Last week the hubby was out of town for a work trip, so I was flailing all over the place trying to keep our ship running. On Thursday, I took the kids to stock up on food for the weekend, and the Gravy Baby lost it -- and I mean lost it -- over a tank of live littleneck clams. I'd planned on kind of mailing it in for dinner that night by having us all raid the 'fridge for leftovers, and so I told the Gravy Baby the clams would have to wait.
The Gravy Baby pleaded with me. "Puh-lease, can't we just have a little bit of clams?" I opened my mouth to decline again, and then I paused. It's not like he was asking me for cake or pizza or any number of things three-year-olds ask for. "You can use the basil I'm growing in my garden, mama! Puh-lease puh-lease puh-lease!!!"
I caved, and into the cart went 5 pounds of clams. We ended up eating them in spurts all weekend. On the first night I made them, the Gravy Baby sang to his supper. "Oh clams, how I love you," he bellowed.
Back in April I was invited to attend Charleston's 2nd Annual Food Film Festival. It's actually an event that travels the country highlighting food films and incorporating some of the local area's eats into the three-day event.
I haven't been to a film festival (or really any festival, for that matter) in awhile (thanks, young children under the age of three who lovingly keep me housebound after 8:00 pm), so it was a treat to be a part of a high-energy event where everyone attending was there to celebrate food. And film. You get what I mean.
Clockwise, from top left: smoked elk, ciabiatta crouton and red wine hibiscus glaze from Charleston Harbor Fish House; a display of High Wire Distillery's finest products; and the step-and-repeat wall outside the Food Film Fest
The event I attended was the "Food Porn Party," featuring seven short films. When the first one, Paloma, was basically a film showing the sensuous aspects involved in making a delicious cocktail, I knew I'd come to the right kind of event.
Top, from left: tortas from Butcher & Bee; "Crazy Cake"; High Wire's products aging in oak barrels
The Food Porn Party was hosted at High Wire Distilling Company, a local Charleston distillery that just opened its doors over a year ago. I actually met with the owner recently to talk about their amazing Hat Trick Gin, which has become my favorite starting point for every cocktail that's come out of our kitchen this summer. If you're local, you need a bottle of this stuff for the hot porch swing days. Trust me.
The night featured all sorts of locally made goodies - tortas from Butcher & Bee, a clam pudding prepared a la minute byJeremiah Bacon, head chef at The Macintosh and fish tacos from Basico. One of the short films also features a story about a local Charleston family's ties to "crazy cake," a very easy, basic cake that's become part of the family's celebration tradition over the years.
The turtle burger: beef patties skewered with all-beef hot dogs, then wrapped in turkey bacon and baked to "perfection"
My favorite food of the night, however, had to be the salted caramel doughnuts. Originally, the doughnuts were supposed to be flown in from Seattle, but due to a shipping snafu the festival's organizers had to use a local unnamed doughnut covered in rich salted caramel sauce. I could've done some inappropriate damage to my health with those doughnuts.
For me, though, one of the most anticipated items of the night was the turtle burger, a burger which turned out to be made into the shape of a turtle by sticking a few cut up hot dogs into the patty, wrapping the whole thing in bacon and baking it. Before the event, I'd read about the turtle burger and had assumed it was made of turtle meat, and I was pretty excited about it. The concoction I found myself confronting was instead supposed to be a mixture of meat, irony and humor. I have to say that the joke was lost on me.
I guess you can say that the Asian in me just really wanted that turtle meat.