Tag Archives: Charleston

Biscuits

Jennifer Michie Biscuits

Nothing better than fresh biscuits and strawberry jam for breakfast! I made the lovely Carrie of Callie’s Biscuits, Buttermilk Biscuit recipe! The only thing that would have made them better would have been to enjoy them with a glass of iced tea on my own Charleston porch.

Happiness is…

I’ve included Carrie’s biscuit recipe below:

Callie’s Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

This is the recipe that started it all. Sitting in my mother’s kitchen and watching her prepare the pans of these highly sought-after, melt-in-your mouth bites of goodness for her catering business gave me the lightning bolt of inspiration for Callie’s Charleston Biscuits. It took some convincing to persuade my mother that a biscuit business was a good idea. She was under the impression that people still made their own biscuits! Once I convinced her that the art of biscuit making was far from a daily ritual for most, she warmed to the idea. I don’t think she ever dreamed that in a few short years, we’d be making 110,000 biscuits a month and I’d be featured on The Martha Stewart Show.

The beauty of this recipe is that biscuit making can be part of your family tradition. Just save it for a day when a little bit of a mess in the kitchen won’t derail the rest of your plans, because this dough is wet and sticky. If the dough gobs between your fingers with the consistency of pluff mud (what we in the South call marsh mud), don’t worry! That’s a good sign! Getting my hands dirty is part of the fun for me, but if you are a little more averse to gooey hands, you can certainly use a rubber spatula to mix the dough.

Makes about 10 (2-inch) biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising flour (White Lily preferred), plus more for dusting
  • 5 tablespoons butter: 4 tablespoons cut in small cubes, at room temperature, and 1 tablespoon melted
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup whole buttermilk (may substitute low-fat buttermilk)

1.      Preheat the oven to 500°F. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle position.
2.      Measure the flour into a large bowl. Incorporate the cubed butter, then the cream cheese into the flour, using your fingers to “cut in” the butter and cheese until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. It will be chunky with some loose flour.
3.      Make a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk and, using your hands or a small rubber spatula, mix the flour into the buttermilk. The dough will be wet and messy.
4.      Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the bowl, creating a separation between the dough and the bowl. Sprinkle a bit more flour in this crease.
5.      Flour a work surface or flexible baking mat very well. With force, dump the dough from the bowl onto the surface. Flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness into an oval shape. (No kneading is necessary—the less you mess with the dough, the better.)
6.      Flour a 2-inch round metal biscuit cutter or biscuit glass. Start from the edge of the rolled-out dough and cut straight through the dough with the cutter, trying to maximize the number of biscuits cut from this first roll out. Roll out the excess dough after the biscuits are cut and cut more biscuits. As long as the dough stays wet inside, you can use as much flour on the outside as you need to handle the dough. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet with sides lined with parchment paper, or in a cast-iron skillet, or a baking pan with the biscuit sides touching. (It does not matter what size pan or skillet you use as long as the pan has a lip or sides and the biscuits are touching. If you are using a cast iron skillet, no parchment paper is necessary.) Brush the tops with the melted butter.
7.      Place the pan in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 450°F. Bake 16 to18 minutes, until light brown on top (or as dark as you prefer), rotating the pan once while baking.

Note: You can freeze any leftover biscuits. To reheat, do not defrost. Wrap the biscuits in foil. Bake in a 400°F oven 25 to 30 minutes. Open the top of the foil for the last 3 to 5 minutes to brown a little on top.

{Please Note:  The recipe listed above is copyright to Callie’s Biscuits. I have eaten her biscuits at a number of events I have attended when at home in the South and was enraptured with their heavenly flavour and as any good Southerner knows, biscuits are a hot topic (no pun intended!), everyone has their favorite recipe and some are a closely guarded secret. I have a few favorites of my own and this is definitely in my list! This recipe was originally posted on the Design Sponge Blog}

South of Broad

Pat Conroy South of Broad

I have spent the past two days doing a major cleaning overhaul in the cottage. I have gutted my closets and have bags of items to donate to the charity shop as well as a few pieces that are going to become cleaning rags. I have gone through the cabinet under the sink in the bathroom, you know which cabinet I’m talking about, the one that all bathroom things somehow get relegated too and they quietly build up into a dusty mess. I have also revamped the den, putting a few Fall things out, even though we are still in the hot throws of Summer and today I am going to change around the kitchen.

