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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Millennials Have Good Reasons to be Killing

They say millennials are killing everything good in the world. But is anyone explaining why? Is anyone telling the older people writing these articles and making these claims the stories that led us to be so miserly with our spending, so environmentally conscious, so conscientious about every decision we make? Graduating into, or having to recover from a toilet of an economy where we were told to be grateful for our 22k a year jobs (that we just took on a mountain of student loan to get better ones than) shaped us similar to how living through the Depression made our grandmas keep every Cool-Whip container to reuse. We’re going to have these odd millennial tics for years. We’ll still be driving our 2001 Jeeps in 2060 if we have our way, even if we’re finally starting to make the kind of decent salary that affords us the opportunity to save a few bucks. In a probably useless defense of my generation, I’m going to take this handy Mashable article that has aggregated everything my generation is killing and justify it. A lot of what we “killed” have similar reasons, some of course can fall into multiples but I took the liberty of sorting them to my own biases (like college football sucking). Too Expensive Fashion, Gyms, Dinner dates, Movies, Suits, Taking risks, Romance, The American Dream, Diamonds, J. Crew, Golf, Vacations, Motorcycles It’s Bad for the Earth Oil, Baby names, Wine corks (almost!), Cars, Napkins It...

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Small Pool = Spool!

This summer in particular I’ve been driving myself to seek out water as much as possible after a drought of it the summer before for a reason I can’t really recall. I’ve gone to friends’ parent’s pools, to the lakebeach at Lake Murray, to the actual beach, and to hang out in another friend’s newly set up blow up hot tub. But that still is usually only on weekends. There are five days between each weekend that I could be submersing in water to cool down, relax, and just plain enjoy. So I’ve been trying as hard as I...

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Caprese Pearl Barley Salad

A few years ago at one of our book club pool parties, someone brought an awesome caprese barley salad. We all devoured the entire bowl if I remember correctly. It was so delicious and light yet filling, so I looked up the recipe later to try and recreate it. I swore I pinned it but it seems like I didn’t, so tonight I winged it to see if I could get it to be just as good as it was then. And this time, I’m pinning it plus it’ll be here too. I thought about this salad today because...

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Tequila Week at Tin Lizzy’s

So who still does tequila shots? I don’t generally fall into that category anymore but I made an exception this week when I was invited to try out the tequila shots that Tin Lizzy’s is promoting this week in honor of National Tequila Day (which is today) but they are extending it out all week because why not? We also enjoyed dinner with our shots because we’re old now and can’t handle liquor on empty stomachs. This was also a nice chance to check out Tin Lizzy’s, which I haven’t been to since shortly after they opened. I guess...

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It’s Prime Corn Preserving Season!

Cornfields are popping with ears of corn and this is exactly when you want to go to the farmers market and buy tons of it to save for the winter months. This past weekend I got a dozen ears for $3 at the State Farmers Market, and there are probably even better deals if you get larger quantities. My goal for these ears was to freeze them to use in those awful winter months when all you want is a little memory of warm sunshine, which these pretty yellow ears will deliver. Freezing corn is a quick and easy...

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Charleston Receipts – Tomato Okra Pilau

If you’ve been reading long enough or just know me, you know I love vintage cookbooks. One of my favorites is the classic Charleston Receipts, which I received from Patrick when his uncle passed away a few years ago. One of the things beyond studying the historical dishes that have been passed down from generations is to make and update them a bit to better suit how we eat and cook now. This week I’m tackling the Tomato Okra Pilau for no other reason than I saw okra at the farmers market the other week and just had to...

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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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