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Charleston, SC Dining Report, June 18-23, 2015

"We attempted to go to Dave’s Carry Out for some fried seafood but they were not open for lunch even though it was posted it was supposed to be open. Evidentially, Dave’s schedule is somewhat dependent on the owner’s mood."

I'm sorry you didn't have the opportunity to eat at Dave's.
It is very possible that other demands drew these folks elsewhere. This is a small place, limited employees, close to Emmanuel AME, the church home to hundreds of people and of Rev. Clementa Pinckney whose service occurred on Friday at the arena. Mother Emmanuel is holding many services for the others killed on the 17th and hundreds people are pulling together to do the difficult behind-the-scenes work of feeding and caring for very large numbers of family members, members, visitors and more. Some restaurants are making every effort to enable staff to attend the many services but small places may have to close as their folks try to do their part. I'm glad you and your party visited Charleston and so many of our places. I hope you will have a chance to come back.

Many restaurants in the area continue to make heroic efforts to help the Charleston community during these terrible days and at the same time remain open and receptive to visitors. Perhaps you will be able to come to Charleston again and visit both Emmanuel AME and Dave's and be welcomed.

Jun 29, 2015
kariin in Southeast

origin of Cracker Pie

Researching for a friend and cause I'm interested.

Some people know it as 'cracker pie' or soda cracker or Ritz cracker pie or mock apple pie. Some use whole eggs, some whipped whites only. Some call for chopped dates or pecans or (??) canned fruit cocktail. Some add 1-2 Tbs apple cider vinegar.
I've got recipes in White Trash Cooking I and II (both are wonderful books) and references in my 1995 facsimile edition of Mrs. Hill's Southern Practical Cookery and Receipt Book (pub. 1872). It's clearly an old way of pie filling, my guess is it was revived (if ever lost) in the 1930s/depression era to 'use what you have' at a hard time.

Anyone have any historical information? My brief search of blogs doesn't help much beyond contemporary posts about something writers have just recently re-discovered. Still looking though. All help much appreciated.

Jun 11, 2015
kariin in General Topics

Ethnic origins & cooking

And mine too. WHat a great message - sounds like the best of CHowhound!

Jun 09, 2015
kariin in General Topics

The Perfect Biscuit - what are your secrets to make it happen?

Can you find both? I use 1cup of White Lily Self-Rising Unbleached and 1 cup WL All Purpose Unbleached(plain). I add about 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp bkng pdr and 1/2 tsp . I use buttermilk or sometimes thinned yogurt. WL Unbleached Self-rising has enough salt - I don't need to add any salt.

I cut in very cold butter (and some good lard if I have it), about 3-4-5 TBs total. I do this quickly and by hand - metal blenders/forks don't let you get the 'feel' and that hand-feel is the essence of biscuits. I add the liquid by 1/4c or TBs at a time, 'swirl' and gently mix by hand till barely mixed. I will add another 1 TBs of liquid to create a _very wet_ dough, shape the biscuit with wet hands and lay it in a warmed, lightly greased cast iron pan. I use a small pan for 5-6 biscuits. They touch each other which is fine. It goes into a very hot (425) pre-heated Breville oven. I bake for 10 minutes, then check and do 6-7 minutes more. When i teach biscuits people are often uncomfortable by how wet the dough can be but, like some Italian breads, the hydrated dough creates very good products.

I really urge people I am teaching to gradually stop strict measuring and learn to 'feel' the dough as you go along. I have found that strict measurements stop so many people from seeing and feeling what they are doing. They say: 'The recipe says X - so what's wrong'? Easy: humidity, temperature of the room and ingredients, amt of water in the butter/flour, etc. The dough/food will tell you what is going on - but so many people are obsessed with reading the recipe and don't really look or listen to what they are doing. I teach by having them make a small batch standing right next to me as I make a similar batch. We use general measurments to start and stop at every point to see, smell, feel how it changes. Every time they are sure the batch is too wet, or not blended or should be rolled and cut really dry.

Recipes are a wonderful tool but people, especially those just starting, simply don't pay much attention to what is actually happening in front of their own eyes.

sorry for the long rant, but this really jumps out when I teach folks to make biscuits.

May 29, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking

Favorite Chicken Salad Mix-Ins?

All y'all are going to hell, directly.

