightened me. A city-like presence,

interstates invaded rustic countryside with a vengeance. All

that concrete and speed should have scared me. Understand

that I grew up in the countryside of two-lane eastern Georgia, graveled-road Georgia where dirt roads run through cornfields. Come Thanksgiving and Christmas we never took an interstate anywhere. We drove country roads to visit both sides of the family.

In one direction, we motored past red barns leaning with the wind,

country stores with wisps of cotton plugging their screen doors, old churches

and tenant homes perched at the edge of fields; in another, we passed an old mansion where men robbed the Confederate gold train, a fire tower, vintage

log cabins and a swamp where an albino eastern panther once prowled. Those drives fostered memories and stoked my imagination and to this day their magic holds me in a trance.

Alas, trances are rare. Today, when I merge onto an interstate—that

new architecture would redefine all familiar into white lines and soft, glistening

Plodding along. Long lines of cars and trucks. Exhaust fumes. A maddening

cedars—the only Christmas tree I long knew—stood like dark green sentinels

no airplane tickets come holidays, those of you who drive to see loved ones, if

of grandparents guaranteed that a veneer of confectioner’s sugar would make

roads. Give the little ones something to look at. Give them something they’ll

memories and more I hold dear.

asphalt-cement hardened land of stress—monotony takes control. Gridlock.

curves, for a milky species of kudzu was about to consume the countryside. Red

hitchhiker named Frustration slides behind the wheel. Those of you who need

in fields. I imagined their boughs heavy with crusts of snow. Drives to both sets

this experience seems all too familiar, I suggest you make a change. Take back

Christmas all the sweeter, though in truth it never did. Not once. Even so, those


I have rich memories from my boyhood holidays. Come Thanksgiving,

How about you? Got great holiday drive remembrances? Which do you

prefer; idling at mile marker 106 or driving a comfy 50 miles per hour along a

dreaming of quail and deer from the back seat of Dad’s Plymouth, I watched

scenic country road? If making time is your goal, back roads may be a better bet

field of broomstraw surely held quail. That dark line of oaks burdened with

And what about restaurants? Along the interstate you pass through the

the fields and forests of eastern Georgia slide by my window. That auburn

these days. Chances are a traffic jam will force you to exit somewhere anyway.

acorns? Without doubt a big buck feasted there. The heart-stopping sight of

kingdom of fast-food franchises. Along the back roads you’ll see old gas stations

my little boy head.

one in the South Carolina piedmont.) So why not give yourself a gift? Map out

white. I was certain flakes as big as chicken feathers would tumble from the

will give you something to talk about. Robert Frost urged us to “take the road

accumulating magic, a winter wonderland rare and sublime. I knew an altogether

become chapters, and a tale unfolds. If you don’t want to listen to Frost, then

a majestic buck froze me fast. The nerve-jolting flush of a covey exploded in

and stores converted to inventive restaurants. (A giant rooster stands in front of

Come Christmas I imagined those same fields and forests lacquered in

a memorable holiday drive, one that you and your family will enjoy, one that

sky Christmas Eve. Surely I’d slip outside every ten minutes to measure the

less traveled” for the lesser-traveled road tells a story. Miles become pages, trips




listen to Charles Kuralt: “The interstate highway system is a wonderful thing. It makes it possible to

go from coast to coast without seeing anything or meeting anybody.”

Don’t believe me? Well, over the last year or so I drove more than 10,000 miles along the back roads. Take a different route to the holidays this

season. You’ll discover wondrous sights along the

back roads. Don’t believe me? Well, over the last

year or so I drove more than 10,000 miles along

past old gas pumps and country homes where

All in all, a pleasant trip unfolds, one that adds

home. Here’s a sampling of things I saw: steel truss

fragrant incense of oak and hickory. I saw old train

route for once and consider my advice a renewable

beautiful wreckage where old mansions crumble,

in their yards. I see nothing anywhere close to

the back roads. You could say I took the long way

plumes of chimney smoke filled the air with the

bridges crossing forgotten rivers into a land of

depots and sleepy mill villages with giant boulders

ghost signs adorning brick walls in sleepy towns and

those on interstates.

the circuits. I saw the land and nature: hawks, wild

not to be ignored. Shun the interstate and your gas

shuttered country stores, pecan orchards wreathed

The kids are more apt to ignore their tablets and

holiday light extravaganzas promising to overload

The benefits of the lesser-traveled roads are

to the joy of the holidays. Think about a different

holiday gift for this simple reason. If you heed my advice, I’m sure it won’t be the last time you travel the back roads. It may, in fact, become a cherished holiday tradition.

