Local Cooking With Recipes From Holly Herrick

Photographer: Rick McKee Publisher: Gibbs Smith, June 2009

When I began my quest to eat locally, I discovered that the most difficult part was knowing what to eat and when to eat it.  I wanted to eat in season but I was stumped by my lack of knowledge regarding local growing seasons.  Browsing the shelves of Fiction Addiction for a book that would help me out of my dilemma, I picked up the Southern Farmers Market Cookbook by Holly Herrick and discovered the perfect book for me.

What make this book a fantastic choice for newbie locavores is the way Holly opens up the world of seasonal eating and farmers markets.  She acts as a guide, explaining the importance and benefits of eating local food, giving you tips on what to bring/what not to bring to a farmers market, and providing suggestions on how to stock a pantry that is ready for seasonal cooking.  Recipes for each course are grouped by season for ease and clarity.  Beautiful photographs by Rick Mckee show the tantalizing beauty of dishes made from fresh, local food.

Holly focuses on the Southeastern region of the US: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.  For those, like me, who have no idea what is in season when, the included state-by-state charts of seasonal produce are indispensable.  State-by-state listings of farmers markets and listings of online resources to locate farmers markets really take away any excuse for not exploring the world of farmers markets and local food.

Whether you are a seasoned locavore or just beginning to enjoy the world of wholesome, fresh, local food, I highly recommend this excellent book.  Want a free copy of it?  Holly has given me a signed copy to give to one lucky reader.  Check out the Leah Loves Local Facebook page for details.  For more information on Holly Herrick or any of her cookbooks, please visit her website.

To give you a taste of what is in store for you in Southern Farmers Market Cookbook, here is one of my favorite recipes (reprinted with permission):

Strawberry Mint Clafoutis

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs (preferably local)

1 cup whole cream

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 quart whole strawberries, green tops removed and rinsed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar.  Form a well in the center and add the eggs, cream, salt, vanilla, and mint.  Gradually incorporate into a smooth batter, whisking well.  Generously butter a 9-inch pie pane.  Line the bottom with whole strawberries, top-down.  NOTE: Use enough to entirely fill the bottom – the quantity will depend on the size of the berries.  Pour the batter over the top.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until the edges are nicely browned and the center is set.

If desired, brush the top of the warm – to room-temperature clafoutis down with a thin layer of warmed strawberry jelly for added sheen.  Serve warm with a generous dollop of whipped cream, a fresh strawberry, and mint leaf for garnish.

Serves 6-8

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First Friday

12 Andrews Street, Greenville, SC

I had another post planned for today but then I celebrated First Friday at Artistry Workshops and Gallery last night and felt compelled to write about how incredible the arts community is in Greenville.  For those of you who have never heard of First Friday, it is a celebration of visual arts that happens on the first Friday of each month.  25 galleries and venues throughout downtown Greenville open their doors from 6 pm – 9 pm and invite the community in to meet the artists, explore the creative process, and enjoy spectacular works.

Last night was the first time I have thoroughly enveloped myself in the First Friday experience.  Despite my best intentions, I am not often able to keep that First Friday night free each month.  But this month I marked it on my calendar a couple weeks in advance and I could not be happier that I was able to enjoy the evening surrounded by so many amazing Greenville neighbors.

I arrived at Artistry Workshops and Gallery at 7 pm and meandered around, making conversation with other lovers of visual art.  I examined the striking and beautiful work of Adam Schrimmer featured in the gallery.  It’s obvious to see through his work and his conversation that Adam is an artist who believes that individuals should celebrate the uniqueness and creativity within themselves.  It was truly a pleasure to meet him and have an opportunity to view his artistic expressions of passion and soul.

Ryan Calloway

Ryan Calloway

After a walk-thru of the gallery, I took time out to watch Ryan Calloway show off his blacksmith skills in a demonstration that was informative and entertaining.  Then, I met Alix Bernard whose glasswork practically begged to be brought home with me and I happily obliged.  I also met Mary Kathryn and Norm Pizzello, artisans at Artistry who will celebrate their 6th year in Greenville and their 15th wedding anniversary this month.

Beyond the inspiring art and passion of the artists, First Friday was enjoyable because of the fascinating individuals I met who were at Artistry to indulge their own First Friday fix.  Taking part in conversations with fellow appreciators of all Greenville offers was a perfect way to end the night.  Making connections with my neighbors is something I am passionate about and I am grateful for the opportunities that arise where I am able to meet more and more of them.

So, why am I telling you all of this?  I am telling you in the hopes that you will begin to make your own First Friday memories on April 6th and continue to do so each month thereafter.  With 25 galleries and venues, you are pretty much guaranteed to find an artist or work you enjoy and an interesting stranger with whom you can talk about it.  Those of us who live in or near Greenville are very fortunate to have a fantastic downtown and a plethora of insanely talented individuals who reside within our community.  First Friday is just another example of why loving local is so rewarding.

The glasswork that now graces my home.

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People Watching: Daniel McCord

Daniel McCord

“I wonder what making movies is like.”  This is the thought that launched Daniel McCord into the world of film-making.  Originally from Abbeville, SC, Daniel moved to Greenville six years ago to work at Michelin after studying mechanical engineering at Clemson.  He is a man who believes you can never know all that you are good at unless you keep trying something new.  His propensity for constantly learning and experimenting in his own life explains how one man can be good at so many things.  He is a musician with a love for cooking and craft beer who also designs and prints hand-stenciled t-shirts all while sharing his passion for photography and film with the Greenville community.  And he’s a fascinating conversationalist.

Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun – Oh Black Gold (acoustic) from Daniel McCord on Vimeo.

The journey from engineer to artist began in Daniel’s sophomore year of college when he bought his first camera and began experimenting with still photography.  Now, he has multiple music videos and short films under his belt.  In his still photography and film, Daniel’s work is striking thanks to his gift for capturing the art of ordinary life.  His sense of adventure and learn-by-doing mentality over the intervening years has led him from the starting place of wonderment to the 12 in 2012 project.

12 in 2012 is a short film project that presents the art, beauty, and humanity in both the exciting and mundane.  Every month in 2012 will bring a new short film from Daniel in which he shares a glimpse into a life, event, or job that most of his viewers would not think to explore on their own.  He opens new worlds to the viewers and does so with unique passion and skill.

Through the Kickstarter website, those of us in the Upstate who appreciate the passion and purpose of artists like Daniel have the opportunity to support the 12 in 2012 project.  He is raising funds for this unconventional project through February 29th.  I hope you will join me in supporting Daniel and his passion for excellent filmmaking.

Interested in learning more about Daniel or his work?  Visit his website or his Vimeo page to see his talent in action or stop in to chat with him during one of his shifts at The Community Tap.  Want to support the 12 in 2012 film project?  Visit Kickstarter and pledge your support today.

Kickstarter Pledge Video from Daniel McCord on Vimeo.

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Getting Involved

In recent weeks, I have been asked many questions about Leah Loves Local.  These questions range from “Why do you care?” to “What is so great about local?” to “How can I get involved?”  The first two questions are answered in the Meet Leah and Why Local? sections of this site.  The third question is answered in this post.

Leah Loves Local is a resource for you.  No matter what you are looking for, Leah Loves Local can help you and help you to help others.  Leah Loves Local is about people in the community supporting each other and caring about each other.

How can you get involved in my movement to love local?  A few examples: If you’re looking for a specific product and want to buy it from a locally owned shop rather than Walmart or Target, you can connect with other lovers of local through Leah Loves Local on Facebook and Twitter and get help finding it.  If you love an individual, business, or organization and you think they deserve a review and publicity from Leah Loves Local, you can send me a comment on Facebook or Twitter or you can recommend that they contact me.  If you have ideas for what you would like to see on Leah Loves Local, you can contact me and let me know.

There are many ways to get involved in loving local along with me.  I am always on the lookout for local events, bands, authors, businesses, and organizations to recommend to other localistas.  Join the LLL community and feel free to share your ideas, thoughts, and recommendations on ways that we can all love our local a bit more.

Contact Leah:

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People Watching: Stephen Boatright

Stephen Boatright

Have you met Stephen Boatright?  If you have not had the pleasure, let me introduce you to this man of many talents.  He is a filmmaker, photographer, and thespian filling his days with a wide variety of creative projects.  Whether directing a film, doing a photoshoot, or working in the theatre, his passion for sharing stories is at the heart of all he does.

Courtesy of Stephen Boatright

Originally from Georgia, Stephen began honing his craft at a young age.  While other children were listening intently to the teacher, he was noticing the way light entered the room differently depending on whether it was coming from an overhead light or from outside the window.  He would frame scenes with his toys using his mom’s 35mm camera that always seemed to lack film.  But the lack of film was unimportant.  Without realizing it at the time, Stephen was learning to focus on the essential image and exclude the superfluous.  It is this talent for framing an image or scene that makes his works so striking.

The ability to differentiate between essential and superfluous has not only been useful in his professional life.  It has also helped him maintain his focus on a journey that has included extended stops in Nashville, NYC, and Los Angeles.  On the wall in his office, a solitary playing card is encased within a frame.  Stephen was in NYC when he picked the ace of hearts up from the ground.  At that time, a studio to call his own seemed like a distant dream.  But that day he determined that the card he picked up when he was trying to find his way in NYC would someday adorn the wall of his very own office.  It is a small but powerful symbol of his determination and perseverance.

What will happen to Emmeline?

Stephen participates in and builds community through his art.  His current project, a film entitled Emmeline Muffet Gives Up Her Tuffet, originated from a one-act play by South Carolina’s own Anne Pecaro.  The cast is entirely made up of local actors including Mae Tromsness, an exceptionally talented 10 year-old playing the title character.  And, while not all of us have the talent or skill to direct or act in a film, Stephen gives everyone an opportunity to be involved in the film’s creation by giving everyone the option to contribute financial support (beginning with as little as $5) in exchange for some pretty sweet perks.

Stephen credits his choice to settle down in Greenville to his wife, Michele Labar, who encouraged him to explore the creative side of the city while they were still dating.  Personally, I think we owe Michele a collective thank-you for convincing this incredibly gifted man to make Greenville his home.  I have no doubt that our community is better off due to Stephen’s passionate involvement.

Be a part of film history by clicking here to contribute to Emmeline Muffet Gives Up Her Tuffet.  Fundraising ends Tuesday, November 22 at midnight. 

Interested in booking Stephen for holiday portraits or headshots for audition season?  Email him:

For more about Stephen and his journey visit his official website or his blog.

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