Beets? pickles? carrots? smoked fish? Are you people insane??
:-> Now I know why America is sliding into the pit.

and Some People put Dark meat in chicken salad? WTH?

ok, have fun, but the ghost of my godmother would haunt me good if I did any of this. She thought a little slivered scallion or a TBS of sour cream was living dangerously. And homemade mayo. When she learned I was using Dukes, she sighed and shook her head. smile.

May 28, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking

North Cahrleston SC on a Sunday evening

Need help from Charleston hounds -

We'll be in North Charleston (1500 East Montague)
for a church event. Looking for a place to eat 6pm on Sunday.
Madra Rue and Sesame Burger are both closed on Sun.

We're meeting folks who live on IOP and James Is. respectively
so we'd like to have dinner before everyone disperses to theiur
respective areas, 4-5 people open to all suggestions, prefer not sports bar/noisy.

Thanks for any help.

May 14, 2015
kariin in Southeast

Whole mess of greens in my CSA box

Down here we call this a 'nice mess' of greens: a fine problem to have! if you are pressed for time to do everything, try this first. Put on a big tall pot of water to simmer (I add salt); clean, wash, trim and chop (as you want) all greens; keep separate what you want. Get out the Zip bags, containers, whatever you want to keep these cooked greens in for storage/freezing. Have a big bowl/pot of cold water you can refill as needed and a few big colanders. This may seem like a bunch of work but it is all prep and can be done in about an hour-then you have saved all the goodness and have greens for the next 2 weeks and nothing rots/wastes.

Blanch each bunch of greens for 2-4 minutes (or as you like): tender is faster, heavy (like collards/kohlrabi) a bit longer.
I use tongs or a did strainer (big) to remove from simmering water and drop into cold. As I remove, cool and put in colander, the next bunch goes into the water. It works best as almost a production line, and is much easier if you are well organized to begin. I bag up and squeeze out water (back into pot). Be sure to label/date each bag (as restaurants do-blue tape and magic marker). I roll up the bag for space, or freeze flat like envelopes. Done! Now you can make thatPork and Greens soup whnever you want, or greens sauteed w/olive oil and garlic. I usually keep beet greens for last.

The cooking water will be very green (or red) and makes a terrific base for that days soup. I'll reduce, add veggies back w/other stuff. Sometimes i make green rice. I hope this helps, I'm in a produce coop and have had enormous amounts of mustard greens, collards, turnip and beet greens etc. but not this time of year (except for fresh spinach). Our greens are always better in the fall after frost.
Good luck and let us know what you decide to do and how things worked out.

Cookware suggestions

Funny (mostly accurate) observations, thanks. I'm mostly #8, some #5. One or two #4.

Where do you put those of us that have gradually added sturdy stuff from restaurant supply?? inexpensive,sturdy, not fancy, especially steel pans for stovetop-finishintheoven.
that's me these days.

May 05, 2015
kariin in Cookware

Pronunciation-checked at Penzey’s

Hey Nikkib99 - Yes. I regularly take friends on a tour of the Mexican/Hispanic, Caribbean, Asian and Indian markets all over the area. The prices for rices (Basmati, Jasmine, short grain etc.),spices, fresh and dried herbs, fresh produce and all condiments, oils, are astonishing compared to Whole Paycheck and the other specialty stores: anywhere from 30 to 75% less, great quality, nice people who will help you find things and explain their 'best use'. If not for these stores i never would have made Brownstew chicken (got to have Grace 'browning', now my secret ingredient in lots of non-Jamaican dishes). And goat head for mannish water (soup). Nowhere else to find needed goat head.

And I'm a long time Penzey's customer too, mainly for their blends of certain combinations: Old World, German, Polish, Bi-Centennial. Those are combos that I _could_ make myself but it means buying and then combining.
But my Indian groceries have so much more that I use regularly - nutmegs, cardamon, coriander, black cumin...
And the Korean ladies-store owners who make their own kimchee and watch Korean TV game shows. And my Vietnamese friend who talked me through her mother's recipe for pho soup stock.

Why do you think so many people are reluctant to shop in these great places?

Apr 27, 2015
kariin in Not About Food

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy hurry up and be Spring already, April 2015 edition! [OLD]

Oh Lulu - this made me cry and laugh; two wonderful cooking women. Thank you for helping us find this, I'm going to watch this again.

