Love selling the Lowcountry and writing about it. Introducing newcomers to a place I am so passionate about is easy.
To truly understand Lowcountry living, you will need an insider and I am a lifestyle enthusiast who has lived and worked in the Lowcountry for most of my life. In fact, I became a popular author who has written and marketed 7 successful books about this region.
Southern Traditions became one of our most popular books.
Inspiration for the stories, art, and recipes in the books grew out of my life in the Lowcountry living on the Beaufort River in an old plantation house at Pleasant Point. During our years there, land was sold, homes were built and the golf course became the finest in the Beaufort area.
Above picture is our home on Lady’s Island painted by Beaufort artist Nancy Ricker Webb.
I learned about Southern cooking from some of the ladies along Bay Street who entertained with great Southern hospitality and flair. These were genuine daughters of the South who took great pride in using “grandmother’s silva service.”
Pictured below is my first book written for the Beaufort Tricentennial celebration in 2011.
We didn’t have country clubs and fine restaurants in those days – only Harry’s Tavern on Bay Street with their blue plate special and the Yankee Tavern where the cast from the Prince of Tides dined on a daily basis. We had to entertain in our homes and know how to prepare the shrimp, soft-shelled crabs, and vegetables grown on nearby St. Helena Island. I always loved our cooking days.
Hunting for quail, dove. deer, marsh hens, and ducks was a way of life and Pleasant Point was a fertile hunting ground being isolated from town and other disturbances.
Sea Pines Resort https://www.seapines.com/
One morning at breakfast in the Sea Island Motel, my husband and I met Charles Fraser, best known as the developer of Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island. During the early 70s, Hilton Head was mostly a vision for Charles but it had gained national attention in 1969 when Arnold Palmer won the first-ever Heritage Classic Golf Tournament, a PGA Tour event held in Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island. Commentators and journalists praised Pete Dye’s new links course and Arnold Palmer’s victory. Soon everyone knew that Hilton Head Island was the new resort destination.
It wasn’t long after meeting Charles that we moved to Sea Pines to work with him and lived there for 20 years.
I bring an invaluable wealth of knowledge for newcomers not yet familiar with the area and understand the many nuances between the various communities. It is very important to me that home buyers find the perfect fit, not just in their home, but in the community where they will live.
I like to listen carefully and sort through a buyer’s plans and desires to find out what they are seeking. Once I understand the life they are looking for – I can find the right community and home.
Where to find the freshest seafood on Hilton Head Island
Hey – just want to let you know if you want the best seafood ever, run over to Benny Hudson’s Seafood, 175 Squire Pope Road. If you’re lucky, you may be there as they offload the shrimp boat. https://bennyhudsonseafood.com/
The Hudson family prides itself in the fact that they have been supplying islanders and its visitors with the freshest local seafood for over 5 generations. Benny Hudson Seafood unloads boats daily from their docks, being one of the last of its kind in our area.
I have a favorite Shrimp and Grits recipe I created several years ago. It has remained my favorite – here it goes!
Creamy Shrimp and Stone-Ground Cheese Grits with Prosciutto
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
¼ cups minced green onion
¼ cups minced red bell pepper
¼ cup halved grape tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh chives, minced
2 teaspoons peeled and deveined medium fresh shrimp
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup chopped prosciutto
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup butter, softened
Stone-Ground cheese Grits (I use Marsh Hen Grits, Edisto Island)
Garnish with dill, fresh thyme, chopped fresh chives and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese sprinkled on top
In a large skillet, saute the chopped prosciutto until crispy and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add shallot, green onion, and red bell pepper. Cook stirring often for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes, thyme, garlic, and chives. Cook while stirring for 22 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until shrimp begin to turn pink. Remove pan from heat, and spoon mixture into a large bowl, cover, and keep warm.
Add wine and lemon juice to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture is reduced by half. Remove skillet from heat. Whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until butter is melted after each addition. Return the skillet to the stove and add the shrimp mixture to the skillet to finish cooking. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring until shrimp are pink and firm.
Plae a scoop of grits in each serving bowl and divide the shrimp mixture evenly among serving bowls. Garnish with dill, thyme, chives, and green onion if desired. Sprinkle the crispy prosciutto with the other garnishes.
I love using the freshest grits I can find – Marsh Hen Grits from Edisto Island never disappoint. These are my favorite Jimmy Red Grits. The key is to soak them overnight and cook them for at least one hour in chicken broth with plenty of butter.
Pat Branning, Realtor
Carteret Street, Beaufort, SC 29902