Strawberry delight just one of many found on Dewees

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.

Dewees Island (1)

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.

Dewees Island (2) 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.

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.

Dewees Island

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.


  1. Love those beach pictures! Isn’t it nice when storm clouds just add ambiance and not wetness? And what luck to have such a well stocked kitchen – the last place we rented didn’t even have a pair of tongs!

    • Thanks! Oh, and the rental kitchens. I know just what you mean. Usually we take our knives everywhere. But this year we didn’t. Thank goodness it worked out as it did…

  2. YAY! I found you again. Lots of changes, and I thought I had lost you and I was worried, but you guys keep ticking along, creating beautiful food. Photos are driving me crazy…okay, crazier. So delicious. I’ll be back as soon as I’m done with work. ;D

  3. I’ve never heard of strawberry delight, but I have heard of Garden & Gun though I’ve never had a look through. A friend’s mother recommended it to me saying their recipes were wonderful. This looks great. Am going to try and do an English version. Thanks for the inspiration, Michelle.

    • It’s an interesting magazine, Misti, despite the silly name which I’m always having to explain to people. (“No, it’s not about the NRA; the reference is to Southern toffs who like to hunt.”) Lots of really good writers in there. I’d never heard of that dessert either, but you’ll instantly recognize it as one of those old-fashioned freezer desserts that seem to be making a comeback these days.

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