I don’ have a picture to share with you today, what I wanted to share with you was a book. I love reading! I need to read, it satisfies my soul. I have mentioned before that my Mom and I trade books. She gave me a Pat Conroy novel she had finished reading and I have had it sitting on my ever growing book pile since Easter. I dove into it in July and furiously read it on the plane ride home. It was immense. It was called South of Broad.

The book focuses on the life of Leo King and the friends he makes while a teenager in Charleston, South Carolina. The story grows and gives roots to these characters who stay a part of each other’s lives, even as they grow older. The description that Conroy gives of Charleston, left me breathless at times. I felt as if I too was riding my bike through the main character’s (Leo King) newspaper route. I know those roads like the back of my hand. Charleston has long been in my blood and for many years it was my home. I could close my eye and follow his route in my head, seeing the streets and homes I would pass.

As I read, I drank in his words like a cool mint julep flowing over my lips. The bite of bourbon, the sweetness of the sugar and the refreshing taste of the mint all mingling together on your tongue before you swallow. I savoured Conroy’s use of the English vernacular, I savoured his use of the Southern vernacular. He wrote about home between those pages, the smell of the tide coming in and the pluff mud as only a Charlestonian would know it. He wrote life between those pages.

His words as majestic as the full moon rising over the incoming tide in the Ashley River, as heavenly as sweet tea and hot buttered biscuits on your tongue. The taste of the dough and butter oozing over your palette as sacred a ritual as taking communion.

I felt as if I knew the friends between those pages, that I had somehow become part of their story, peering through their windows as I walked along the Battery. This book was a truly scrumptious read, from teenage life into adulthood, the friends we meet along the way who change us, as we change them, and a book about life and the paths we all take, whether the crossing of one’s path to another’s, betters it, destroys it, or enriches it.

“What’s important is that a story changes every time you say it out loud. When you put it on paper, it can never change. But the more times you tell it, the more changes will occur. A story is a living thing; it moves and shifts” – Pat Conroy, South of Broad

The Last Day of June

We feasted this morning on fresh homemade cinnamon rolls with lashings of cream cheese frosting, flecked with vanilla beans and sunbeam shards of orange zest. While the steam from our coffee cups oozed into our nostrils, tantalising our taste buds with the first perfect sip to come.

The weather is beginning to turn summery here as we sit on the last day of June. I long for my toes to dangle over the edge of a pool or feel the rush of the waves hit my ankles as I stand at the shoreline watching the horizon for the shrimp boats I know so well coming back into port. There will already be people waiting at Shem Creek to collect from the boats.

These are the days that I truly miss home. The slow steady heartbeat of the South, the pace of Charleston life, the long lazy Sunday afternoons that dwindle into twinkling candle filled nights. The sweat that has already soaked your collar long before you open the door to the humidity of Summer.

Today, felt like a Charlie Parker kinda day and that is who crooned us through breakfast and coffee. This week, the beginning of July, places me at a crossroads and shall bring about some new changes one way or another. Mr. Michie ever my sounding board stands by me as I take this venture. Here’s to good things coming and here’s to Sundays, may the hold all the promise of the weekend that has been and the hope for the week that is coming.

Rebound

Long Bin Chen Buddha

Long Bin Chen

While going through the blogs I read, I had a couple of posts from Colossal to catch up on. I love this blog. It always has such interesting art. It is an extremely popular site and very well read. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the title of one of his current posts. I saw the words: Halsey Institute and I blinked and I blinked again.

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is a superb gallery situated within The College of Charleston, my alma mater. I interned at The Halsey Gallery before moving on to intern at The Gibbes Museum of Art. It is a space that has a special place in my heart. I had the opportunity among other things to hang work for exhibitions and work alongside artists, it was a very interesting insight into the museum world.

They were featured on Colossal for a new exhibition that is currently running there. It is called Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art. It looks stunning. The Halsey Institute is well known but to see it on such a big Art site, pleased me to no end for them! I only wish I was at home to go and see it myself and then I would be heading downtown for some good iced tea and a little stroll!

Francesca Pastine ArtForum

Francesca Pastine

Guy Laramee Cave

Guy Laramee

Guy Laramee Ocean

Guy Laramee

Brian Dettmer

Brian Dettmer

Colossal’s write up:

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston in South Carolina recently opened an immense exhibition featuring five contemporary artists who create sculptures and installations using various books and printed materials. Reboundfeatures new works by Guy LarameeLong Bin ChenFrancesca PastineDoug Beube, and Brian Dettmer. You can see many more exhibition views on the Hasley Institute’s website. The show runs through July 6, 2013.

{images and small write up was taken from the Colossal website}