Apr 25, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy hurry up and be Spring already, April 2015 edition! [OLD]

Hi pistachio p. "Anyway, she is delightful." Yes, she was. this brought tears again. She died in 1992 and I re-read her every year; both her food books and novels. She influences me in many ways. the NYT did a story on Laurie's many readers and her daughter and I learned there are so many of us who love her. Maybe you too.

Help! I need to Convert 10 inch cake to sheet pan

Thanks all!! I am making this tonight and will report back. I'm using same recipe for the 10" pan, greasing and p.paper in the 1/2 sheet and have another 8" sq. pan for any extra batter. Sheet pan is shallow (1") which is OK because the cake squares are for a tasting event. I will decrease baking temp. (to 325) and will check after 15-20 minutes.

Oh, and I'm using Fireball cinnamon whiskey.

Apr 17, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking

Help! I need to Convert 10 inch cake to sheet pan

I make the chocolate whiskey cake from NYT regularly. I use a 3" deep, 10 " round cake pan and it makes a besutiful and sizable cake.This time I need to make a 1/2 sheet cake. I'm not very skilled at converting that volume of batter to a 1/2 sheet pan. I never measured the batter for the 10" cake so I don't know how many cups of batter it makes. I need to do this Friday night. Any suggestions? Many thanks to all CHs.

Apr 16, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking

More thoughts on moralistic culinary elites

Dumb article. Rod Dreher's a major, serious conservative. Naturally this guy doesn't mention him - probably has no idea who he is.

Convenient for this writer (and NR) to take shots in order to look superior. So of course he forgets the POV detailed in National Review _itself_ a few years ago: nicknamed "Crunchy Conservatives".
It's how I got some very conservative friends to join my produce coop and shop at local small biz.


"Crunchy conservatives patronize small business such as organic food stores and markets, and recycle as if the world depended on it. To crunchy cons, the world does depend on it.

"Origins of the Movement
In 2006, commentator Rod Dreher published a book called Crunchy Cons, with the subtitle being, "How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of countercultural conservatives plan to save America (or at least the Republican Party)."
Thus began the crunchy conservative movement.
The book grew from a 3,000-word essay Dreher wrote in 2002 for the National Review , which was founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley Jr. and remains one of the most widely-read right-leaning publications in America."

And it's hard to get more libertarian/conservative than the leadership of Whole Foods.

Dinner with a side of self-righteousness

thanks for the link to the Slate article; it was great reading.

I shop @ Aldi too, rarely at Whole Foods/Paycheck. And I shop carefully and hard, at 3-4 additional stores (Kroger, Food Lion, Pig, BiLo and Trader Joe). I shop local Indian, Caribbean, Asian, Mexican markets regularly and support a local natural foods store/deli near my residence. We eat a wildly varied diet, lots of fresh (I've been in the same produce co-op for 35+ years). My advantages: time, transportation is easy (car), solid cooking skills, not picky family. I don't buy WF products often though I live very close. I don't buy their arguments either - their stuff is very over-priced.

I find my steel-cut oats at Aldi, rice (brown, sushi, basmati, jasmine), kim-chee, oils, spices, greens at Asian and Indian grocery stores, chilis, avocados, masa, dry pinto/black beans at Mexican stores, etc.
a few items @ TJs. I don't pretend people w/less $ can do the same though my budget is tight too, because I have advantages that make much possible for me.

This article reminded me of those advantages and how much I really dislike WF and its owners.

Apr 01, 2015
kariin in Food Media & News

Ubiquitous pimiento cheese...Athens, Georgia

"In its plain old redneck form, as served by white-haired old ladies at luncheons, it's made with nasty processed cheese, such as Velveeta."

WTH. Really, you want to go there? You know this exactly how? or I'm hoping yourkeyboard got 'jacked.


Mar 10, 2015
kariin in Southeast

three days downtown with kids and a tight budget

Are you restricted to the Loop and walking? Great,great stuff is out in the neighborhoods and you can get around on CTA easy and cheap by getting a travel pass (1-day, 3-day etc) for an unbelievable price deal - see the CTA website and there's info on kids travel and events. Are you working or visiting? June is a wonderful time - and the food around the city is so incredibly different. I'd do all possible to get out into the town. let us know: Polish interests you? Lithuanian? Laotian? People love to feed kids and seeing other kids eat new food is a wonderful way to interest yours. Looking forward to hearing more from you about the trip.

Mar 08, 2015
kariin in Chicago Area

Irish Soda Bread recipe that isn't too dry?

excellent problem solving! great advice.

