Up and at ’em, I told Rocky and Crew. Every other day I fly solo (with Crew of course) while Rocky is at MUSC, and today I actually had a buddy to go explore with. I am sure Rocky would tell you I talked his ear off and acted like a complete ‘know it all’ about Charleston. I have spent quite a few hours over the past week hitting the pavement and seeing the city. So, to be able to share that with any one willing to listen and capable of responding (unlike Crew), I was thrilled.
I packed up the boys, and we headed out to the Farmers market at Marion Square. Ever Saturday vendors from the low country set up their tents and sell their produce and wares. You would be in awe of the deep colors of the heirloom produce that these farmers brought to sell. Gorgeous and quirky heirloom tomatoes, deep purple beets, summer squash, and much more that I couldn’t even recognize. The vendor that had the prettiest produce seemed to have Gullah roots. They were obviously an old black woman and man with deep seated low country roots that were sitting back watching people handle their goods. They even had a Gullah accent. They all had weathered hands and deep dark skin that definitely was used to the sun from farming.
We decided tonight to make roasted root vegetables and to take a picnic up to the battery for dinner. After two nights eating at a restaurant with a screaming baby and aggrivated fellow diners, we needed a relaxing experience tonight. We bought homegrown carrots, scallions, white and red beets, onions, plus butternut squash. Barefoot Contessa has a recipe to toss the chopped vegetables in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and time put it on a baking sheet and roast it at 475 for 40 minutes. It is a wonderful meal with rice or quinoa and white wine. Grate fresh Romano cheese on it, drizzle more olive oil and serve.
We walked from the market and made our way to spread out a blanket at the battery. The breeze could sell for millions if I could have only bottled it. The cool salt air was coming in and rustling between the live oak branches. Billowing white sails of the sailboats reflected the sunlight and looked majestic going along the Ashley River.
A picture I wanted to show you is a perfect example of the layers of time of Charleston. This residence was constructed with the classic brickwork that was done in the colonial era where they would put plaster over the brick and then draw in lines to resemble limestone. Back then, it was much more desirable to have a limestone house than brick. So, all the beautiful colonial brick is under the plaster of all of these houses.
A friend pointed me in the direction of a really great NY Times article about a professional mandolin player who fell in love with the idea of building a small, small classic home in Charleston. This link will do a better job of explaining it than I can, but the gist is that he purchased a tiny lot in historic Charleston for 65,000 and then put in 200,000 to build an 870 sq ft home. He collected reclaimed ‘trash’ to use for the structure itself. I am in awe of this article. I have always preferred living in intimate spaces with tons of character and detail versus a sprawling home. This suits me perfectly. I am going to try to find it before I leave Charleston!
Ok well I better go get started on the roasted root vegetables. Have a glass of wine with me while you read this! (unless its morning when you read it ;o)