Tom Poland’s book, South Carolina Country

turkey, deer and coyotes, sleepy cemeteries and

mileage goes up as your blood pressure goes down.

Roads, will be out in April 2018, Arcadia and The

in fog and old cars mounted high on poles. I drove

pads on a country road, not so on a bland interstate.

the beauty and awe back roads gave him as a boy.


History Press. Consider it his attempt to resurrect




Hunting in History’s Footsteps

Sporting Traditions, Conservation and History Abound at Turkey Hill Plantation, Ridgeland, South Carolina


f you think the golden age of wild Southern

quail hunting is gone forever, don’t let sportsman John Oliver hear you say it. For

avid hunters like John, Turkey Hill is a bird

haven. Generations of affluent sportsmen

have retreated to this pristine southern landscape - complete with towering pines and majestic live

oaks – every winter. Wildlife such as turkeys, dove and quail seeking refuge, find the natural habitat

they need in the surrounding acres of wire grass, little bluestem and broomsedge grasses. Various new grasses come after controlled burns.

Short dirt roads off the main route lead





songbirds reveal the presence of seed-eaters such as tufted titmice, chickadees, cardinals

John Oliver (left) & Bubba (Right)

and cedar waxwings, who eat berries and insects, often feeding in large f locks.

It was mid-winter and one of the coldest days

anyone could remember in recent South Carolina

history. Excitement ran high as we turned off the main highway. This was to be our first quail hunt.

Another turn or two and the road narrowed as we approached a sign that read Turkey Hill

Plantation. Pulling through the gates and onto a dirt road covered in a canopy of live oaks, we

noticed a stately white brick plantation house off

to the left, owned for several generations by the Millbank family. From there our car bounced

along a rustic path through the pines to Log Hall, where we caught up with the rest of our hunting party and plantation manager, Canada

Smith, a man whose roots run deep in the South Carolina soil.

Once inside, a crackling fire at one end

of the room warmed us as we talked of the afternoon ahead. 96


A massive deer mount with a heavy rack

master who learned at the feet of some of the best.

beaver, a skunk and a red fox holding a squirrel

wagon driver, Bubba, who’s spent three decades

hangs over the mantle decorated with a stuffed in its mouth. A stuffed coyote sits silently on the

hearth. Hardwood floors and overstuffed furniture are in keeping with the rustic nature of the place.

“The quail are gonna flush as they always do,

all of a sudden, with a thunderous sound as the

On this day Canada has an assistant, Reggie, and hunting this land.

Wagons hold hunters, dogs, extra gear and

guns, water for the dogs, extra pointers, two retrievers and refreshments.

Turkey Hill, a sprawling expanse of 17,000

covey rises up and explodes underfoot. If you react

acres, has some of the best quail habitat in the

“They’re just little blobs of feathers with dozens

rounded up and on board the wagon, we headed

too quickly, you’re gonna miss,” Canada explains. of shades of brown, ginger and bronze – some chestnut on rounded wings that send them like

rockets into the sky. So you don’t want to rush the shot. But, hey, if you do miss, you can be sure it

won’t be the only covey of the day. They’ll just keep on coming.”

In true Southern style we will begin our hunt

at the direction of Canada, our huntsman or hunt

state. Once our retrievers, Lucy and Moose, were

out to the fields with Canada and Reggie on horseback taking the lead along with Lemon and Bea, the white-haired pointers. Pointers Ben and Dot remained behind in the wagon. They’d play

their part later on that day. A single whistle from Canada and it’s game on. Lemon and Bea take off

and they did not stop until they located a covey of quail. At once they went on point.


Guide Canada Smith (Right)


This is the way it’s done and has been done in

the South for generations. It’s the stuff of legend.

Sporting traditions, conservation and history

are sacred on the plantations of South Carolina and Georgia. It’s certainly true at Turkey Hill

where time honored traditions transcend the mere

act of pulling the trigger. Here lives are measured

by the passage of hunting seasons and time spent outside with friends, guns and good dogs.

Later on that evening a group of flushed,

wind-burned faces gathered around the healing glow of the evening fire to celebrate the day’s

success in the field. Memories of bird dogs, mule drawn wagons and Lowcountry splendor will last long after the last shot is taken.





Dreaming of a White Christmas Memories from Childhood

of heavy flakes, if school buses would be covered and smothered and completely immobilized. Any

one of those wonderful things would have been sufficient, but I struck out.

and saw nothing. Bright sunshine. People walking hen I was growing up in

watched the evening news intently to see Trooper


who doubled as the weatherman, or vice versa,

South Carolina, winter a


you toted home in the

afternoon, a sweater

you tied around your handlebars, an annual inconvenience. Born and raised on long, hot

summers that started in March and dragged on until November, it was hard for a 10 year old to imagine what real winters were really like.

