Of Loquats & Larceny

Many visitors (and more than a few residents "from off") are no doubt wondering this week what EXACTLY are those orange bobbles festooning nearly every other tree in the Lowcountry right now. They're loquats of course, or Japanese plums. In the Lowcountry they're synonymous with the beginning of Spring proper. Though not native to the …

Forrest Parker’s Dispatch From Seed Saver’s Conference

As originally appeared in the Charleston Post & Courier, 7/22/16. (Editor’s note: South Carolina Chef Ambassador Forrest Parker, most recently of Old Village Post House, sent this report from Iowa.)   by Forrest Parker It’s a testament to seed savers’ enthusiasm that when David Shields posted on Facebook a speech he planned to deliver at …

Where in the World is the Capstan of the U.S.S. Maine?

In my New York Times feed this morning was the link to the headlines from February 15, 1898. Chief among them was the following: The Maine Blown Up Terrible Explosion on Board the United States Battleship in Havana Harbor MANY PERSONS KILLED AND WOUNDED All the Boats of the Spanish Cruiser Alfonso XII, Assisting in …

Why Mickey Bakst Matters (w/ Stuart Brioza)

"Gentlemen. When two separate evens occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object in inquiry we must always pay strict attention." "Give me a donut." Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks I ran across an old Stuart Brioza menu. I was trying to put some sense of order to the man cave / office and found …

Hand Drawn Map of James Island

"In fetid darkness still to live and run-- And all for nothing it had ever done Except forget to go in fear perhaps. No one would know except for ancient maps That such a brook ran water.” Robert Frost Researching a history of James Island, I ran across this on the Charleston Museum site, that …

How Huguenot is your Torte?

  As I was digging around this week researching for my upcoming "Ghosts of Charleston Restaurants Past" project, I found myself digging through the City of Charleston Tour Guide Training Manual, compiled and edited by the Historic Charleston Foundation. Any would be tour guide wishing to be licensed by the City of Charleston is required to …

Charleston Market Cries

The Charleston Market sits on land conveyed to the City of Charleston in 1788 by Revolutionary War general Charles Cotesworth Pinckney in order to "lay out a street from the channel of the Cooper River to Meeting Street 100 feet broad, and in said street to establish a public market or markets for the purpose …

The Palmetto State & Joel Poinsett

Jadie from over at Boone Hall Farms stuck his head in the kitchen with one of the biggest,  happiest poinsettias I'd ever seen. "Hey man," he says, "I brung ya some Christmas spirit!" This time of year, red or white poinsettias become ubiquitous. Tradition states that in 16th century Mexico, an impoverished girl named Maria was inspired by …

I Paid a Visit to Nat Fuller

Wednesday saw the publication of a mess of articles on the impact of Geechie / Gullah traditions on Charleston's dining scene in the Charleston City Paper, and a nice blurb on the Post House's perennial favorite Deviled Crab Stuffed Flounder in the Post and Courier. After reading a related article and discovering that the matriarch of …

Tables of the Reconstruction

On Friday, I was excited to attend the latest meeting of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation at the Clemson Organic Research Station. Typical of the meetings I've attended in the past, much of the information was frankly over my head- I'm a cook, not a geneticist. But the mission of the CGRF seems to gear …