peansriceA Southern dish of peas and rice. Here in the Lowcountry, it is made with black-eyed peas or field peas and rice, chopped onion and sliced bacon and seasoned with salt.

Keep the age-old tradition of leaving a plate of cookies alive and well - Santa and his reindeer require a lot of calories to make their rounds! And Santa has made it pretty clear that he and his crew prefer home-made cookies…and don't forget the glass of milk! To add believability to the Christmas morning discovery, sprinkle a little flour next to the cookies on the windowsill or hearth (Santa’s obvious points of entry), then make imprints that look like reindeer hooves. This is very convincing and will remove any skepticism from suspecting children.

Shake it up this year and introduce some delicious new traditions.

“The reason this is one of my favorite holiday recipes is that on top of being absolutely fantastic, it fills the entire house with such an amazing aroma that it just sings the holidays are here,” said general manager and culinary expert Jeff Congdon.

Fall — and of course, Halloween — bring us many pumpkins, many of which will end up on the front stoop with a jack-o-lantern grin. The best varieties of pumpkins for carving are the Ghost Rider, Magic Lantern, Merlin and Spirit — the names alone evoke pumpkin folklore, in which witches turned people into pumpkins. If you plan on entering a competition, Big Max and Big Moon grow the biggest, but if you are in the mood to make a pumpkin pie, Small Sugar or Amish Pie are best.

When it comes to raising money for the amazing work they do, the volunteers and staff of Bluffton Self Help have proven themselves as innovative as they are generous. Time and time again, they’ve raised the bar on creative new ways to rally the community, and time and time again, the community has responded with generosity.

It’s no surprise that sweet potatoes are at the top of nearly everyone’s healthiest foods list. One baked, medium-sized sweet potato contains 438 percent of your daily value of vitamin A (a white potato contains 1 percent), 37 percent of your vitamin C, and some calcium, potassium, and iron too. All this at just 105 calories! What’s more, they also deliver 4 grams of dietary fiber — 16 percent of the daily value — and absolutely zip in terms of fat.

According to D. H. Lawrence, every fruit has its secret and the fig is no exception. This jewel of a fruit is one of the most delicious, yet overlooked fruits of summer. Alma, Brown Turkey, Celeste, Kadota and Mission are only a few of the varieties grown in South Carolina. The fig season is short and if you blink you might miss it!

By Kathleen Watson / Owner, 843

6 cans of tomato strips
10 sliced yellow onions
20 cloves garlic
2 bottles red wine
1/2 cup salad oil
2 quarts heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste
Sugar to taste
8 sprigs rosemary

Saute onions, rosemary and garlic in salad oil until translucent. Add wine and recede by half. Add six cans of tomatoes and simmer for two hours. Add cream then use immersion blender for 10 minutes, moving it around occasionally. Enjoy!