Spending March in the mountains and hills of South Carolina was so peaceful. We have been camping at Table Rock State Park, just outside of Pickens,SC for 9 days. And for most of those 9 days there were only 2 or 3 other campers here. For 2 nights we were the only campers here, it was nice to see the ranger drive by and wave to us !
Table Rock is a sweet campground and I'm sure it's jammed pack in the summer. There are miles of great hiking trails. Unfortunately for us the weather didn't cooperate . but for the couple of days it did we really enjoyed hiking the trails. South Carolina Parks does a wonderful job of trail maintenance!
We were in space 37 which sits on a little plateau, so when there was sun we enjoyed it from sunrise to sunset. The road in the campground winds up to the plateau so if you camp in the lower sites you are pretty much in the shade most of the time. The restrooms are nice and clean, the only problem we had is that the restroom on the plateau isn't heated-not a problem in the summer, but when temperatures were averaging 30-45 it was a little chilly even with really hot water. The restroom at the base of the campground is heated so we would make the long walk down to it to ensure that we didnt' have to shower and dash ! Plus we got our exercise.
It was actually kind of nice camping in a fairly empty campground. It was so quiet-after coming from the beach it was strange not hearing the sound of the ocean for the first time in a very long time. Do I miss it ? Yes , I do and I'm sure I will for quite some time. We have so many sweet memories of the short time we were at the beach and we are ready to make new ones where ever the wind takes us.
Since we were confined to quarters by the weather for most of the time here, when we weren't hiking we were reading or I was spending more time than usual cooking ! One of the recipes I found was a Guinness Glazed chicken sandwich with mushrooms-this is really to die for-and will be added to my "will definitely make again list". You could eat the chicken and mushrooms over rice and it would be incredible.
Guinness Glazed Chicken Sandwich-makes 2 large delicious sandwiches
2 cups of Guinness stout
3cloves of garlic sliced very thin and sauteed gently with the mushrooms in butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs honey
salt to taste
2 Medium sized Grilled Chicken breasts
6 slices of crispy bacon
Small red Onion-sliced thin
Sauteed Mushrooms-best sauteed in about 2-3 tbsp butter with the garlic
4 slices of Provolone cheese
Guinness glaze: Combine all the ingredients for glaze in a sauce pot and set the heat to medium. Whisk the mixture with a silicone whisk until combined. Keep slowly whisking until sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 25-30 minutes. It will reduce in half. Raise the temperature to medium-high and boil for about 30 seconds. Stir and take it off heat. (Don't worry, it will thicken more as it cools.)
Sandwich: Grill the chicken breasts and add a little glaze when it's their almost done. Saute the chicken in glaze until fully cooked. Build the sandwich-3 slices of bacon, red onion slices,a slice of provolone, then chicken breast , topped by mushrooms,pour a little more glaze on top of mushrooms,topped by the 2nd slice of provolone cheese, add a few more mushrooms and little more glaze before topping with the bun.
You will have Guinness Glaze leftovers-maybe-unless you pour it on your plate and use the sandwich to sop it up (yes I'm guilty of doing that ).
Bon Appetit- and caution this glaze is addictive. I played around with the amount of Worcestershire, honey and brown sugar until I liked the flavoring so feel free to do the same.
Happy Trails my little chefs and traveling friends-safe travels.