Terry, the kids’ show host on a local TV station I suppose. He would stand before a big map of

the United States, blocking out the Midwest and Southwest with his body, pointing directly at the

pie-shaped state we lived in, always saying the

same thing—partly sunny, with temperatures in the mid-50s, high 40s overnight.

He even had this bright, smiling sunshine

All I knew about the North I learned from

sticker he would move around on the map to show

library, and Yankees who came through our town

always assumed the sunshine sticker was yellow,

National Geographic magazines in the school en route to Florida, which was a mixed message.

One led me to believe that winter came with

a brilliant white blanket laid down on hills and

valleys used by laughing children to frolic in a wonderland of snow. The other told me it was a

gray, ugly slush that covered cars with out-of-state plates and made people grumpy.

just how warm it was going to be, and where. I but we had a black-and-white television, so I could

only assume. Occasionally Trooper Terry would

lift his arm and point to some angry-looking

clouds over an area to the north where he would

slap the word “Snow” on the board and laugh at some inside joke I didn’t understand.

All I wanted was a little bit of snow. It didn’t

All of which made me wonder what it was

have to be on Christmas Day, but that would be

couldn’t turn around; to slide down icy driveways

tasted like. I wanted to throw a snowball at my

like to be swaddled in so much clothing you that sent you spinning into roads without traffic, lakes without waves, and places without people.

nice. Mostly I just wanted to see what it felt like, best friend, build a snowman, write my name.

One night, when the wind was blowing hard

Winter in the Lowcountry of South Carolina

outside and my parents lit the gas stoves we had in

plants inside, a day or two of cold rain, maybe a car

face turn serious as he said the temperature was

consisted of a night when we had to bring some that wouldn’t start.

I asked my father one Christmas Eve if we

could have a white Christmas, if it might snow. He

our bedrooms, I watched Trooper Terry’s happy

dropping, a front was moving through, and light snow could make driving conditions hazardous.

That, of course, sent the adults around me

said no, probably not. And he was right.

into some kind of panic attack while I, stunned

seen snow except on television. Even then I was

where I found my cowboy boots and one glove.

In my short but inquisitive life I had never

told by my big brother it was only interference,

something my father fixed by wiggling the

rabbit ears. But I still wanted to see real snow. I 98

white, if the tree limbs would bow from the weight

I awoke the next morning, ran to my window

By Ken Burger


Therefore I spent the night waking up and

wondering if the ground would be covered with


silly by the news, rummaged through my closet When I pouted, Mom said I left the other one at

school when we dressed Jimmy Broderick up like a turkey for a Thanksgiving play, which was true.

around. I was heartbroken. It was as close as

we ever came to snow, and it wasn’t nearly close enough. That night, even Trooper Terry seemed disappointed, and I couldn’t blame him.

It would be almost 20 years later, after

college and marriage and children, that I awoke

one morning to an unexpected snow, the kind

that snuck in on the tip end of cold front digging into Dixie, then retreating as quickly as it came.

I remember hustling my kids outside in the early morning chill to scrape up enough to build a

midget snowman, taking their picture, then eating tomato soup as we watched it melt in the mid-

morning sun. Saddened, my children asked if the

snow was coming back, to which I said, probably not. By afternoon, we were playing football in the backyard, and being Southern children with yeararound tans and short-sleeved shirts, they never asked about snow again.

Come to think of it, neither did I. Ken

Burger was born and raised in the Palmetto State

where he spent 40 years writing for two South Carolina newspapers.

He published three novels and a collection

of award-winning columns titled, Baptized in

Sweet Tea. Ken lost his battle with cancer in

2015. On learning of his passing, bestselling author Pat Conroy said: “Ken wrote better about

our eccentricities than any southerner in history

but most of all, great Ken Burger, you brought

enormous joy to the readers who learned from you and your friends who loved you. I’m proud

to be one of those friends.” Our thanks to literary publicist Lynda Bouchard for providing us with this article. Lynda served as Ken’s publicist for

over 10 years.E. Shaver Bookseller, 326 Bull St., Savannah, Ga.



