The State of My Freelancing

It may have gotten buried in the past seven years, but my original intent with starting this blog was to use it as a platform to get myself jobs. Freelance jobs, and a real non-secretarial job. I have succeeded on both fronts (thank you), but wanted to talk about how my freelancing has evolved through the years. I blogged for nearly a year before I started querying local publications about writing for them. My very first freelance gig was with Columbia Metropolitan Magazine, writing about a cooking class at UofSC. I wrote for them sporadically over the next year...

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Stay Sharp For Butternut Squash Season

It was about ten years ago when I first handled a butternut squash in my own kitchen. I was in my apartment, and was expanding my cooking repertoire when I found a recipe for butternut squash fries. The butternut squash was bought, and I was there in the little apartment kitchen with some terrible knives that I brought from home. The idea of sharpening a knife was so foreign I didn’t even know it was a thing. Cutting that stupid squash was my workout that day with those terrible knives. I honestly don’t know how I didn’t lose a...

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Farmers Market Season is Still Swinging in South Carolina

It’s no secret that I love the farmers market. Most every Saturday I get up and have coffee, leash up Meatloaf, and drive down 321 to the State Farmers Market to see what produce is available. Of course, this isn’t a year round venture, I usually go from April-ish through October or November, depending on the weather. Going regularly for an entire year (or warm weather season) is a real game changer when it comes to eating in season. You can see the early spring produce: the strawberries, cucumbers, and greens fade into the squash overload, the many types of...

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Let’s Spoon About Restaurant Week

It’s still a fairly fresh concept to have a restaurant week in the autumn since this will only be the second year of it, but they’re trying to get people’s attention. So this year they’re having local folks hide awesome hand painted spoons that will garner the finders a Restaurant Week gift certificate, plus you get to keep the cool spoon! I am one of the hiders for this spoon pictured below, and I hope you know the difference between Cayce and West Columbia, because I’m going to tuck it away in my favorite city. Follow my Twitter THIS...

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Skydiving South Carolina

It’s a bit fuzzy because I was probably four when this happened, but I do know that I was up in a crane, really high up, and I watched my dad fall off of the edge of the platform. And then he sprang back up about halfway. Then fell again, in shorter waves until it was done. Then the crane was lowered. This was totally the late 80s or early 90s, because there’s no way that there would be random bungee jumping from a crane on the side of the road, and they definitely wouldn’t take a little kid...

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The Zoodler – A Twisty Tool to Make Zucchini Strands

One of my hobbies that I’d never admit to anyone in person or on a profile is that I love wandering the aisles of HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Ross, Burkes, all of those discount department type stores. I’ll spend a lunch break maybe once a week browsing. I don’t always buy something, but when I do, it’s something I’ve carried around the entire store with me to weigh my decision. One such thing was this tiny Joie veggie spiralizer. It sat in my uncategorizable kitchen things drawer for weeks before I used it though, but once I did, yesss. Zoodles,...

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Potato Salad, the Only Way I Think is Right

There are some recipes that can only be made one way, and all of the other ways are wrong. To me, potato salad falls in that category. The only right way to make it is just like my mom makes it, and if you add celery, onions, or so much paprika that it turns orange, YOU ARE WRONG. If you don’t add mayo AND mustard, YOU ARE WRONG. In fact, the only improvement I’ve made to the method she taught me is adding extra dill. And I say method she taught me because I never received any measurements or...

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Succotette, or a Succotash Galette

Really weird strikes of inspiration are my favorite kinds, the ones that hit like a lightning bolt and inspire creative action. At the farmers market the other week I saw all the making of delicious succotash right there in front of me, so I bought them all and brought them home. The next step was making the succotash. There are truly so many versions of it, from the classic Charleston Receipts version which is just butter beans and corn to the more lavish ones that include a combination of tomato, bell pepper, and okra. Of course I made the...

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Greening Up The Carport

Sometimes when I walk through big craft stores that have a faux plant section, I feel like I’m in a great aunt’s house, especially when I see the fake grape bunches. But that doesn’t mean that I’m too good for non-live plants. I love them! I have a penchant for killing succulents of all things, so I have a few fake succulents in small pots around the house. I also have been looking for a bigger faux plant to put under our carport to make it look more tropical and relaxing. I feel bad putting real plants under there since...

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Totality in Columbia

The day was as hyped as Christmas for a second grader. Everyone had prepared in advance, gathering the necessary items like hopefully certified glasses, doughnuts, special beers, paper plates, boxes with pinholes, and lawn chairs. The early afternoon crept by. People began to gather, some in huge groups at festivals, and others in smaller groups on their lawns. Everyone kept peeking up with their glasses as the minute of the partial eclipse came creeping across the sky. It seemed like time was slowing down as the moon tiptoed across the path of the sun. As the last ten minutes...

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About April Blake

April Blake edits web content by day and writes by night, usually about local food, unusual flavors, and craft beer. Please follow me on Twitter, but not in real life.

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