On Photo Shoots

On Photo Shoots

On Photo Shoots   Kelly Bugden was my roommate when I was in graduate school, and it was great to be able to work with him on my “coffee table” book, Hoppin’ John’s Charleston, Beaufort & Savannah: Dining at Home in the Lowcountry, 25 years after we first met. Pat Creasy, of Williamsburg, Virginia, and easily my biggest fan, has suggested that I write on the blog about...

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The B-52s and Me

The B-52s and Me

The B-52s and Me In which I reminisce about our 30+ year friendship. In 1989, Charleston, South Carolina, where I was living at the time, was hit by Hurricane Hugo, a harbinger of worse storms to come, but, at the time, one of the worst natural disasters the country had ever seen. I had made my living for years as a painter and photographer, but had changed careers abruptly when I landed the job in Paris as the food editor of a magazine. It was...

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Cream muffins

Cream muffins

What we call cream muffins in the Lowcountry are really popovers. These airy foils for butter and jam are also called Yorkshire pudding. In York, in Northern England, they appear at the breakfast table as well as the classic accompaniment to roast beef. I am always surprised to hear the cookery of England maligned by Americans; so many of our best dishes, especially in the South, are absolutely English. I serve these marvelous breads with lots...

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Tomato Gardening

Tomato Gardening

Tomatoes   A version of this essay appeared in Country Home magazine in August 2003. I have since grown many tomatoes, and sucessfully, but, at the time, I had given up hope.  Charleston, South Carolina, Summer 2003: For the first time in many years, I didnít plant tomatoes this spring. As a food writer and an avid gardener, Iím likely to be ridiculed by my friends and neighbors. For years Iíve browbeat them with my call for fresh and...

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Christmas

Christmas

This was my going-away present to Charleston, a true story about The Best Christmas Present Ever a version of which appeared in Charleston Magazine in December 2004, shortly after I moved away.   PURDUE        My mother was on odd bird, at once very private and very social. Though she cooked three meals a day and did all of our voluminous laundry and housecleaning herself, she managed to play bridge often (at one...

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The Mayonnaise Belt

The Mayonnaise Belt

A version of this article appeared in a special edition of Copia (Vol. 6, No. 1), the biannual publication of the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. The issue dealt with food rituals and taboos.   The Mayonnaise Belt      I was not reared in what I like to call ďthe Mayonnaise Belt,Ē though that broad band of slatherers seems to occupy most of the South, which I call home. Itís a rather amusing culinary...

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