Gourmandistan has once again been lucky enough to decamp with Michelle’s family to Dewees Island, a little eco-slice of paradise just off Charleston, South Carolina.
The week we have been here has seemed to fly by. The weather has been just about perfect, and, as always, we have reveled in the sun, sand and extraordinary solitude of the island. We have stumbled across starfish, snails, storm clouds (which only provided picturesque light, not rain), hermit crabs and other wonderful things as we’ve wandered about.
We have also, since we are Gourmandistan, cooked. Much of what’s been turned out of our surprisingly well-equipped rental kitchen has been seafood, of course, including shrimp and grits, jambalaya, crab cakes and Frogmore Stew. But we did avail ourselves of the local strawberries while here, and in a nod to our current location, Michelle chose to make a Charleston classic, Strawberry Delight.
This icebox dessert was supposedly reverse-engineered from a recipe withheld from the Lee brothers by a Charleston “lady of the house” and her “family chef.” Since we are not frequent guests at Charleston plantations, we can’t vouch for its authenticity. Also, because we do not have a “family chef” (other than Michelle) to stir the mix of strawberries, vanilla wafers, marshmallows, buttermilk, cream and other good things every hour and we (like the “lady of the house”) are too lazy to do it much ourselves, our Strawberry Delight may be a bit icier than the Lee brothers intended. Nevertheless, paired with a sweet fresh strawberry sauce, we all enjoyed slices of this chilly treat most every evening we’ve been on Dewees.
Sadly, our trip is about to come to an end. Happily, however, we hear it is still strawberry season back home.
RECIPE NOTES: We made the Strawberry Delight pretty much according to the recipe published in Garden & Gun Magazine, except we had only about half of the called-for cream (and were a ferry ride + a car ride away from a store), so we just added more buttermilk and half and half. We used this recipe for the strawberry sauce, then blended it with an immersion blender and strained out the seeds with a fine-meshed sieve. See, we told you we had a well-equipped rental kitchen.