Tag Archives: charleston

Book Review: Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow

Set in Charleston, South Carolina, during the American Revolutionary War, Celia Garth is a historical fiction novel about a young seamstress learning to make her own way in the new world. Through love and loss, grief and joy, and even a little intrigue, follow Celia through the streets and coasts of the low country. Even though this book is a little over 400 pages, it’s masterfully written and hard to put down!

Charleston is one of my favorite cities in the world, so I could see the steeples and cobblestones, hear the bells and horse hoofs, and smell the salt air as I read this novel. Definitely worth the read! And, please, someone make a movie out of this amazing classic!

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A Recent Weekend Getaway – Beaufort, Savannah, and Charleston

We finally made it down to the Low Country to visit Bryan’s folks, celebrate my and his mom’s birthdays, and get away one last time before he really got busy with school. We drove down Thursday night after work and school and stayed at their lovely little rental in Beaufort, SC.

Common Ground Coffee Shop in Beaufort, SC, was our first stop on Friday morning! Anything from lattés and brevés to organic hot tea, from cinnamon rolls to sandwiches. So quaint and a great view of the coast. (Bryan and his mom)

Lunch at one of my in-laws’ favorite little local gems, Red Rooster Cafe!

Pimento Cheese and Bacon on a Burger with Sweet Potato Fries and Sweet Tea in Mason Jars! What more could you ask for?! (Not exactly a lean meal, but hey, it was my birthday weekend. After all, you don’t turn 31 every day!)

I love the coast! Who needs mulch when you have seashells?!

We checked out all kinds of antique shops and other little local stores around Beaufort and Port Royal, SC, on Friday.

Shrimping Boats, Port Royal, SC

Birthday Dinner at Dockside Restaurant in Port Royal, SC

Baked Scallops, Cajun Rice and Steamed Veggies

Adorable little book shop in Bluffton, SC, on our way to Savannah on Saturday.

The front of The Storybook Shoppe. There were several art galleries and local shops in Bluffton that caught our attention, but this was my favorite.

Welcome to Savannah, home of Joel Chandler Harris, one of my all-time favorite authors and storytellers!

Bryan and his folks in Savannah – don’t you just love those trees and all that Spanish Moss?!

I just loved this old building.

There were all kinds of statues and monuments along the river.

We stopped at a half dozen antique shops and a few art galleries, including this one where Artist Susie Chisholm was sculpting historic figures.

The city market in Savannah was bustling with street musicians, vendors, and tourists. Of course, I bought a couple of bags of Savannah Pecan Coffee Beans!

Sunday, we met up with our good friends Dave & Rachel, who happened to be in Charleston for their anniversary weekend! We had lunch on Johns Island at one of their favorite spots (and now one of ours), Fat Hen! Its only about 10 minutes outside of Charleston, and a must-do if you’re in the area.

BBQ Duck Sandwich with Slaw at Fat Hen

Our final stop before strolling around downtown Charleston and heading home was to one of our favorite coffee houses for a little dessert – East Bay Meeting House. It’s moved across the street from its original location, but still has great atmosphere, decadent desserts, and delicious coffee! (Though, I miss the old, green leather couch.)

Bryan and his favorite Roasted Chestnut Brevé

Dave gets a little intense with his chocolate cake and macchiato – and Rachel just laughs at him.

My favorite part (besides the atmosphere) is that all their products are organic! Yay! And I love supporting local vendors instead of big chains, as often as possible.

One last shot of the delicious organic cake! And that’s a wrap on this Low Country weekend-getaway-to-remember! We’ll be back soon!

Recipe: She Crab Soup

As we enter the autumn season, the temperatures are finally beginning to drop and the air is crisp when you walk out on the front porch in the morning. Besides the cool temperatures, beautifully colored leaves, apples and pumpkins, the thing I love most about fall is that I can eat soup every day if I like! Note: This recipe is not heart healthy. However, it is a great one to warm your body and mood as we enter the fall months. If you’re watching your calories, try serving soup in teacups instead of soup bowls. They’re beautiful, easy to handle, and help keep the serving size down. Enjoy!

Cuppa Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 c. celery, finely chopped
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/4 c. shiraz wine
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Texas Pete (or favorite hot sauce)
  • 4 c. whole milk
  • 1.5 c. vegetable broth (I used 1.5 c. water and 1.5 tsp. of my homemade vegetable bouillon base)
  • 1.25 pounds crabmeat (I used imitation for cost’s sake, but I’m sure the real stuff would really make this spectacular)

Instructions:

  1. In medium sautee pan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter and sautee onion, carrots, and celery over medium low heat. Add wine, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in stockpot, prepare the roux by melting 1 stick butter over low heat and slowly whisking in 1 c. flour until thick like a paste.
  3. Add cream and milk to the roux, whisking as you pour slowly. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add remaining contents of sautee pan, vegetable broth, and crabmeat to stockpot and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with bread and a salad. Serves: 8-10.

Notes:

Original recipe was from 82 Queen, a restaurant in Charleston, SC. It called for 2 c. fish stock instead of vegetable broth, 1 lb. white crabmeat and 1/4 lb. crab roe instead of 1 1/4 lb. imitation crab, Tabasco instead of Texas Pete, sherry instead of shiraz, and used only 3 c. milk instead of 4.

Next time, I think I will use 1/3 c. celery, 1/3 c. carrots, and 1/3 c. onion instead of the above mixture, and I may blend it before adding to the rest of the soup so it’s a smoother consistency.