Join us as we cook from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen at the kitchen stadium of Charleston Cooks!, our friendly neighborhood cookwares store on East Bay Street, Thursday, May 1. Sip wine as we tell some stories and introduce you to the flavors and treats you can only find from sampling Charleston home cooking. We’ll be taking all your questions and inscribing and signing cookbooks after the class. Follow this link to reserve Spaces are limited so act soon!
We’ve had an amazing summer, but we’re getting exciting about the coming months, too! We’ve got quite a few events scheduled for Fall in and around Charleston (including at the new Southern Season store in Mt. Pleasant, SC!), and also in Portland, OR, New York City, and Savannah, GA. We hope to see you SOON! For the schedule page of our website click here!
Matt and Ted spoke last week with Amy Eddings of WNYC for the segment “Last Chance Foods.” The subject was stone ground grits and the changes the Lee Bros have witnessed in the market for the fresh-ground article over the last two decades. The WNYC web site features our Shrimp and Grits recipe from “The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen,” which launches February 26th!
Lee Bros. Present Charleston Launch For Local GrowFood Dinner
Green Peanut Dashi with Mushroom, Samphire, and Homemade Tofu
BBQ Yemassee Goat and Skirt Steak Wraps with Korean Condiments: lettuce wrap, oysters, tatsoi, and homemade pear and mustard kimchi
With a cold shot of Johns Island Muscadine Rosé
Red Snapper Crudo With Fresh Bay Leaf
Wild Duck Ragout over Charleston Gold Rice, Pecans, Okra, Corn, Tomatoes, and Arugula
Pear Huguenot Torte with Rock & Rye Whipped Cream
We are super excited and honored that the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance invited us to speak at their annual trade show luncheon tomorrow. We’ll be introducing three outstanding fiction writers—Janis Owens, Michael Morris, and Stephanie McAfee—and we’ll also be talking about our forthcoming book, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen! We are beyond grateful to independent booksellers in the South. If you’ve every enjoyed a recipe of ours, whether in a magazine or in one of our books, you owe it to them—the southern indies created the great word-of-mouth and hand-sold our very first cookbook when nobody else would listen!
Green Wednesday! The fresh, “green” peanut harvest has begun in South Carolina, and thanks to the Myers family farm in Bowman, SC (and the GrowFood Carolina food hub), we are thrilled to be able to offer for the next few hours, while supplies last, 100% South Carolina-grown peanuts that we’ve boiled in South Carolina seawater–old-school style. Peanuts will ship FedEx to arrive Thursday the 23rd or Friday the 24th
The quality of these peanuts is remarkable and unique to a small farm, as these are open-pollinated and not graded by size, so individual peanuts range from jumbos as big as your thumb to tiny soft ones that can be eaten shell and all (and every size in between). The variety is Virginia, and they appear just as if you’d dug up the plants yourself.
So far it’s a great peanut season this year: the flavor of the Myers peanut is sweet, very grassy and English-pea-like, intense, and incomparable to any other taste sensation out there. Those who love green peanuts will be transported back to the most recent time they (or, more likely, their grandparents) dug them, washed them and boiled them on the stove; for those who have never experienced fresh green boiled peanuts, this will be the ultimate introduction!
To claim your 5lb share of this limited batch, phone 843 720 8890 (be prepared to redial if you get a busy signal!). The 5lb pack costs $40 (express shipping is additional, varies by zip code) and customers are limited to one bag. Shelf life once the peanuts arrive is 3 days in the refrigerator, just long enough for a memorable end-of-summer weekend.
Check out the assortment of exquisitely handcrafted chocolates we put together on OpenSky. http://osky.co/yaPk9O
These are from artisan chocolatier Sweeteeth, straight outta North Charleston, and suitable for giving to someone you love…or for inhaling yourself! While supplies last
Sweeteeth is the newest, and most successful, small-batch chocolate maker in South Carolina. It’s the vision of Johnny Battles, who was working at a creative pizzeria in North Charleston (E.V.O.) when the chocolate bug hit him.
Johnny thinks like a chef, and it shows: in the quality of the ingredients, the handcrafted care that each bar receives, and in his flavor selections–exciting combinations that really work. These are chocolates with spice and flair, and they somehow feel distinctly Southern in spirit: cinnamon, apple and pecans in dark chocolate; white chocolate with crumbled ginger snaps; chocolate and port. And the visual look of the chocolates is edgy and sophisticated.
We’re chocolate skeptics, but we were blown away when we first encountered Sweeteeth chocolate at a shop in downtown Charleston, and just knew we had to bring these to our OpenSky followers.
From the headnote to our “Garden and Gun Cocktail” (bourbon-based, with lemon-inflected watermelon rind preserves) in The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook (WW Norton, 2006), page 52:
“Charleston once had its own version of Studio 54, called the King Street Garden and Gun Club, founded by Richard Robison. A producer at the Spoleto Festival USA, the performing arts festival that takes over the town each year in late May and early June, Robison opened the Garden and Gun (which was all anyone ever called it) primarily as a place for the baritones and ballerinas from out of town to unwind after their shows, but the nightspot attracted a large local following, too. Although the Garden and Gun lasted only from 1976 (the founding of the Spoleto Festival) until 1981, the bar was deeply influential, and even today many Charlestonians claim it was the first bar in the city where people of all races and sexual orientations felt comfortable dancing together. We still hear people of a certain age waxing nostalgic about the dance scene at the Garden and Gun. There was never anything like it before, they tell us, and there hasn’t been anything quite like it since.
We were far from drinking age during the Garden and Gun’s heyday, but the phrase always captivated us for the way it effortlessly welds together two concepts that seem so at odds, the twee domesticity of “garden” and the frightening brawn of “gun.” It was only as we grew older that we realized it captures one aspect of Charleston’s soul: a little bit courtly and a little bit country. It’s a quality perhaps best articulated by one of Ted’s contemporaries at a debutante party. “Don’t you just love deb season?” said the young rake, taking a long slug of a gin and tonic. “Just change out of your camo [camouflage], and into your tuxedo.”
In this cocktail, the bourbon is the gun; the watermelon rind preserves, which is basically a simple syrup infused with lemon, ginger, and the cucumber-y freshness of watermelon rind, is the garden.
Watch us prepare Thanksgiving on a Shoestring for the CBS Early Show last year, with recipes from our second book, “The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern,” including smoky Skillet Green Beans with Orange, luscious Pimento Cheese Potato Gratin, Buttermilk Fresh Cheese, Red Eye Gravy, Pecan Pie and more: