Down on the Farm

Just a few nights ago, I stood under a canopy of South Carolina pine trees and stars, clutching the edge of a plastic table cloth. About 15 of us flanked the sides of a wooden picnic table, holding up the edges of the cloth to create a giant trough of sorts. We waited, mouths watering, for Jerry to dump an enormous, steaming pot of Frogmore stew onto the table. With the bonfire flickering in the background, the moment of truth arrived. Onto the table tumbled enough plump local shrimp, hunks of smoked sausage, potatoes and corn to feed a small army.

Once seated with dinner contained to the middle of the table, we passed around a platter of frog legs, fried just minutes before. And to wash it all back? Mason jars of blueberry moonshine from North Carolina. I've died and gone to heaven, I thought to myself.

It was meals like this one that made an already enjoyable weekend spent on a friend's Low Country plantation (above) even more memorable.

Lunch earlier that day consisted of sweet hush puppies and flounder fried in cast iron skillets set in a clearing in the woods. Quail hunted on the land were lunch on day two and three, and a hearty dinner of venison stew, mashed potatoes and corn pudding finished out the weekend.

To make Frogmore stew, also known as Low Country boil or Beaufort boil, check out this recipe from Southern Living, which comes pretty close to what we had.

(And a huge thank you to the McNeil family, Jerry, Mia, Katie and Annie for your hospitality and cooking.)