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Archive for the ‘Columbia Cooks’ Category

 

WATERMELON STRAWBERRY FROSTIES

 

 

“The true southern watermelon……….not to be mentioned with commoner things……………is chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth.”            

                  Mark Twain in Puddn’head Wilson

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Watermelon is a Southern icon. No matter which way you slice it, South Carolinians view watermelon as the quintessential hot weather treat. There is no other food that provides the same thirst-quenching relief during the sultry dog days of summer. 

One of summer’s simple pleasures  is eating a juicy watermelon wedge out-of-hand with the sweet, pink juice dribbling down your chin. And who doesn’t enjoy the challenge of ‘precision watermelon seed-spitting’ to see who can land them the furthest.   

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Sandhill Farmers' Market

 

Heather’s Artisan Bakery

 

Beautiful flowers, garden-fresh produce, lively music and friendly, familiar faces: all the signs of Spring at the Sandhill Farmers’ Market, which opened last Tuesday. Twenty seven vendors were on hand for the opening day. 

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GREEN is the color that takes center stage on St. Patrick’s Day, which is Ireland’s national holiday honoring its patron saint. There is a “wee bit of Irish” in all of us on March 17th, as we don green clothing and put shamrocks and green paint on our faces and hair. We make merry at the annual parade in Five Points and may even drink a celebratory pint of green ale while listening to Irish bands and the Gaelic tunes of Palmetto Pipes and Drums.   

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There are many good reasons to wear green and to serve green foods on St. Paddy’s Day, not the least of which is to avoid being pinched by a leprechaun!  “The wearing of the green”, represents an old Gaelic tradition created around feast day celebrations when people wore green ribbons and shamrocks.  The “luck of the Irish” has come to be represented by the color green.  

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It almost never snows in Columbia, South Carolina, but last night was the exception! According to the National Weather Service, our official snow total was 8.6 inches – certainly deep enough to provide ample clean show for a batch of delicious Snowflake Ice Cream!  

It was the 5th highest snowfall in Columbia’s history and the first major snow in 7 years. The snow is beautiful this morning but beginning to fall from the trees in big snow drifts and melt. The weather is freezing – and probably the last thing on most people’s minds is eating ice cream!  But this is a special treat you shouldn’t miss, especially since our bountiful snowfall has provided the essential ingredient for this rare winter treat. 

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 Photo Jeff Amberg

Executive chef Mike Davis, of Terra in West Columbia, has been selected to cook a dinner for the James Beard Foundation in New York City’s historic Beard House. The dinner, entitled “Southern Roots,” will showcase Chef Davis’ unique spin on Southern flavors and will take place on Tuesday, February 9, 2010.

Information to attend the dinner can be found at the end of this post.  If you can’t attend,  follow the event from 7 to 11 P.M. on Twitter (see below). Plans are in the works to replicate the dinner in Columbia in the spring. 

A coveted invitation to cook at the Beard house is an honor that could be considered the Oscar of the culinary world. Based on the success of past performances in his professional kitchen, this popular Columbia restauranteur is putting his mark on the national food scene. At the Beard House, he plans to showcase the cuisine and ingredients of South Carolina. Committed to bringing local meat and produce to the table, Davis strives to use the freshest and finest ingredients in creative new ways, and the dinner’s menu will reflect this. 

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Peanuts were known as early as 950 B.C and may have originated in Brazil or Peru then carried to Africa by early explorers and missionaries. They are not really nuts, but legumes in the same family as peas, beans and pulses. From there traders carried peanuts to Spain and “The New World.”  Because they were cheap and of high food value, Colonial traders used peanuts as food aboard ship. The peanut became a significant agricultural crop in the early 1900’s after the the South’s cotton crop  was destroyed by boll weevils. 

To celebrate the South Carolina peanut, last month participating financial institutions throughout the  state offered peanuts at their teller windows. October was the peak of  the peanut harvest season.  Fall is a great time to celebrate with peanuts by serving your family and friends  Old Fashioned Peanut Butter; Honey Mustard Peanut, Apple and Pepper Slaw; Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream and Peanut Noodle Sauce. You will find all the recipes within this post. 

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New 2009 rankings have been released for OpenTable Diner’s Choice, naming Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar the “Best Overall” Restaurant in South Carolina.

 

Located in Northeast Columbia, Solstice Kitchen topped several of the OpenTable.com Diner’s Choice Awards Lists.  OpenTable updates and re-releases these rankings several times a year based on customer reviews. 

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