Saturday, June 23, 2012

BBQ Review: School House BBQ

Yesterday I met my parents and sister for lunch at School House BBQ in Scranton, SC. Its located off highway 52 in a old historic schoolhouse built in the 1930s, hence the name. This quaint school house embodies the feeling of country living and family traditions. As you step onto the front porch and through the doors you feel as if you were transported back in time to an old country store. When you walk in you immediately go to the register and pay for the all you can buffet which is about $8 per person. If you want take out you go to the take out window on the front porch. Anyways as soon as you pay you grab a plate and dig into the buffet. They have a ridiculous amount of food to choose from. I started with their famous BBQ pulled pork which has a kick to it, and then got some BBQ chicken. They also offer fried chick, hash, chicken and rice, sausage. As for the sides the options seem endless, they have green beans, field peas, corn, squash casserole, potato salad, sweet potatoes, collard greens, sweet pickles, biscuits, and much more. They have every southern comfort food you could possibly want.
My plate, BBQ, green beans, chicken, sweet potatoes, potato salad & pickles!

My dad's plate, BBQ, sausage, field peas, & collards.

After you fill your plate you sit down to big wooden tables and ladder back chairs. I grabbed some sweet tea and then began to chow down. School House BBQ is a vinegar based BBQ and it is moist, tender, little spicy and delicious. Their chicken both BBQ and fried is juicy and tender and finger licking good! Everything was southern food at its finest. Finally after gorging myself on BBQ and tons of sides I had my eyes locked on the banana pudding since I walked in, that is my test for whether I will come back to a restaurant. It was amazing, velvety consistency, lots of vanilla wafers and bananas, it was perfect. For dessert they also had peach cobbler and ice cream, perfect end to great country cooking.
BBQ chicken.

My mom's plate, she got pickled beets, she still has not convinced me to try them.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting, like you are sitting in your grandma's kitchen. The place is decorated with vintage piggy banks, blue glass bottles, old signs, farm collectibles, and NASCAR racing memorabilia. They also hold fundraisers for church groups, where the youth group comes in and cleans tables and pours drinks for tips. This restaurant is family and community oriented with delicious authentic southern food. I recommend for everyone to go check it out. This is only my first stop on the BBQ Trail there will be many more to come! Please send me suggestions for BBQ places to check.
Banana pudding, my favorite!!!

2252 Highway 52
Scranton, SC 29591
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Cash or Checks Only
No Debit/Credit Cards

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wedding Belles

As many southern brides to be know, wedding planning can be quite overwhelming. From the guest list to the food to the ceremony it all seems quite daunting. As a southern belle myself I find that southern weddings don't have to be as formal and complicated as you think. Here are some helpful tips to consider when planning your dream wedding.

1. Guest List.  The Guest list seems to always be too long and if you hate to cut it short then don't plan your wedding accordingly:
- Have the ceremony and reception in the same venue so that way you don't have to worry about so many people traveling from place to place and you aren't paying for 2 locations.
-Venue location is key, pick a simple open space that is large enough to accommodate the multitude of guests but without breaking the bank. Outdoor venues are great for this cause you can place additional seating around the covered area, or set up multiple tents.
-If you are determined to have your wedding in a either very expensive or small space that cant accommodate a lot of guests then invite only select group of people to the ceremony and then invite everyone else to the reception.

2. Venue.  Like I said above, pick a venue that is large and spacious but is not expensive, outdoor spaces are great but think outside the box and try warehouses, barns, parks, a field or a friend's big back yard. Also try unusual locations like a community theater, meeting hall or auditorium, places like this are made to hold at least a hundred or more people and usually cheap to rent. If you choose a theater you can decorate the stage and aisles to give the venue character and atmosphere so it looks like it was meant for a wedding ceremony.
Wedding at Marysville Opera House. (Marysville, WA)
 Photo By Lindsay Borden.

3. Wedding Attire. Except for the wedding dress all other wedding attire could stay somewhat casual, choose fabrics like chiffon, and jersey or a nice cotton instead of silk for bridesmaids and consider short dresses. The bride could even go a little casual by sticking with similar fabrics. As for the groomsmen nix the tuxedos and opt for suits, so the guys could actually reuse them and focus on the ties and vests more to create a unified look. For a even more causal look try slacks or khakis with cotton button down shirt and bold ties, no jackets. Mix and match for guys to find the right look and to save money. Focus more on your colors and theme than traditional wedding attire, have fun with it!

