Friday, June 24, 2011

Potted Meat Marketing Surprise!

A few weeks ago when I took a little beach vacation getaway to Edisto Island, SC, my friend Leslie told me I ought to check out the potted meat section at the local Piggly Wiggly, the only grocery store on the island.

O, was she ever correct! I remember the Rose pork brains in milk gravy from high school, when a friend challenged me to an arm wrestling match wherein the loser's hand would land in a pile of pork brains. I lost.

But the other brands? Do these companies even exist?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Frogmore stew & boiled peanuts by The Shop Tart!

Anne Postic (The Shop Tart) makes one heck of a Frogmore stew, y'all.

High quality Caw Caw Creek sausage and locally wild-caught Sea Eagle shrimp make a big diff.

Ask Anne about her flavoring secrets; she might tell you but I won't.

A lady doesn't peel-n-eat and tell.

I will say that I got those bud vases from another thrift store spice jar haul back in the Lowcountry recently. 'Bout $3 for 10+ solidly made, clear glass spice bottles.

Now they are part of my vintage partyware quest for manifest destiny! I love spice jars b/c they are uniform, but they are less likely to be cookie cutter than the bulk bud vases of today. Also, if you'd like to be able to see the person across the table from you instead of a big ole centerpiece, mission accomplished!

Going to trash the jankity brown wood spice rack unless I can think of some brilliant re-use. Got any brilliant re-uses for a jankity brown spice rack?

Guess what else? Anne rocks it on the homemade boiled peanuts.

Spot-on perfect.

Just a few little muuuushy ones that are so soft you can pulverize the whole, sweet shell with your teeth to get at the goodness on the inside.

Rad. Thanks, Anne!

Update 6/17/2011 This blog post went up before I learned that Anne's mother, Kent Wolfe, passed away the morning of June 15, 2011. The two photos are from the intimate, amazing 40th anniversary party that Anne and her siblings threw for her parents last Saturday. If you know Anne, text her your support + love. Read Kent's remarkable obituary here:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Free BLT @ SC Farmers Market this Saturday

1,000 BLTs to be given away at SC Farmer's Market Saturday:

"The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is handing out all local bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches to visitors to celebrate the fourth year of the Certified SC program."

(Reposted from WACH-Fox TV)

My favorite part of the story is that the SC Agriculture Commissioner notes that “One BLT sandwich represents three of the four food groups in the new MyPlate food guide."

Um, I will use any excuse to eat a BLT, but this one beats all!

Milk glass spice bottles, now even spicier!

Scored a super cheesy 70s spice rack at a thrift store for probably 2 bucks.

Soaked the ugggg olde west hee-haw labels off of the spice jars and stowed the horrible, yellowed plastic caps and shaker tops somewhere "Hoarders"-ish for a rainy day.

Now, filled with zinnias grown from a packet of "Save the Bees" wildflower mix (and gardenias purloined from an undisclosed location), these little vintage flower vase gems are a delightful morning greeting as I fill my kettle for coffee.

See y'all tomorrow, little friends!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Leisure science recap for Folly Beach, SC

Dear diary,

Had a terrific food nerd experience tonight. (You know, "food nerd" as in "superstar chef appreciator.")

Debi, my rad business partner at Flock and Rally: Events + Communications for a Brave New South, and I rounded out our work retreat week with drinks and laptops and dinner on the beach deck at the new-ish, oceanfront Tides Hotel on Folly Beach.

Fun fact: The Tides Hotel is owned by the same people who owned it when it was a Holiday Inn in the Intercontinental Hotels Group! They decided to go the boutique hotel route, apparently, and here we are.

Lookin' good!

After splitting a shellfish paella so delish that we didn't have time to take any food porn photos of it, we shared a terrific dish of gnocchi with duck confit, roasted cashew, blackberry and...something else magical. Black pepper?

