Entries in South Carolina (3)


Holiday Travel Wrap-up

It's been an interesting year in travel, to say the least....stranded once by the volcano, diverted a second time by it, a few bags "lost" and later returned, one broken, and one still missing....

So, it shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that travel issues once again changed my holiday plans!

Thanks to the winter storm, our flight to NYC was cancelled a couple of times, so we were not able to visit all the restaurants that Herr J had planned for us. Instead we stayed a few more days in coastal South Carolina.

Low Country Cuisine at 82 Queen

Our last night in South Carolina, we went to 82 Queen, for some great food. I had shrimp and grits (with bacon and cheddar topping!) to start, followed by crab cakes with red rice and green beans (also with bacon). And Herr J had She-Crab Soup, then a dish of mussels and shrimp. Excellent!

I love all the fresh seafood in South Carolina, and had crab cakes more than once. I miss crab cakes and good big shrimp here!


We did finally make it to NYC...in time to arrive late to our 10pm reservation for a fabulous meal at Asia de Cuba. We were on the balcony upstairs, overlooking the large communal table below.

Asia de Cuba

I can't recommend enough the Beef Dumplings Two Ways....one type looked like normal (large) fried dumpling but had the delicious spicy stuffing  of an empanada; the other a steamed dumpling in a sweeter soy based sauce.  The Miso-Glazed Black Cod was also wonderful, as it usually is at places such as here, Tao, and Nobu. I always have a hard time resisting that dish!

After a long day of travel, we had an unexpectedly entertaining show put on by a neighboring table in the bar area. The short version is that we first see a guy and a girl kissing, then a second girl comes arrives. We find out that the guy was meeting the second girl (whom he met on MillionaireMatch.com) there, but the first girl coincidentally was there and came over while he waited for his date. After many cheesy lines from this guy, some posturing and cattiness by the girls, he left with girl #1 while girl #2 thankfully had some self-respect and ended the date there. I only wish I could have seen the SMS's she was sending after he and the other girl left! 

Since we had less than 24 hours in the city, we had to prioritize and had time to run a few last errands (where Herr J was introduced to Sephora) and spend some browsing around B&H...a happy place for both of us! I finally found a good camera bag to replace the one South African Airways lost (the camera was not in it!) and a new filter for my 24-70mm lens.  This left us with time for an amazing lunch as Les Halles, which I had been looking forward to for a month. American beef, French style definitely works! If you're looking for a good steak in New York, try here. It's a deceptively simple meal, but with tender, melt in your mouth beef, and perfect crisp twice-fried frites. Yum!

I hope we can make another trip soon and catch up on everything we had planned for this trip!

Steak Frites at Les Halles



A Southern, deep-Fried Christmas

Herr J and I spent Christmas with my family in coastal South Carolina.

Every family has its own traditions, but deep frying the Turkey has become quite popular for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the South. Not only is the turkey tasty and juicy, but the process is fun. To put it in man-friendly terms, there is fire, hot oil, drinking outdoors, and the potential for serious injury and/or property damage. So, who wouldn't love it?


The Setup:

To fry a turkey, you need a couple of things...a huge pot with a propane burner, peanut oil, thermometer, and a rack or basket for the turkey.

For safety, it's also best to have an outdoor non-flammable surface and heavy gloves.

And for enjoyment, a couple of soccer-mom chairs and some adult beverages.







Step 1:
Heat the oil until it reaches 350°.

Because different sized turkeys will displace different amounts of liquid, you'll want to measure how much oil to use. Using too much will cause a spill (and an unpleasant oil fire), and too little will also be a problem. Dad's brilliant method is to test it with your turkey and water to determine the correct amount to cover the turkey. He then removes the turkey, marks the correct water level, and refills the pot with oil up to the mark.  

See here for videos demonstrating exactly why you don't want the oil to overflow...or why not to fry on your deck. ("7 Best Deep-Fried Turkey Disasters")


Step 2:

Best to marinate the turkey the night before - here he used butter and spices. Some people put a rub under the skin or use injectors to inject spices into the turkey. We prefer our turkey to taste like turkey rather than spices, so we went with the simpler method.









Place turkey on the turkey frying rack. Carefully lower into boiling oil.





 Step 3:

Continue to cook (covered, keeping the oil around 325°F) until a meat thermometer reads 170° F in the breast and 180° F in the thigh. It should take around 3 minutes per pound for a whole turkey. Then carefully remove turkey, cool a few minutes, and serve.











Along with the turkey, we usually have prime rib, collards, spiced peaches, rice, green beans (the only green vegetable I would eat as a child...now I also eat asparagus), dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, and biscuits. And a table full of wonderful homemade desserts....German Chocolate Cake, pecan pie, pound cake (my aunt make the best pound cake in the world!), sweet potato pie, this year's new feature Lemon Coconut Spice Cake, and whatever other cookies or candies people have given us for the holidays. And then we go into a food coma watching football....

What are your Christmas dinner traditions?


Dining by Pulley

While visiting Frau A's parents over Christmas, we stopped by Rosebank Farms (located in coastal South Carolina).

Rosebank Farms is touted as "one of the last working family farms on Johns Island", it was an adorable place to spend an hour.  The main attraction for Frau A is the "barnyard" -- a petting zoo.  You can spend quality time with potbellied pigs, miniature horses and miniature brahma cows, bunnies (ridiculously soft), a mule, and goats.  They also have chickens, turkeys, and peahens (didn't see a peacock though), but these are not exactly pet-able.

I was particularly pleased with one of the goats.   Next to his stable was what looked like an old gumball machine, that, for a quarter, dispensed a handful of dry food.  As soon as the goat heard you, he headed up a spiral staircase to await his handout, delivered by a pulley!  It's a nice way operant conditioning is used to make the feeding process a little more interesting.  We got it on video here: