Monday, November 13, 2017

Farm to Table Success

Many thanks to our many supporters and attendees for our first annual Farm to Table and Honey Tasting Celebration. Special thanks to the honey vendors, local distillery, entertainer Curt London and Chef Chris Hamilton from Higher Ground Char House.  Thanks to Cal Forrest and Shane Massey for their attendance and support!!  Date for next year's will be coming soon!

Friday, November 3, 2017

It seems like anyone who has followed politics or grew up in South Carolina knows who Strom Thurmond is.  November 2, 1954 he became the first U.S. senator elected by write-in vote.  He received 139,106 write-in votes to win his seat.  He defeated Democrat nominee Edgar Brown, who received only 80,956 votes.  Thurmond served 48 years as a U.S. Senator from South Carolina.  He left office as the only member of either house of Congress to reach the age of 100 while still in office and is the oldest and longest serving Senator in U.S. history.

Just a few miles down Hwy. 23 from the Gables, is the town and county of Edgefield, where Thurmond hails from.  He is not the only famous politician from that county.  Edgefield is home to 10 of South Carolina's governors.  There is a Ten Governors Tour offering along with 2 other tours in the Town of EdgefieldCarolina Moon Distillery, which has a tasting room, features a Ten G's Vodka in honor of the 10 Governors or Lieutenant Governors.

Monday, September 4, 2017

We all love to eat out.  We certainly have our choice of cuisine to convenience.  We often have difficulty finding something healthy on the menu.  Many restaurants are beginning to offer more healthy options.  There's a growing movement in favor of going back to using locally sourced foods in restaurants called farm-to-table.  A little over 100 years ago locally sourced food was a no brainer, but as families have moved to the cities and away from rural areas and the building of highways, many food is moved across country. Americans have come to rely more and more on processed foods for fast and convenient meals.

In the 60s and 70s people began to be concerned about where their food came from and offering support for the local farmer. Restaurants in California, Colorado and Washington began to use locally farmed food in their meals.  Today that movement has really taken off.  Farmer's Markets are popping up all over and we can now find restaurants using local produce from where we live. 

The Farm to Table scene is a very refreshing trend to today's hectic lifestyle.  It brings us back to the basics and encourages us to enjoy the benefits of healthy, locally grown foods.  The support to the local farmer is enormous.

One such Farm to Table event is being held here at the Gables Inn and Gardens, November 4.  There will also be honey tasting.  You can purchase your tickets here.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Purple Martins

Unlike most birds, the Purple Martins seem to like proximity to humans.  This relationship dates back to Native Americans who would hang gourds our for the birds to nest in. Purple Martins exhibit a very high level of site fidelity.  Once they have bred successfully at a specific location, the same individuals return year after year.  Lake Murray is home to these beautiful birds.  Each spring and summer they return to Bomb Island on Lake Murray.  Thousands of them roost on this island for the summer.  The island has been declared a bird sanctuary and it is quite a sight to watch as they return to Bomb Island each day around sunset.  Taking one of the tours to see the Purple Martins would be a fun outing while staying at the The Gables.

Friday, April 14, 2017

"Some More"

One of our guests, Marjon Sjollema-van Pelt, wrote "Thanks for a lovely weekend in Ward!  We enjoyed the house with the beautiful rooms.  The breakfast in the dining room was excellent!  Then returning from a dinner and the fire pit ready with s'mores for the kids.... We will be back!!!!"

We do have a great fire pit area where we often have a fire and make s'mores for us or for our quests especially if they have children.

S'mores are really popular and have been around for a long time.  Nobody really knows who invented the s'more because the recipe has been passed down by word of mouth.  The first know recipe appeared in a Girl Scout Recipe book, Tramping and Trailing With the Girl Scouts, in 1927.
Loretta Scott Crew is credited with the recipe.

There is a theory that s'mores dates back to the Victorian Era when popular desserts included sandwich cookies and sponge cakes.  At one time the marshmellow was considered a very healthy snack.  According to Tim Richardson's, Sweets:  A History of Candy, the original marsh mallow was a swamp plant resembling a hollyhock, native to Europe and West Asia.  The plant's roots produced a sticky white sap used medicinally for a sore throat remedy.  In the Middle Ages, they made a medieval version of a cough drop by candying the marsh mallow root to make a "sucket".

In the mid-1800's, the French whipped the sap in to a meringue-type froth with egg whites and sugar.  They poured in to molds to form fat squashy confections.  Making the suckets was costly and time consuming so they were very expensive.  Only the upper classes got them.

By the late 1800's the mallow plant extract was replaced by the more readily available gelatin., which is what keeps the modern marshmellows so light and fluffy.

The marshmellow roasts were the latest summer fads by 1890.

The 1927 Recipe

"Some More"

                            8 sticks                                                             16 graham crackers
                                                                                                      8 bars of plain chocolate (any of the 
                                                                                                             good plain brands broken in two)
                                                                                                     16 marshmellows

Toast 2 marshmellow over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich.  The heat of the marshmellow between the halves of chocolate bar will melt the chocolate a bit.  Though it tastes like "some more",  one is really enough.

Tramping and Trailing With the Girl Scouts, published in 1927

Monday, April 10, 2017

Wow, this past week was an interesting weak with weather.  It really hampered the practice rounds at the Master's Golf Tournament in Augusta.  It created some interesting situations here at the B & B also.  On Wednesday, Robin had to hunker down in one of the bathrooms as a tornado ripped through Edgefield, Johnston and Ward.  It was a very scary time but we are very thankful that we suffered no damage to the house itself.  We had a downed power and suffered damage to one of our trees that predated the Civil War.  The falling limbs caused damage to our wrought iron fence which is original to the house.  With a little cleanup our garden areas will be restored to their beauty.

The tornado was determined to be an F-2.  Prior to 1971, there was no way to measure and classify tornadoes.  Dr. Theodore Fujita developed a method for categorizing tornadoes.  The F-Scale or Fujita Scale looks at how much damage they cause and using this to estimate the wind speed.  It classifies tornadoes by their estimated wind speed, which is determined by looking at how strong the wind must have been to cause the resulting damage.
Tornados are classified into 5 catagories:

  • F-0 40-72 mph, Light damage, chimney damage, tree branches broken
  • F-1 73-112 mph, Moderate damage, mobile homes pushed off foundation or flipped over
  • F-2 113-157 mph, Considerable damage, mobile homes demolished, trees uprooted
  • F-3 158-205 mph, Severe damage, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown around
  • F-4 207-260 mph, Devastating damage, well-constructed walls leveled
  • F-5 261-318 mph, Violent damage, homes lifted off foundation and carried considerable distances, autos thrown as far as 100 meters.

Monday, March 27, 2017

In 2014, The Huffington Post gave 11 reasons to stay at a Bed & Breakfast over a hotel or motel.

1.  You will often pay less than a hotel.
2.  You get a homemade breakfast.
3.  Most amenities are free and better.
4.  They are a great place for a "staycation".
5.   It can make you feel like you have been transported to another country.
6.  The finer details of the room are on comfort and not decor.
7.  You get the care and attention you deserve.

You can read the rest of the column here.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Why Stay With Us?

As you are thinking of traveling to the Master's or any events in the Aiken or Columbia area, you should consider staying with us.  The Bed & Breakfast Association offers a number of reasons to stay at a bed and breakfast.  Among those reasons are value, unique rooms, and rich history, We certainly can entertain all of these.  Read their full article.