On the Town

Crisp, clear Christmas Eve in Bluffton was perfect for caroling and oyster roasts

Babbie and Catherine Guscio rock around the Christmas tree!
Babbie and Catherine Guscio rock around the Christmas tree! Submitted

Our Christmas was glorious, and I hope you had a marvelous one too.

Christmas Eve was magical for several reasons. The evening arrived with the sound of Christmas carols wafting our way from the Bluffton Oyster Factory celebration. This annual Christmas treat should certainly be on your to-do list next year.

The moon rising over Bluffton was really spectacular. The air was just on the crisp side as friends began lighting fires for their oyster roasts to share with family and friends, and the smell from them was fabulous.

The roasting of the oysters, courtesy of the Toomer family, is a very welcome treat and one lots of us look forward to each season, especially between the Christmas and New Year fests.

The icing on the “Christmas Eve cake” has to be the annual Schultz-Wyman fete, where all of their friends and family gather for cheer. This is such a fun time because we get to see many old friends and chat for an hour or so and then toddle home to get ready for Santa. You know everyone should be home snug in bed waiting for the jolly old elf to visit.

We woke Christmas morning, opened presents and then began preparations for our feast later in the afternoon. In a haze of almond cookies and prosecco, the chef — me of course — presided over the stove, juggling pots and pans until the anointed hour of arrival.

The candles had been lit. Everything had a magical glow, and they also hid the fact I had to use some foil pans to serve in. It was a very happy gathering, even though the full moon on Christmas, according to some pundits, was supposed to create chaos. Thank goodness we were spared!

By the way, if you want oysters from the Toomers for a special party, you need to order them in advance. The Oyster Factory is a busy place this time of year. And now I wish you much happiness and good health in the coming New Year of 2019.

Boiled peanuts

Jared Jester is always coming up with something fun and interesting. His new venture is one I especially love.

Jared and a business partner have launched “South Carolina ... Boiled Peanuts.” The peanuts come frozen and are shrink wrapped in heavy plastic.

You keep the peanuts in your freezer until you feel the urge to nibble on them. Boiled peanuts are made from green peanuts that have been boiled in seasoned water creating a taste rather like baked potatoes and are low in calories. Jared gave me some to taste, and they are great. He is in the throes of setting up distribution so everyone can enjoy them.

Charming gift

I love Paris, France. One reason might be the fact that my maiden name is Paris. A friend gave me a very charming book as a present, “Paris in Winter” written and illustrated by David Coggins. It is a delightful collection full of beautifully written snippets. The author has illustrated the book with his own watercolour drawings. This is also the sort of book you can take with you and, when there is a moment, open it and be transported to a cafe near The Louvre or another lovely nook in the city that he, and we, all love.