Cinco de Mayo Lunch at Kitchen 208

Ryan Gessner

Ryan Gessner

Cinco de Mayo is more of a drinking holiday than an eating holiday in the U.S. (where the independence celebration is observed far more fervently than in Mexico.) But Kitchen 208 is playing the teetotaling card with a five-buck lunch.

On May 5, the downtown restaurant is serving a smoked beef brisket quesadilla and a non-alcoholic drink for $5. The meal is available from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kitchen 208 is located at 208 King St. For more information, visit kitchen208.com, or call 725-7208.

Luckhaus & Brubaker Unveils 50-Pound Easter Bunny

luckrabbitRobyn Luckhaus’ Easter tradition doesn’t involve spiral hams or fancy hats: The James Island chocolatier annually creates a giant themed holiday display.

This year’s vignette, now set up at Luckhaus’ shop, features a 50-pund chocolate rabbit; 10-pound chocolate chicks and flowers made from meringue and sugar cookies.

“The display is made out of homemade modeling chocolate, which is basically a Tootsie Roll,” Luckhaus explains. “We take Belgian chocolate and combine it with glucose and water until it becomes like a working clay. We use cocoa butter to color, and then let our imaginations go to work.” Continue reading

St. Thomas Invites St. Francis Over For Pancakes After IHOP Snafu

Harvest_Grain_Nut_PancakesIHOP’s annual offer of free pancakes on Shrove Tuesday nearly put a crimp in one local congregation’s plans to observe the Christian holiday.

According to Reverend Jean McGraw of St. Francis Episcopal Church, which began meeting one year ago in West Ashley, holding a pancake supper at IHOP seemed like a sensible solution for a church without a kitchen.

“But when we got there on Sunday to tell them how many we were going to have, they said there were going to be lines, and that probably wouldn’t work,” McGraw says. Continue reading

The Glass Onion Gears Up for Mardi Gras

To celebrate Mardi Gras, The Glass Onion is offering a free slice of king cake to costumed diners tomorrow night.

Also in honor of the holiday, the West Ashley restaurant is serving po boys, gumbo, crawfish etoufee and sazeracs. Its standard Tuesday night fried chicken will be accompanied by red beans and rice. And co-owner Sarah O’Kelley promises there will be beads.

The Glass Onion is located at 1219 Savannah Hwy.

Xiao Bao Biscuit Goes Sichuanese For Chinese New Year

Charleston is notably short on Lunar New Year events – best as I can tell, the nearest Lion Dance is set to unfold 92 miles away – but Xiao Bao Biscuit is marking the holiday with an all-Sichuan menu.

The Xiao Bao crew recently returned from Asia with a stash of hua jiao, or Northern Chinese peppercorns, gifted to them by a restaurant owner who was awed by their respect for traditional cuisine. The fragrant, floral peppers, which tickle the tongue until it’s mildly numb, will form the backbone of the Jan. 31 line-up.

Chef Josh Walker describes the peppercorns as “amazing.”

Christmas Dinner Aboard the USS Yorktown, c. 1953

yorktown12What’s on your relish tray this Christmas?

The folks at Patriot Points kindly shared this 1953 Christmas Day dinner menu from the USS Yorktown with us: That year, the meal got rolling with three kinds of olives, three kinds of pickles, shrimp, saltines and turkey consomme.

Spokeswoman Holly Jackson says the holiday menu has changed slightly in the intervening 60 years: “We did, however, have the ham, turkey and sweet tea this year at the staff Christmas luncheon,” she writes. “We’d never stray from that!”

For the menu’s inside pages, read on. Continue reading

Thanksgiving 1954: Saltines and Navy Blended Coffee Aboard the USS Yorktown

Ever in the holiday spirit, Patriots Point, which sent us a USS Yorktown cookie recipe for Veterans Day, shared the below menu from the aircraft carrier’s 1954 Thanksgiving dinner.

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The menu is stamped with a few oldfangled touches, such as the hot mincemeat pie and after-dinner cigars. But it’s also testament to how little the standard holiday menu has changed in more than half a century: Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, two kinds of potatoes, pumpkin pie and Parker House rolls are immediately recognizable as a Thanksgiving meal. Continue reading

South Carolinians Try To Avoid Burning Down Their Homes This Thanksgiving

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No matter what you decide to serve for the holidays this year, make sure you prepare it very, very carefully: According to State Farm data, South Carolina from 2005-2012 had a greater incidence of Thanksgiving Day cooking mishaps than any other state in the continental U.S.

Although five states produced more cooking-related claims than South Carolina, those numbers can be attributed to much larger populations. In New York, for example, over the seven years covered by the survey, one out of every 889,545 residents reported an injury or fire caused by cooking. By contrast, one out of every 295,250 South Carolinians had a bad run-in with a turkey fryer or kitchen grease.

Only Alaskans were more likely to have their holiday end with an insurance claim: With five claims filed over the survey’s span, one out of every 146,289 Alaskans saw a holiday meal go dangerously awry. Continue reading

Home Cooks Worried About Supply of Collards in Post-Pig Era

timstackton

Tim Stackton

Nostalgia peaks at holiday time, so it’s little wonder the season’s provoked a new round of Piggly Wiggly sentimentality.

Where are cooks going to go to buy fresh collard greens, especially for Thanksgiving???,” a reader writes. “The Pig always had a large supply of large bunches, and even more at Thanksgiving & Christmas…The other stores just do not understand the local diet and customs.”

Thanksgiving shoppers who didn’t buy their collards at this past Saturday’s Charleston Farmers Market may have a tougher time finding locally-grown greens. But a Harris Teeter spokeswoman says the grocery chain will adjust its orders in response to customer demand. Continue reading

Chef Bill Smith Demystifies Gravy at Southern Season This Monday

bill_photoPumpkin pie may polarize, and oyster dressing may excite, but there’s no Thanksgiving food which terrorizes so reliably as gravy.

“People are always calling me up at this time of the year, sounding as if they are standing at the stove with whisk in hand, and asking for instructions on making it,” reports chef Bill Smith of Chapel Hill’s Crook’s Corner.

Smith (whose status as the son of a renowned Jerusalem artichoke pickle maker earned him a spot in my seasonal pickle story this week) is now bringing his gravy expertise to Southern Season ‘s cooking school. He’s teaching a course this Monday at 6 p.m. For $50, participants receive instruction in three different gravy-making methods. Continue reading