Most of my days begin just before the rising of the sun, in that brief time when the first rays of light start to streak across the sky. By the time most of the world is stirring, I have gone through several cups of coffee. Across the street, St. Helena's church bells, circa 1712, strike 6 and echo across our sleepy town.
I write from a small 1930s vintage brick home on a quiet street in the heart of Historic Beaufort, S.C. It's perfect. From here, I can inhale the aroma of pluff mud and feel salt breezes as the tide goes out. Even on the dreariest January day, a walk to the waterfront is as restorative as watching a sunrise over the great salt marsh in all its golden splendor.
Who Am I?
Through the years, I've been a joyful food historian and teller of tales, enthusiastic about preserving our vanishing traditions and our seafood industry and honoring those unsung heroes who labor each day to bring us the bounty from the sea. I've spent hours leaning against a railing shomewhere waiting for a shrimp boat to come in, afternoons parked by the saltwater edge of South Carolina eating a shrimp burger with a Coke and french fries on the hood of my car. For this is the land of beach dives, cinder block fish houses, and seafood shacks. I love them all. Here the power of food is the strongest, most important part of our culture.
I've compiled my stories from decades of life in the Lowcountry and cherished recipes into seven beautiful coffee table books under the brand Shrimp, Collards and Grits that have sold in gift shops across the South, Cracker Barrel Country Stores, and Barnes and Noble. Through the years my contributions have appeared in Charleston Style and Design magazine, The Local Palate, Deep South, Hilton Head Islands first magazine, The Islander, and local newspapers and periodicals. I have even been editor of my own magazine sold in Whole Foods Markets, Wegmans, Barnes and Noble and on newstands from here to Texas.
The best part of living and loving the Lowcountry is you, my readers. Meeting and chatting with any one of you is as invigorating as receiving a giant bear hug from a loved one I haven't seen for a long time. Together we've celebrated plates piled high with fried flounder, cooked to a crispy golden brown, sweet potato biscuits slathered in butter, briny oysters served around an open fire, and bowls of shrimp, fried, baked, sauteed, pickled and stuffed beside heaping baskets of hush puppies.
Here's to 2024 and the pursuit of delicious destinations and undiscovered treasures!
Best wishes for a Happy New Year to each and every one!
With heartfelt appreciation for your support and much love,
Welcome to the new land of shrimp, collards and grits, updated and full of brand new recipes and stories! Pat has remastered the book that started it all “SCG Volume 1” to celebrate her journey as an author.
Exquisite, reverent narratives as powerful and timeless as the ancient live oaks that line and shelter our towns and villages honor the human spirit in the lives of local shrimpers, oystermen, and crabbers as they go about their daily lives.