Hilton Head Island is a pretty wonderful spot, full of great adventures, but everyone needs a day away now and then. This past Saturday my husband, Tom, and I spent the day in Charleston. I had given Tom a class at Charleston Cooks for Valentine’s Day (good wife points), since Tom is a cook I booked a participatory class with Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, authors of several cookbooks on Lowcountry favorite dishes. Participatory classes are a little more expensive but attendees participate in the cooking as compared to demonstration classes, less expensive but less fun for a more experienced chef. We began at 10:00am and enjoyed a lovely time cooking with Nathalie and Cynthia, Charleston Cook’s chef, Donna, had taken care of making all of the arrangements and everything was set up for all of us to cook. Those of you that know me know that I was there for the eating but I did manage to cut up vegetables without cutting off my fingers. We cooked three variations of shrimp and grits, biscuits (a quintessential part of southern cuisine), peaches and cream pie and homemade butterscotch pudding. Nathalie and Cynthia supervised our cooking of their recipes and showed us easier ways to prepare the ingredients and ways to prep the ingredients more easily. We had a lovely time and we all shared the meal at the end with a glass of wine, what a great lunch! Tom purchased Nathalie and Cynthia’s book, ‘Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking’, which he has been studying ever since we got back from Charleston last night.
Done with the cooking, we decided to take a stroll around Charleston, we lived in Charleston for five years so it was a stroll down memory lane. We walked down East Bay Street and visited a lovely shop with reclaimed building materials. Tom is a contractor specializing on renovations on Hilton Head Island so we had to stop in and see what unusual materials they had that can be offered as options to his clients. Then we walked up Broad Street, across on Meeting Street, then up to N King Street. I had to make a stop at Anthropologie to take a few photos to send to my daughter (a little encouragement to work is always good).
We walked through Marion Square where the Food and Wine Festival was in full swing, back down to East Bay to Ted’s Butcher (Tom is wishing that he had bought the duck fat, I may have to get some on my next trip). We dropped in at the Vegetable Bin on East Bay and bought beets, I love roast beets and they are $1.00 a piece at the grocery store, we got three pounds of gold and red beets for $3.00.
A quick stop at the rooftop bar and restaurant at the Grill 225 at the Market Pavilion but it was a beautiful day and there were no tables (they don’t take reservations so go early), we did take in the beautiful views of the Charleston harbor. A little further down East Bay Street we stopped at the Southend Brewing Company and Smokehouse, a lovely place for a snack and a libation. Tom enjoyed the stout.
It was a great way to spend the day in Charleston, we highly recommend the cooking classes at Charleston Cooks and the shop has lots of great gizmos to peruse. The shop offers 10% off for people that attend a class so take your gadget list with you. Upcoming classes include ‘Spring is Coming’, featuring light and fresh spring recipes and ‘Couples Night, Spring Entertaining’ for the couple that wants a night out in Charleston.