Again, no photo. Too busy chatting, confabulating, planning and eating. No soggy, bloated gnocchi here. When's the last time you had toothsome gnocchi? For reals. Was great.

Time for dessert.

But then I was all like, "Debi, I want to have braised bison canneloni with mascarpone and pine nut-currant relish for dessert, instead of regular dessert, please."

She was very accommodating. Great quality in a business partner!

Also, she takes great photos. This one is by her!

Don't know if you can see them but there are teensy tiny flowers atop our perfectly sizzled, braised bison canneloni. Just sayin.

Our server, Lisa, was super lovely and obviously a food appreciator as well. We couldn't help ourselves; we told her all about one of our favorite projects, the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce's BuySC action campaign to spur diners to choose locally owned, independent restaurants over big chains. Love seeing all of the great Lowcountry Local First posters, logos and mentions all over the Charleston area while we've been in town!

We told her how we'd heard great things about Blu's chef, Jon Cropf, from L.I.M.E. founder Renata dos Santos. Man was Renata ever right! He uses local gems like Mepkin Abbey mushrooms and sustainably farmed fish from Swimming Rock Farms on his menu, and the man's got chops in the kitchen. Yummah.

Oh, and we got to try little ice cream cones packed with housemade sweet corn ice cream for a mini-dessert (despite the fact that we had bison cannelloni for dessert, technically.)

Debi takes fine photos, no?

Speaking of awesome, I've got to recommend one of the best small businesses in South Carolina to all you Lowcountry beach vacation takers: Sunshine Rentals on Folly Beach.

Going to Folly Beach, SC? Call Mike, (843) 901-0035. He not only rents fabu yellow wood-and-canvas chairs and umbrellas on the east side of the island (the kind that get set up for you each day) as well as golf carts (SunCart rentals), but he's also a true steward of the beach and a deeply cool citizen who helped establish the laws for beach rental vendors on Folly.

Oh, and how's this for a great coincidence: turns out Mike's super-cool fiancee, "Red Dread," co-founded the Lowcountry Highrollers roller derby league with our good friend ""Kitty Hit'er" from Columbia and San Francisco!

FYI, we had great meals/cocktails at some other places, too:

Lost Dog Cafe on Folly: blackened salmon BLT wrap with fried green tomato in it (amazing, had this more than once for lunch, and their muffins rock, too).

Margaritas at Surf Bar on Folly

Coconut water and fresh craft beer growlers from Bert's Market (a.k.a. The Red + White) at 2nd and Ashley on Folly

Brick House Kitchen on Folly Rd., James Island: super cool, bohemian co-op type property that opened in 2010 with 3 acres of live oaks; a big historic house; killer homemade desserts; big tables on the porch, in dining room, and outside; outdoor bar (in a converted garage, looks like?); live bands; crafts; outdoor grill w/BBQ mahi mahi sandwiches and indoor restaurant with pan fried fresh fish and such; a really cool endeavor!

Woody's Pizza was a really great spot for fun, casual group dining on the covered porch with our friends who have a young daughter. The wood oven pizza is terrific -- very flavorful sauce; thin, tasty crust; good array of ingredients; Anchor Steam on draft (yay SF!). Full bar and a saucy array of locals and tourists. Too much cheese and sauce on the pizza to render it truly crispy on arrival, but after a day on the beach, do I care? No. Honey badger don't care.

P.S. We stayed at a phenomenal little renovated 2br/2ba cottage on 120 East Hudson @ 2nd.

This location, in the center of the island a few blocks from the beach and from the marsh, is great if you like being near (but not all up in) the modern conveniences. It's one of the sweetest areas on the island for a combo of coastal woodland hideaway feel, super convenient proximity to all the cafes and bars on Center St., and Bert's Market is right on the short walk to the 2nd Ave beach access! With a rental bike and a basket, as well as a great chair/umbrella setup on the beach, our leisure science quotient was pretty high this week.

I love a good working vacation. See y'all on the other side!