I make one version for quick eating @breakfast; a much smaller loaf w/less fat, almost no sweet, raisins only and a larger, better-keeping round loaf for eating over several days: 1/4 c. butter, 2 Tbs honey,lots of raisins/dried cranberries. Both with good buttermilk, lots of happy people. Both loaves are fairly 'wet', need to shape them with wet hands and put on baking sheet, sometimes bake them in a warmed deep cast iron oven/pot w/cover in a hot oven. Both are great.

Mar 02, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking

Good cheap non-seafood in Myrtle beach

Benito's Brick Oven wood-fired Pizza in NMB

Feb 25, 2015
kariin in Southeast

Good cheap non-seafood in Myrtle beach


Aftercare Cafe - not a usual place - i've gotten good reports from local contacts. River City is good too. I'm checking on pizza - we have some relocated northerners who know wood-oven pizza and I think opned a place in MB or NMB.

Feb 25, 2015
kariin in Southeast

Ubiquitous pimiento cheese...Athens, Georgia

It's spread around - sort of like 'italian' food, generalized 'southern-ness'; not much attention to where/what the food background might be and homogenized . Worst thing out-of-town friends can do to me is to take me to their local place that serves 'southern' food and rave over it, cause it's mostly generic. and not very good. There's miles of difference between Low country SC/GA cooking, western NC/Appalachian, middle Tennessee... and don't get me started on watery white grits smothered in overloaded, messed up, rubbery shrimp flown in from somewhere. Yankee corn cake is fine, just don't make it, serve it to me next to gumbo and call it home style 'Southern'.

Feb 25, 2015
kariin in Southeast

Ubiquitous pimiento cheese...Athens, Georgia

Hey nlgardener you know the best is made at home, right? why not make it at home?

Until i was well grown we made it to home. it was found at tea rooms, luncheonettes :->, diners; places that served sandwiches but the best was always made at home. It's easy and you can fix it the way you like it. Plus, if you ask for recipes/methods here on CH you can start a PC knockdown/dragout fight among Hounds, sorta like bbq wars or the 'best' way to pan-fry chicken. i make PC regularly, hand-grated is 'best' but i know folks that use food processors and theirs is fine too.

I am 'pimener' cheese' ecumenical

Feb 25, 2015
kariin in Southeast

Voting Thread: March 2015 Cookbook of the Month

Voting for Korean. many many people are familiar w/great Italian cooking in all its varieties and we can't go wrong. _but_ Korean is less common and wonderful food! It's harder to find reliable cookbooks and much is unfamiliar - so I will hope it wins. I am very interested - love stone bowls and all the soups/stews. And seafood and noodles. I can moderate the extreme hotness and I have some good sources for ingredients at several local asian stores w/lots of Korean foods. What I need is advice on methods and processes and to get really familiar with these ingredients

Feb 22, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking

Homemade chicken soup question

Good for you Java!
thanks for this explanation, it helps. Making soup from a rotis. chicken is a good way to start. Making from scratch can be intimidating if you've never done it.

I do this with new cooks: I ask them to take the R. chicken apart and put the bones, skin, fat, etc. into a large pot with 1/2 onion, a few whole peppercorns,a carrot, a small celery stalk and 2 c. and some good quality canned broth (Swansons low sodium). Maybe some fresh parsley if available. While that simmers we learn the difference between shredding chicken and chopping/dicing; we keep the dark and white meat separate and taste a bit to learn the differences. We also dice and partly cook vegetables they like, make dumpling dough or simmer some rice or egg noodles till almost done. After stock has simmered we taste and decide if more cooking is needed or how to intensify the flavor. When the stock tastes good, we will remove as much fat as preferred, add other ingredients in an order that i explain, let simmer briefly, add chicken, correct the seasonings, add noodles, rice, dumplings etc.

Next time, we will start w/a whole chicken and learn the differences between stewing hens, roasters, broilers etc. I hope this explanations is not too basic, but i find many folks assume new cooks know as much as experienced ones and that new people can easily de-bone or handle a whole chicken. Many can, but i find that most cannot and are a bit reluctant to say so. Sometimes they need good examples on food safety and how to cut up a whole chicken. And often new folks don't really know what they like, specifically: more onion? herbs?, no carrots?
There's alot to learn, so I go slower at first. And its fun to eat the results!

