Subtitled "Recipes and Ruminations from Charleston and the Carolina Coastal Plain," this cookbook presents a wealth of culinary history in a lyrical tribute to one of the country's most luxurious cuisines.
An in-depth look at the history, geography, and people of the lowcountry, the coastal plain around Charleston, South Carolina, where the nation's first Creole cuisine emerged. With 250 intriguing recipes. The New York Times calls it "rich in lore and history and full of culture, with spendid recipes that should be on a National Registry of Great American Food! It's a stunner!" Pat Conroy said that "reading this book for me is like taking a trip to my home in the Carolina Lowcountry -- a treasure to delight all cooks, especially those of the southern school."
For years, my family's was one of three sailboats on Hilton Head Island, now nine marinas and twenty-five gold courses strong. My mother would send me off in the dinghy with a bucket, at low tide if possible, to bring back our lunch. In the summertime I might simply empty the crab trap, but I always cleaned the crabs live before cooking them, still my preferred method, which saved space and time in the galley. In the fall I would cast the shrimp net until I had a pound or two, filling the bucket with clean creek water in which Mother would cook them, with no other seasoning. Once the water came to a boil, she threw in the shrimp for a just a moment, until they began to blush, then drained them into a colander. Under the colander was a folded towel that she would then wring out, lay steaming on the counter, sprinkle lavishly with salt and then the shrimp, and roll up for ten minutes or so while we munched on "relish" of raw carrots, radishes, and celery. The shrimp would finish cooking in the steaming towel, and the salt would melt and magically recrystallize on the inside of the shrimp shells, popping them away from their sweet flesh, the shrimp never having left their environment and literally moments out of the water.