Sunday, April 29, 2012

Southern Hospitality


I'm not just whistlin' Dixie-
                                                           I am singing it's praises

Alabama - Georgia -  Louisiana -  Mississippi and South Carolina, 
states that depended on plantation life and cotton
are those considered the DEEP SOUTH


BUT

 SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY extends to some of the border states like the panhandle of Florida- East Texas and Kentucky 

If you have never been any closer to The South then 

an icey  Mint Julep 

I highly reccommend you make the trip

The doors are open to almost any stranger
and Southerners have a special way
of making visitors feel welcome and comfortable

Steeped in traditions

Skillet Corn Bread at the Tankersley home
 Montgomery, Alabama




Spiced with eccentricities...
MARLON BRANDO 
STREET CAR NAMED DESIRE
by 
Tennessee Williams

and pickled in alcohol...


GENTLEMAN JACK






THE  SOUTH   is unique onto itself

 Sweet melancholy 
hangs in the air like moss dripping from the trees


Like a sagging gate pulling off it's hinges


Like peeling paint on weathered wood


The Ashley River winds it's way from the outer banks  spilling into the Atlantic Ocean
at the entrance tof Charleston Harbor

...flowing past MIDDLETON PLACE

and
DRAYTON HALL

a perfect example of Georgian Architecture built in the early 18th century by John Drayton, 
and held as the country home of the Drayton family until it was turned over to 
The National Trust in 1975

Never restored and never modernized 
Drayton Hall 
is preserved in it's original state with all the scars of a life  lived fully. 

 It is achingly beautiful
Original paint - original hardware

Inspired by the principles 
of Andrea Palladio's 
 Four Books of Architecture

A column and plinth wraps itself into baseboard and wainscott


Overmantle and mouldings hand carved of Cypress
 directly copied from the drawings of Inigo Jones

a back stair

and 
original tiles down in the first floor kitchens


Ghosts of outer brick walls emerge 
through the whitewashed plaster 

and a hearth large enough to spit roast an ox 
in the lower kitchens

Charleston, South Carolina


cobbled streets and 18th and 19th century buildings 
have a unique charm and personality


Known as the Holy City,  

...because of the many church steeples that 
pierce the sky - no high rise buildings 
to obscure them

Southern hospitality greets everyone  


We were invited to tour the manufacturing facility of the 
in
Charleston, South Carolina
A display wall of lantern styles

...and they mean it

The care and the skill that goes 
into creating each and every fixture

is evident in the end product.
Their custom capabilities are unlimited, so if you have
a design in mind these are the folks who can see it to reality



 It's not a surprise that most of the gas lights 
in town were created at 

Aside from making a guest feel instantly welcome
(Urban Electric had a beautiful bouquet of flowers
waiting in our hotel room) 
food figures prominently into Southern Hospitality

Charleston can boast more then a handful of nationally acclaimed eateries

Experience The South through your tastebuds

SEAFOOD STEW 
at
(Food Is Good)
and the Sorghum Pudding Cake is to-die-for...
But the recipe is a sadly a well-kept secret

SORGHUM PUDDING CAKE
with
Walnut Ice Cream and Salted Caramel sauce
If anyone knows the recipe


PLEASE
send it to me at
rela@relagleasondesign.com

PAT CONROY
A  Charleston native son
writes vivdly about growing up in the Lowlands
 the son of a shrimper

Shrimping is a way of life in the Lowlands  

PRINCE OF TIDES
Read it and weep

or watch the movie with Barbara Streisand and Nick Nolte
In my opinion that self-serving performance of Ms. Streisand could make you weep but not in a good way- so annoying !


The BIG Easy...

       easy for struggling musicians to find gigs
       easy to find affordable living conditions
       easy  access to alcohol

                            all theories for why the nick name--- but whatever the reason

there is only one NEW ORLEANS


From the French Quarter...

Intricate cast iron balconies are traditional on building facades


where Jazz was born 
SATCHMO
aka LOUIS ARMSTRONG 

to the Garden District
where antibellum mansions defy time and hurricanes like
Katrina in 2005


a visit to New Orleans reveals the celebration of
 being original and different

There is no better way to get to know a place then to get to know a local

'A friend of a friend' graciously opened her home to us.
Though not a southerner by birth
Allison Kendrick has been a quick study on the ways of The South 


RICHARD KEITH LANGHAM- INTERIOR DESIGN

Allison moved with her two children from Connecticut in 2003,
purchased a shell of a Napoleon III (1869) home in the Garden District
and embarked on a major restoration project 
with the help of long time friend and interior designer Richard Keith Langham


RICHARD KEITH LANGHAM-INTERIOR DESIGN

RICHARD KEITH LANGHAM-INTERIOR DESIGN

So much to see and do in New Orleans but don't miss
Every Thursday night from 6-8 you can enjoy the collections
along with music and drinks- 

SO New Orleans -  SO FUN

CLEMENTINE HUNTER

CLEMENTINE HUNTER

Also known as "The Black Grandma Moses" Clementine was born shortly after the end
of the Civil War.  She picked up a paintbrush at the age of 50 ( she lived to be 100)
and began depicting everyday life on the plantation. 