Plaid Shirts. Photo By Jagger Photography.
bridemaids in prints
Sundresses. Photo By Jagger Photography.
Grey Suits for Groomsmen. Photo By Emily Heizer.
Gingham Men. Photo By Jill Thomas Photography.

Mix & Match Dresses. Photo By Tyler Branch.

4. Food & Beverages. Of course you don't want to skimp on the food and beverages, but they will take up a good chuck of your budget. So some ways to save money is first of all is to do buffet or appetizers. DO NOT do a full menu it will cost way too much! Hors d'oeuvres are a great option you can lots of variety to please all your guests with out it costing too much. Doing a buffet is another great option since you can have a multiple food choices and everyone serves themselves, just use small plates that way people can't get too much at once. As for beverages keep it simple offer water, lemonade and sweet tea, they are super cheap and easy to serve. Set up a drinks bar where guests can serve themselves and have lemons, limes and other fruit to add to their drinks. You can also serve punch, here are some recipes that would be perfect. If you choose to serve alcohol do not serve liquor, instead serve beer and wine, champagne or do a punch with alcohol, like champagne punch or sangria.
Lemon Drop Champagne Punch. Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

5. Photographers.  You have to have pictures taken but you don't have to spend most of your budget on them. The best thing is to prioritize what is important to you with your wedding and decide where do photos lie on that list. If they are towards to top then look for professional photographers and no matter what your price range is check out their work before you pick one. The best photographers are gonna cost but you could cut your cost by only having them come for the ceremony and part of the reception, since they will charge by the hour. Also talk to the photographer and work out a deal most will negotiate. If the photographer isn't your biggest concern then look for amateur or student photographers. They will be much cheaper and usually will still do an amazing job. Finally you can always find a family member or friend who has a nice camera and knows what they are doing somewhat, they will do it for next to nothing, it could be their wedding gift to you. A really fun, but old school idea is to pass out disposable cameras for your guests to take candid pictures sounds cheesy but some of your favorite photos will come from them. Another idea is to set up a "photo booth" set up some kind of backdrop and a digital camera on a tripod and have your guests take pictures as they arrive and throughout the reception. You can have some props and someone to keep an eye on the booth, your guests will have so much fun posing for pictures! 
Vintage Frames Booth.

Photo Tent.

**Some great local South Carolina photographers that I personally recommend:
Lindsay Rogerson (Charleston, Sumter)
Nicole Ouellette (Florence, Sumter)
Megan Manus Photography (Sumter) 

6.  Invitations. Wedding invitations can be very expensive but they don't have to be, try using websites like and design your own. You can also find freelance graphic designers that will do they for a fair price. If you are good at a computer, you can design and print them yourself (as long as you don't have 200 guests). Try to keep them simple with only 2 or 3 colors at the most, and don't bother embossing most of them will get tossed anyways. Type should be fun but legible and the text clear and concise, you can find different fonts at for free. Just keep them simple and affordable since most guests won't keep them.
Wedding Invitation.
Design by Caroline Duncan of Market South.

Anyway you choose to plan your dream wedding I hope you found this information useful to stick to your budget and plan your wedding easily. If you need any help with your big day let Market South help! Creativity is the key to a great wedding and that is what I do best! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Aww Shucks!

Shucking corn.

Sadly I didn't make it to the Farmers Festival this weekend, but I was able to keep myself busy around the house. Earlier this week my dad came home with a bushel of corn. As you know you have to blanch corn before you can freeze it so my mom taught my a neat tip to blanch a lot of corn all at once. She said to put it in the dishwasher, yeah it's a little weird but it works! Once you have shucked all the corn just put it on the top rack (don't add soap) and run it on the top rack only cycle. Then let it cool and put it in freezer bags. We kept some out and grilled it which was amazing!