Oh, Lane Cake! How I Love to Love Thee (And Hate Thou Layers!) The Trials and Tribulations of an Eight Layered Lane Cake By Janis Owens


moment of staring into the bowl, mixer in hand, wondering: was that the third egg or was it sugar? Even on a good day, when you’re measuring

correctly, there are eight pans to be be oiled and

floured, and once they’re baked, eight thin, fragile layers to fill with a bulky concoction of cherries, pecans, coconut and bourbon, spread with an eagle eye to balance, as the very height of the

cake puts you in constant danger of a fallen or

(worse) lopsided cake. You can never let down your guard, and even if you succeed into building

it antebellum-high, there is always that cursed last step: a stiff meringue frosting.

o me, there are few holidays on

meringue is as unstable as plutonium, and an

sometime in the early 20th century and made such

difficult as both Mama and Big Mama did away

the modern Southern calendar as

vintage recipes that had entered the family lexicon

On one hand, you have

an impression that they’d become some beloved

complex as Yuletide.

the sweetly tinted memories

of childhood: of tree lightings and succulent dinners; of reciting the second chapter of Luke in

a trembling voice at some poorly attended evening service, while your grandmother sits front and center, beaming at you like you were inventing

In the year-round humidity of Dixie,

The desserts were hardly leaner - a handful of

Uncle or Daddy’s favorite dessert. In time, this

patriarchal hit-parade included Ice Box Lemon

Pie, Divinity, coconut pie, and most painfully, that

Götterdämmerung of the dessert buffet: an eight layered Lane Cake.

When I was a child, the only people I knew

altogether tricky proposition, one made more with the idea of using candy thermometers. I

didn’t know they existed for half my life. I thought

meringue was something that you went at with a

Zen unity, making yourself one with the heat and the sugar to judge the spin of the syrup from the

tip of a spoon. I can’t say that I ever attained a very high degree of enlightenment, though I did achieve a high degree of profanity. So there’s that.

the cure for polio right there on the spot. Back

who made Lane Cakes were my Alabama kin, and

prayer without ceasing for some out-of-reach

as she was a cook of renown, a fresh-to-market

flavorful, packed full of all the usual Christmas

her own chickens, cooked with her own eggs and

and never to be underestimated, quality bourbon,

then, it was all divinity and new underwear, and

present you’d seen on TV that your parents would somehow manage to produce, thanks to layaway and Christmas Club accounts.

Sadly, the magic doesn’t last till the day

you draw your last breath. Sooner or later, you have to put away childish things (like joy) and shoulder the burden of creating Cecil B.

Demille memories for the next generation, a task that is never so heavy as that dreaded

until about 1980 I thought Big Mama invented it, fanatic before such a thing was cool. She raised

had both her corn and her flour specially ground at a local mill to assure its freshness. In time, her

Lane Cake became one of her signature dishes,

ever, don’t even let them catch you with it in your

pantry) and a dozen different sides, including a hen-based gravy so rich that if you were prone to gallstones, it could land you in the ER.


The recipe calls for a third of a cup, but I

Mama proud. Now that I think of it, the bourbon

And how I came to loathe it, as Big Mama’s

eggs. The proper rise of all eight layers was

and dressing (cornbread, always; no white bread

layers (no evaporation here!)

matrilineal descent.

for making it at Christmas fell to me, though

part for the larger family feast, which for most as Mama cooked everything else – the turkey

mixed into the filling and sprinkled on the actual

usually buy a fifth so that I can test it beforehand,

recipe was made with plain flour and buttermilk

of my life was making desserts. It was only fair,

scene-stealers: pecans, coconut, tender vanilla

and when she died in 1973, the responsibility

moment during Advent when tradition dictates that I block out a day in the kitchen to do my

I also created many a fine cake, stately and

and nothing to lift it but eggs, eggs and more

to make sure it’s of a quality that would do my Big might have something to do with my inability to

keep track of the layers and gauge the spin of the sugar; but that’s neither here nor there.

When you’re done, just throw the pans in

predicated on having enough patience to separate

the sink to soak as the Good Lord intended, park

mix the yokes with separated amounts of sugar,

vintage Cosby while memories of Christmas-Past

them with the precision of a rocket scientist, then flour and milk, in a stop and start progression that

was prone to error if you weren’t paying attention. Even one interruption – a phone call or UPS delivery - could lead to that dreaded holy-crap

yourself by the Christmas tree and listen to some dances in your head: beaming Grannies and torn

wrapping papers and the second chapter of Luke.

If so moved, you can have you a nice little Lane Cake cry. It ain’t Nirvana, but it’s close.




The Countdown is On! Husk Savannah will debut this December

downtown Savannah. Chef Sean Brock and his Neighborhood Dining Group partners are sparing

no expense to transform the former Elks Lodge into what Brock calls “The largest and most spectacular Husk yet.”

Charleston, SC

Morning Light on Husk by Laurie Meyer.

Photo by Andrew Branning 100 SHRIMP, COLLARDS&GRITS WINTER 2017


Shrimp, Collards & Grits Magazine Volume 1 Issue 4 (The Celebrations Issue)