Kusina Has Your Holiday Putong Puti, Pichi-Pichi and Spongecakes

Sapin-sapin from another bakery, courtesy of joefoodie

Sapin-sapin from another bakery, courtesy of joefoodie

For its first holiday season, Kusina is putting together trays of the Filipino sweets that customers tend to crave come Christmastime.

Although the Goose Creek grocery and bakery hasn’t yet finalized its Christmas tray menu, the Thanksgiving selection included putong puti (rice muffins), kutchinta (gelatinous rice cakes), pichi-pichi (steamed grated cassava) and espasol (another kind of rice cake, for which rice flour’s mixed with coconut milk.)

“It’s not the normal kind of dessert you see at Publix,” owner Leah Oboza says. Continue reading

By Request(s): Bullwinkel’s Whipped Cream Cake Recipe

SheGotThe Beat

SheGotThe Beat

It’s whipped cream cake season, judging by the number of readers looking for the Bullwinkel’s Bakery recipe.

As fans of the dessert know, the Bullwinkels started peddling their baked goods in Charleston in 1929. Their bake shop at Rutledge Avenue and Cannon Street closed back in 1974, but George Bullwinkel joined the pastry team at the Meeting Street Piggly Wiggly, making whipped cream cakes until 1998. He died the following year at the age of 87.

During the holidays, Bullwinkel made about 1000 cakes. Here’s the recipe he used: Continue reading

Tomato Shed Cafe Hosts Holiday Gullah-Geechee Pop-Up

In honor of the season, chef Benjamin “BJ” Dennis is staging a holiday version of his popular Gullah-Geechee pop-up dinner, capped off with a baked pumpkin souffle.

The Dec. 13 supper at the Tomato Shed Cafe on Johns Island will also include smoked turkey wings, braised greens, red rice, roasted vegetables and lettuce with buttermilk dressing. A $30 ticket includes tea, but beer and wine will be available for purchase. The event is free for children under 10.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and dinner’s served at 7:30 p.m. For reservations, call Stono Market at 559-9999.

Author Sheri Castle Helps Prepare Party Hosts For the Holidays

SheriCastle_authorphoto

Stewart Waller

Although students in Sheri Castle’s holiday hors d’oeuvres class at Southern Season this weekend will learn how to assemble a range of impressive items, not every dish on the demonstration menu is highly elaborate: The first appetizer on the syllabus is a roast beef, asparagus and Boursin wrap.

Castle, a cookbook author and cooking instructor from Chapel Hill, N.C., is a proponent of keeping kitchen projects manageable during the holidays – especially when expecting lots of hungry guests.

“Don’t tackle more than you and your schedule can handle,” Castle advises. “Make sure your menu includes plenty of make-ahead and low-maintenance items; It’s fine to fill in with a few thoughtfully purchased items.” 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.

yorktownmenu2

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

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

Two Holiday Options for Hosts Expecting Gluten-Avoidant Guests

timsackton

timsackton

Home cooks who may typically have the luxury of ignoring assorted dietary restrictions are frequently tested at the holidays, when guests come bearing all sorts of firmly-held food preferences.

Caviar & Bananas is wagering hosts may want to buy their way out of the situation: The downtown café has listed 11 gluten-free dishes on its Thanksgiving/Christmas take-out menu, including butternut squash soup, braised collard greens and mashed potatoes. It’s also offering vegetarian stuffing and vegan succotash. Caviar & Bananas is asking customers to place entrée orders four days in advance of pick-up; accompaniments may show up in the store’s display case, but customers who want to avoid disappointment should call in their choices at least two days before pick-up.

None of Caviar & Bananas’ holiday pies are classified as gluten-free, but Sweet Radish Bake Shop is offering a full roster of pies, cakes, tortes and muffins, including a vegan pumpkin pie. The complete ordering guide is here.

Where to Eat Out on Thanksgiving

steveajohnson

Steve A Johnson

As your thoughts turn from candy corn to cranberry sauce, you may very well decide you don’t want to fuss with fixing Thanksgiving dinner this year. Fortunately, Charleston restaurants are happy to help.

Here, a list of restaurants staying open for the holiday. Remember, reservations are essential; prix fixe prices don’t include drinks, tax or gratuity; and servers deserve to be tipped handsomely for giving up the day with their families. Happy Thanksgiving!

82 Queen

82 Queen, 723-7591

Hours: 12 noon-8 p.m.

Price: Entrees, $31-$39

Service style: A la carte

Sample menu items: Crispy parmesan oysters; sweet tea-grilled pork chop

Turkey description: Roast turkey paired with Southern potatoes, haricot verts, giblet gravy, cranberry chutney

Complete holiday menu: http://www.82queen.com/thanksgiving/

Blossom

171 E. Bay St., 722-9200

Hours: 11 .am.-9 p.m.

Price: Entrees, $24-$32

Service style: A la carte

Sample menu items: Pickled shrimp; pan-roasted grouper; pumpkin cheesecake

Turkey description: Slow-roasted turkey with cornbead and housemade sausage stuffing, slow-cooked green beans, whipped potatoes, cranberry relish, giblet gravy

Complete holiday menu: http://www.magnolias-blossom-cypress.com/blossom.asp?id=118213&action=detail&catID=20407&parentID=20406 Continue reading

Looking For Deli? Make It Yourself.

The-Artisan-Jewish-Deli-at-HomeA new generation of restaurateurs has reinvented nearly everything about the traditional Jewish deli: At places such as San Francisco’s Wise Sons and Brooklyn’s Mile End, the sandwiches are reasonably sized; the knishes and babka are handmade; the coffee is of high quality and the counter clerk’s more likely to pontificate about the origins of kugel than snap at a customer for speaking too softly.

What hasn’t changed, though, is the deli’s staunchly urban identity. Unlike other imported cuisines, which have popped up far from the immigrant communities associated with them, deli hasn’t strayed much beyond the very biggest cities.

Nick Zukin, founder of Portland’s revered Kenny & Zuke’s and co-author of the newly-published The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home, says he doesn’t foresee thoughtful deli sweeping the nation anytime soon. Continue reading