Feb 20, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking

Why is "the best" so important

My european relatives roll eyes and laugh, slightly annoyed but good for a smile and a shrug. American visitors _always_
ask this, mostly unconscious of the US obsession with being or finding #1.

"Does everything have to be a competition?" Yeah,for people brainwashed w/Top Chef, Chopped, etc. Bragging rights when they get home and usually "best" = most expensive, exclusive.

the other variant is "most authentic", again, bragging rights, just a different audience.

Feb 06, 2015
kariin in France

Southern Foodways Alliance's Gravy Podcast: The Jemima Code

Yes - and thanks for adding more. She is a treasure
and i have a tattered copy from the 1970s of "Geechee Girl". Her other cookbooks are excellent introductions into low country/sc southern food. She's a writer who draws you in, she knows her own history and the history of foodways in sc. I wish that people who think they are cooking coastal sc food - or eating it in fancy, overpriced Charleston/Savannah restaurants knew her writing and understood this food tradition. Best of all, this is true home food. With the right, affordable foods and attention to the ways you can cook this every day.

Some other great writers in this tradition are John Martin Taylor, Sallie Robinson and Damon Lee Fowler (among others). Eugene Walter is a close cousin and is a delight.

So grateful to eating joy!! for adding Toni to this family of solid writing cooks and to Southern Foodways Alliance, always on the case.

Jan 31, 2015
kariin in Food Media & News

Would You Name Your Kid Nutella?

you called? and it's with an extra "i"

you're welcome

Jan 31, 2015
kariin in Food Media & News

Southern Foodways Alliance's Gravy Podcast: The Jemima Code


this is amazing - I'm shamed i didn't know and dancinghappy
that i do now. SO much material and so many cooks, writers and thinkers with deep roots in American foodways.

I don't regularly look at G&G, breaks my heart to see what's happening to the low country, so thanks for finding and sharing this info.
I hope somebody references VertaMae Grosvernor.

Jan 30, 2015
kariin in Food Media & News

Signs that someone is a GOOD cook

This. and you. blessings on you. cooking for homeless/troubled/marginalized people shifts your entire outlook.

"We've got 80-90 people for lunch today. What we've got here is what we have to work with, folks. It's 8:30 right now, service starts at 11:45. Now here's what we're gonna fix"

it was soup or baked pasta with some kind of salad and always a dessert and drink. No slop, no crap. The best we could do with what we had. He knew hundreds of short cuts, hacks and ways to adapt. I just kept my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open.

He was a retired Navy chief cook. He could take anything, make it taste good and feed the bodies and spirits of however-many hard-up people arrived. Whatever produce, meat, cheese, veggies and fruit was donated, combined with the basics in an average church kitchen, in 3 hours. No fancy igredients. No top-of-the-line _anything_. He would alternate weeks with some other smart, dedicated women and men who ran that kitchen for several years. I tried to be there when he was there - it was like a college education
in 'making a way out of no way'. 6 days of every week he was Chief for the time he was there (several years). The food was delicious and offered with humility and respect.

Yeah. he set my standard for a 'good cook'.

Home Cooks - How do you minimize food waste?

I think we share a brain. yours is the closest to my approach. Labeling _everything_ was my decision last summer and the difference has been substantial. So far this week, pasta w/tomato/butter (Marcella) sauce to which I added shrimo and mixed seafood (on special) I have many frozen containers of tomato/butter sauce I froze this past summer.

Split pea soup next up - frozen hambone; ham stock; 2-3 c. chopped ham - all from Christmas ham. And frozen dark rye bread to go w/the soup. Tomorrow night patty melts w/swiss on more of that great rye bread. I have frozen smoked salmon; crab; cream of mushroom soup base (from scratch); frozen cooked blackeye peas; frozen butter beans; frozen walnuts and pecans; lots of frozen rotiss. chicken; frozen beef chuck (sale) frozen slabs of legoflamb ...

not much I need to buy - my produce coop comes every 2 weeks: this week turnips :-( but also red grapefruit, english cucumbers, astonishing tomatoes, florida? strawberries. I still have potatoes, red onions, apples from last coop boxes. And blood orange season has arrived. I buy bags, squeeze and freeze. I have a huge back porch refrig w/a big freezer drawer on the bottom, 20 yr Amana still going strong.

thanks to all CHs on this thread - I've learned great ideas from everyone.

Jan 20, 2015
kariin in Home Cooking