On Sunday since it was Father's Day I decided to make my dad a sour cream pound cake, yum! Unfortunately neither of my grandmothers, nor my mom have a great recipe so I had to find one for myself. The one that I think is one of the best and easiest recipes is the queen of southern cooking,  Paula Deen's  recipe. Hers is simple, easy and not too many ingredients, just be patient while you're baking so you don't forget anything. DO NOT OPEN the oven while the cake is baking if you do it could fall!


1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6   large eggs
3 cup flour
1 cup sour cream
3 cup sugar
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine and cream the butter, sugar, and add the sour cream. Sift the baking soda and flour together.  Add the sifted flour to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg one at a time.  Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10- inch tube pan.  Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.
(Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen)

Sour Cream Pound Cake.
The cake turned out great, I could hardly wait for it to cool! Paula's recipe is so moist and my dad loved it of course! You can change it up and instead of vanilla extract you can add almond or lemon. When I do lemon I take the zest and juice of one lemon and mix it with about one cup of powered sugar to make a glaze. Keep adding sugar and water till its the right consistency, then pour it all over the top of the pound cake. You can experiment using different extracts and glazes to come up with your favorite. Anyways try it out and let me know how it goes, and keep sending my suggestions I really appreciate them!

My puppy Walker. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Fish, Two Fish....

So Tuesday night my boyfriend and I went on a lovely date to Sumter's new local hangout Palmetto Oyster House, and it was great! PO House opened its doors in 2011 and has been gaining popularity since. Its a quaint casual seafood restaurant focusing on fresh local food and southern favorites, like shrimp and grits and Beaufort Stew. I have been 3 times now and every time the food has been amazing. Their seafood selection is wonderful offering oysters (raw, steamed, etc) shrimp, flounder, salmon, crab legs, and much more. For those who aren't into seafood like my boyfriend they have delicious hamburgers and one of the best rib eye steaks I have ever eaten! (Melt in your mouth tender and flavorful.)
Peel and Eat Steamed Shrimp. 

I had shrimp with a salad, it was messy but delicious! 
PO House also has a great selection of beer, over a dozen on draft and more than 70 bottled beers. They carry domestics, micro-brews and imported beers. The atmosphere is a mix between a beach side grill and local tavern. It is family friendly, and perfect for a nice cold drink with friends after work. Next time you are craving something delicious and different please go check out Palmetto Oyster House and let me know what you think!
Beer list and condiments in beer bucket great idea!

My boyfriend's cheeseburger with crab chips (aka raw fries w/ old bay seasoning).

SC Farmers Festival


This weekend in Lake City, SC is the South Carolina Farmers Festival starting June 14 - 16 for more info go I will be out there Friday I am super excited for some of the speakers and to check out what will be sold. There will be an antique car show, live music, vendors, beauty pageant, and they will announce farm of the year along with other awards. Friday there will be multiple speakers talking about gardening, farming, and much more. Here is the schedule of events for the weekend and I hope to see yall out there it should be tons of fun! Can't wait!!!!

The 6th Annual SC Farmers Festival

Schedule of Events

Thursday, June 14th
(All Thursday events are inside the Bean Market)
2:00 pm - Lake City Farmers Market Opens
Farmers Festival Gospel Concerts -
6:00 pm - Plantation Singers – Gullah Gospel Band
7:00 pm - Lake City Farmers Market Closes
7:00 pm - Mike Goodman- Gospel Comedian
8:00 pm - Crystal River- Southern Gospel Band

Friday, June 15th
(All Friday events are inside the Bean Market)
8:00 am - Gardeners/Landscapers Coffee Meet and Greet
Speakers Day - Public Welcome
8:30 am - Evan Clements (Topic: Landscaping plants and designs)
9:00 am - Tony Melton (Topic: Home Grown Maters)
9:30 am - Blake Landford (Topic: Pee Dee Agri-Tourism)
10:00 am - Will Goins (Topic: From BBQ to Grits)
11:00 am - Gail Wagner (Topic: Can Nature Knowledge Save the World)
12:00 pm - Break
1:00 pm - Aida Rogers & Tim Driggers (Topic: SC Ain’t We Got Food)
2:00 pm - Lake City Farmers Market Opens
5:00 pm - Early Bird Bingo
6:00 pm - Bingo
7:00 pm - Lake City Farmers Market Closes
7:00 pm - Entertainment – Blue Ridge Junction
8:00 pm - Big Prize Bingo
9:00 pm - Movie in the Market (Captain America)