Self taught, she never learned to read or write, but her 
legacy of paintings tells the story of a by-gone era.

"Our culture is our most valuable export."
Allison Kendrick

Steeped in history- and not always viewed in the kindest light the South
is experiencing a well-deserved resurgence of popularity

Louisville  -  Kentucky
Visit the horse farms
 or
put your best hat forward at the Kentucky Derby
Runs the First Saturday in May

If you can wangle an invitation from a local
prepare to party  long and hard

Southerners take their fun seriously

SECRETARIAT
The stuff of ledgends
Winner of the Triple Crown 1973




Montgomery, Alabama -
This Side of Paradise

?

F.Scott Fitzerald wrote his first best seller
to win back the heart of the elusive Zelda,
a Southern Belle from Montgomery
Must have worked!
They were married one week after it's publication


Scott and Zelda lived in Montgomery in the early 1930's with their son Scottie.
 and their bungalow is now a museum housing their
letters, first edition books and Zelda's paintings


 Montgomery was spared burning during The Civil War.  When General Wilson and Wilson's raiders road into town it is said that city leaders greeted them on the porch of The Teague House with a white flag, a bottle of bourbon, and an invitation to come on in and
 " sit a spell"


Talk about Southern Hospitality

TEAGUE HOUSE
Greek Revival - 1848


It is from the porch of this house that 
Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation 
was read at the end of  The Civil War 


GREG TANKERSLEY
preparing an amazing southern-style dinner
We were the fortunate recipients of that famous Southern Hospitality 
on our recent visit to Montgomery



It doesn't get much better than touring a 
McAlpine Tankersley structure
with Bobby McAlpine 

THE CIVIL RIGHTS MEMORIAL


Montgomery was also the site of some of the most significant events of the 
Civil Rights Movement
and there is a beautiful Maya Lin memorial 
to all those who lost their lives in the quest for equality


Savannah, Georgia
Visit the cemetery made famous by John Berendt's
non-fiction novel

MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL




The Lady Chablis
What's not to love


Read the book or see the movie and you will fall in love with the Lady Chablis.
She(HE) played themselves in the 1997 film directed by Clint Eastwood

PAULA DEAN


 if you are not afraid of a little buttah'
 get yourself some down home cooking
at Paula Dean's
The Lady & Sons

It makes me crazy to hear all the moaning and groaning about the fat in
Paula's recipes and her battle with Type II diabetes


 GET OVER IT
This sassy lady did what she knew how to do
- COOK-
to support her family
I applaud her for that


She is not forcing you to eat her delicious recipes -
it's up to you how you use them and
how often you devour them


Mexican Shrimp and Grits
A Rela Interpretation of a Paula Dean recipe
Serves 6

The Shrimp
12-18 extra large shrimp - I get the ones that are almost like mini lobsters
                                               Remove all shells but leave on the tails

3/4 pound fresh chorizo sausage- casings removed
3 Tblsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion finely chopped
1 large sweet red pepper chopped
1 jalapeno pepper finely diced
3 Tbls. white flour
2 Cups chicken stock
2-3 Tbls. 1/2 & 1/2  or whole cream as desired
1 fresh lime squeezed
1 bunch cilantro finely chopped-  
Bunch of chives finely chopped for garnish
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

The Grits- 
Prepare according to directions on box substituting chicken stock for water
1 cup white Grits
2 cups chicken stock
2 tblsp butter ( truly optional) stir into the grits when partially cooked
6 oz. shredded pepperjack cheese- stir in after grits thicken up until completely melted

In  a large skillet over a medium heat saute the chorizo and cook until browned and crumbly 
Set cooked sausage aside and leave drippings in the pan

Add the olive oil to the drippings and saute the chopped onion until transluscent about 8 minutes. 

Add the red pepper and the jalapeno pepper and continue cooking about 5 minutes more till they soften a bit

Sprinkle the flour over the mixture- stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes

Gradually whisk in the 2 Cups of chicken stock until  creamy smooth

Return the cooked Chorizo to the pan- bring mixture to a low boil and cook till slightly thickened.

YOU CAN DO ALL THIS AHEAD OF TIME TO THIS POINT

Add the shrimp and cook until they are completely pink on all sides about 5 minutes.
Turn down the heat and add the cream, cilantro,  and the lime juice
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over the grits garnished with chopped 
chives


MEXICAN SHRIMP n' GRITS


Laissez les bons temps rouler





1 comment:

Unknown said...

Rela, I love that you have fallen in love with my favorite cities! Read Pat Conroy's South OF Broad for his tour of the fabulous houses and neighborhoods of Charleston. I love, love visiting and eating my way through Charleston, Savanah and New Orleans, (and all the places in between).