'Music to Your Mouth' was a festival to remember

info@islandpacket.comDecember 4, 2013 

In this file photo, John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi, looks on as chef Ashley Christensen, of Poole's Diner in Raleigh, N.C., gives a cooking demonstration at the 2012 Music to Your Mouth culinary festival.

  • Stuffed Tomatoes

    12 large cherry tomatoes

    1 cup pimento cheese

    12 thin slices of celery

    Freshly ground pepper

    Cut tops off of tomatoes and scoop insides out with a teaspoon. Fill each tomato with about a teaspoon of pimento cheese. Top with celery slice and freshly ground pepper. Serve with drinks.

Palmetto Bluff, bacon trees, gorgeous weather -- except for one brief downpour -- lots of laughter, and music in our mouths. What a weekend.

The seventh annual Music to Your Mouth was once again a boozy, delicious success. This gathering of wonderful chefs, artisans, wine makers and distillers from Nov. 19 through 24 was over the top. A portion of the proceeds of the event was donated to the wonderful Second Helpings organization, which made the whole affair even more special.

My daughter Tat and I were guests of Kingbean Coffee Roasters, which supplies Palmetto Bluff and other high-end customers with delicious coffees from around the world. Kingbean's tent was set up next to Georgia Olive Farms display. I was thrilled to meet Kathy and Jason Shaw, who along with their whole family, grow and produce the olives. They even have their own stone ground grits company and sell olive trees. I was so excited to meet them because I have read about their venture lots of times. It was a joy to get to know the adorable couple. I now have an olive tree that I plan to coddle during the winter in the hopes it can produce an olive or two.

I also got to meet John Edge, who is the director of Southern Foodways Alliance. Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies and celebrates the South's diverse food and all that goes along with it. A screening of short and long documentaries produced by Southern Foodways Alliance about everything from hot chicken and fixings to barbecue and oysters were shown all day in the chapel. Edge is also a wonderful writer. He is a columnist for The New York Times and has written several food-related books. If you are interested in food and great storytelling, get his books. Edge presided over the Chef's Kitchen, where he gave wonderful talks about kitchen goings-on.

Frankie Denmark of Hawg Wild BBQ served up great barbecue as football played on the TV and whiskey sours were poured. There was also a beer garden, where six producers of craft beers handed out their potions while ChaBar Company served delicious hamburgers that seemed to be the popular hit of the day.

Mingling and munching in the middle of it all were Diana and Mark MacDougall, Joan and Charlie Weaver, Bess and Mike Soper, Kate and Mike Hughes, and two Beaufort sisters-in-law, Margaret Pearman and Marti Golson -- not to mention hundreds of very happy guests putting lots of music in their mouths. Palmetto Bluff should pat themselves on the back for the wonderful way everything was handled. It was really a swell event.

  • Thanksgiving is probably the day we all eat the most while happily forgetting about calories. Thanksgiving also is becoming the biggest footrace day of the year. "Turkey Trots" around the country drew 777,140 runners last year. The average calories burned by each runner was around 438. California had the most turkey-trotting people, Ohio was second and New York third. I don't know where South Carolina fits in.

  • I saw a cute item in the Wall Street Journal last week. A junior in high school in North Carolina wrote that she had taken the PSAT -- guess what she said was the hardest part for all taking the test. The test takers had to write a one-sentence honor statement in cursive. They were all horrified because most students their age deal only with typing, not handwriting. They have no idea how to write or read cursive. After more than fifteen minutes, all had finished their chore but none were sure of what they really had written.

  • Time to break out the tinsel and poinsettias. Maybe you use orchids and paperwhites. In any case, get it done before Dec. 7 so you can come to the Bluffton Christmas Parade, shop and then go home to relax with a hot cocoa. Don't miss the fun day. The parade starts at 11 a.m. and lasts about an hour. See you there. Also don't forget the last day for the farmers market this year is Dec. 19. I think this calls for a celebration.

  • Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.

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