Saturday, June 16th
(Saturday events take place at the Bean Market, Village Green,
Pole Barn and Church Street locations)
8:00 am - Farmers Market Opens (Bean Market)
Re-enactors and Demonstrators at the Pole Barn: firing of cannons every hour on the hour starting at 9am (Pole Barn)
Arts and Crafts (Bean Market)
9:00 am - Live Bands 9am-5pm (Village Green)
Kids Carnival (Village Green)
Antique Car Show (Church Street)
10:00 am - Farm of the Year Contest (Bean Market)
2:00 pm - Farmers Market Farm Vendor of the Year (Bean Market)
2:00 pm - Farmers Market Commercial Vendor of the Year (Bean Market)
2:30 pm - Antique Car Show Winners (Church Street)
4:00 pm - Festival Ends
5:00 pm - Festival Bands on the Village Green ends

*Bean Market- 111 Henry Street, Lake City, SC
**Pole Barn- Irvin Street behind Bean Market
***Village Green- Henry Street in front of Bean Market
****Church Street beside Bean Market

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rainy Days...

So today it was raining cats and dogs keeping me and my puppy Walker stuck inside all day. Well to ease my boredom I decided to make my mom an apron, something every good southern woman needs. To make it even better I used an old ugly denim skirt that my mom doesn't wear anymore, thank goodness.

So here is how I turned an old ugly skirt into a cute country apron!

1/2 yd fabric
Long Skirt
Sewing machine

1. Cut the along the back seam of the skirt. I used a serger on all my raw edges but if you don't have one then just hem them.

2. Use another apron to trace the top part onto your other fabric. This will be sewn to the skirt to make a full apron.

3. Once you have cut your fabric put right sides together and sew.

Iron seams so they lay smooth.

4. Cut strips of fabric for the ties then fold in half and serge/ sew open sides together. Measurements will depend on your size.

 5. Sew the ties onto the waistband, right sides facing each other.

 6. Do the same with the ties for the top.

7. Voila! You have an apron! Oh I put a pocket on the front but that is optional.


Email me if you have any questions. This is a great project for a beginner and I hope this tutorial was helpful. Enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Southern Hospitality

So as a southerner the first thing you learn is hospitality, this is important all across the south. If you notice when you walk into a home, restaurant or store in the south you always feel a warm welcome like you have known this person or place for years when in fact you haven't. I love this feeling and I love that no matter where I go in South Carolina I can find it.

O'Hara's. Photo taken from
One of my favorite places that I get the best southern hospitality from is a restaurant in Mullins, SC called O'Hara's. It's located in an old building and it also is a bed and breakfast. I have been going there for Sunday dinners since I was "knee high to a grasshopper" as my grandmother would say. It is some of the best southern food served buffet style that you will ever eat. The owner Joe, she is a character, with a warm bubbly personality that you can't help but feel like you're family there.
O'Hara's Sideviwew. Photo taken from
Sadly it is only open on weekends and most of the time you need to call to make a reservation especially on Sundays, after church it is always packed. The food they serve includes all the southern staples:

  • Roast Turkey
  • Ham
  • Boiled Shrimp
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Green Beans
  • Fried Chicken
  • Pasta Salad
  • Biscuits 
  • Collard Greens
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Devil's Food Cake
 There is just too much to list so you will have to go check it out yourself!

Tobacco Museum. Photo by Elaine Duncan.
O'Hara's isn't the only place there to see, but I will say it is why people keep coming back. Another place to go visit is the South Carolina Tobacco Museum which is close to my heart since my grandfather was a tobacco farmer. Tobacco was a cash crop in the south and helped build many of the towns southerns live in today. It is a fun way to learn the history of tobacco in South Carolina and how important it's role was in shaping South Carolina.

Museum Sign. Photo by Elaine Duncan.

Side View of Museum which is housed in the old train station. 
Photo by Elaine Duncan.

View looking across the street. Photo by Elaine Duncan.

View of Downtown. Photo by Elaine Duncan.

Detail of old building. Photo by Elaine Duncan.
 I hope that one day you can make a trip to visit Mullins, SC it is certainly one of South Carolina's hidden gems.