Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Edisto Beach Seashell Heaven

Our last day at Hunting Island was perfect.  Beautiful sunrise, gorgeous sunset, quiet walk on the beach and a blazing campfire.  We were looking forward to Edisto Campground in spite of the negatives people had been sharing with us when we mentioned that was our next destination.

As the crow flies we were less than 20 miles from Edisto, but because all the land between Hunting Island and Edisto is either salt marsh, river or wildlife refuge , the drive is more like 90 miles.  And a very pretty drive.  Beautiful oak trees line most of the side roads; I could see them as we passed.  You don’t think you will ever find the island and then you are going down highway 174 and signs indicate you are only 15 miles away.  From photos that I had researched I imagined an Old South kind of place but what you encounter along the road isn’t that, but a struggling South-at least from the stories you can make up from the front yards and porches-people looked like they were struggling.

I was keeping my eyes peeled for a place called King’s Market.  I had read about it and knew it would be one of those cool little grocery stores with a zillion interesting items.  It was closed-going to have to ride my bike back once I find out the hours.  We did find another place that was on my “keep your eyes peeled” list-Flowers Seafood.  Just a little blue house along the side of the road-but oh me oh my-fresh shrimp.  During the season they cook up a little low country boil that you can buy, but of course they weren’t cooking for another two weeks.

 We bought some shrimp and went on our merry way.  The shrimp was perfect-we boiled it and had it with a side of sauce-peel and eat, my favorite way to eat shrimp and as far as I am concerned the only way!

Then out of nowhere you see a True Value and the entrance to the beach side of Edisto (there is an “oak” side with cabins too).  Instead of pulling into the campground I asked Jim to drive through town to get an idea of the lay of the land.  It definitely looks like a resort town-at least I’m guessing during the season.  Right now it’s more like a ghost town-most people don’t want to come to the beach in February or March.  There is street after street of beautiful resort homes but all deserted-it doesn’t even look like there are any people who call this place home. It gave me a kind of eerie feeling.  I even said to Jim, maybe there’s an evacuation and we don’t know about it!

We headed back to the campground and checked in.  Our first site was surrounded by palm trees and Ruby sat parked under a huge oak tree.  We could watch the squirrels and raccoons climb up and down the tree while we prayed none of them would make a home in our engine!

Parked in the palm tree and oak area of the campground brought back memories of the movie Cape Fear for some reason-I know it’s crazy , but there was just this weird vibe about it.

You don’t have a view of the beach from site 12 but you can still hear the waves.  Once we set up we took off walking towards the beach.  I had read that this was a great place to gather seashells and I was not disappointed.

As far as the eye could see were nothing but shells, mounds of them.   I returned to camp with a bagful of beautiful whelks ( I have a plan to make another mermaid once we settle down).

After 3 days in site 12 we had to move to site 16-out of the palms and oaks and Cape Fear kind of place and in to wide open spaces with an ocean view.

Not the usual campground picture, I used an app called Snapseed to jazz it up !

Thank goodness because for the past week it’s been mostly cold, windy and rainy and the weather has kept us inside.  While reading or working on my jewelry projects  I can at least gaze out at the beautiful ocean and feel peaceful.

The park is getting ready for the busy season and only has one of two restrooms open. One building is being renovated and of course it’s the one closest to us.  So I’m at least getting my exercise because my Fitbit tells me its 966 steps round trip – thank goodness for Ruby in the middle of the night

This is a nice campground and the staff are super friendly-you don’t even have to go to the ranger station to check in-normally when we switch sites anywhere else you have to go to the station, check out and check into the new site-here they delivered our new campsite hanger right to our vehicle-sweet.

It’s been fairly busy, but we haven’t met a lot of people, I think the bad weather is keeping them inside. It was sunny for a bit yesterday and we took advantage and sat on the beach for a long time and walked and walked.  Hailey loves it-she’s even picking up shells and dropping them at my feet.
Isn’t it funny how campgrounds can affect you-some make you feel so present and so lively while others can make you feel dreamy and introspective.  The weather makes up for feelings too-I have discovered I enjoy walking the beach more when it’s cold than when it’s hot. I like being bundled up a little and I really like coming back to Ruby and having a hot chocolate.   Okay, I’m rambling now-it’s this campground affecting me.

So when I’m stuck inside I tend to cook more and when the weather is bad I tend to cook stick to your rib meals.  That’s exactly what I’ve done this week.

Crispy French toast; golden Belgian waffles with roasted strawberries; and Chicken Marsala.  I’ve gotten to this point in my life without ever trying Chicken Marsala-how could that be?  I love mushrooms, I love chicken and who doesn’t love wine?

Chicken Marsala by David Lebovitz
Four servings
If you can’t get Marsala, substitute dry sherry. I serve this with wide noodles, but it’s also
good with rice or orzo.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds ), cut in half crosswise
freshly ground black pepper
8 to 10 ounces button mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced
3 tablespoons (total) olive oil
4 tablespoons (total) unsalted butter
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
about 1/3 cup  flour
1/3 cup chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon corn starch
2/3 cup Marsala wine (preferably dry)
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Put the chicken pieces between two sheets of plastic wrap, or in a sturdy ziptop
freezer bag, and pound them with a rolling pin until they’re 1/2inch,thick. Put the pieces in
a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In a wide skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat
until the butter starts to sizzle. Add the sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and
cook – stirring occasionally – until the mushrooms are seared and cooked through, 6 to 8
minutes. Add the garlic to the mushrooms during the lastminute of cooking.
3. Scrape the mushrooms onto a plate and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel to remove
any bits of garlic. (If not, those bits will burn when frying the chicken.)
4. To sauté the chicken, spread the flour onto a plate and dredge half of the chicken pieces in
the flour, shaking off most of the excess. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of
butter in the pan. Add chicken pieces so they are in a single layer; don’t crowd them in the
pan. (If you have a very large pan, you can sauté them all in one batch. But I use a 10inch/
23cm skillet, and do them in two batches.) Sauté the breasts, turning them over midway during cooking, until they are browned on each side. (They don’t need to be completely cooked through at this point.) When browned, remove the chicken pieces to a separate plate and heat another 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan, and sauté the rest of the chicken.
5. While the chicken is cooking. Stir the corn starch into the stock or water until it’s
completely dissolved, then mix it with the Marsala.
6. When the second batch of chicken is done and removed from the pan, pour about onethird
of the Marsala mixture into the pan, scraping the pan with a wooden or silicone spatula
to scrape up the browned bits, then add the rest of the Marsala mixture, as well as the
mushrooms and chicken pieces.
7. Cook the chicken and mushrooms with the sauce over medium heat, turning the chicken
pieces over occasionally, to make sure they’re wellbasted in the sauce, until the chicken is
cooked and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in
another 1 tablespoons of butter, the balsamic vinegar, and chopped parsley. Taste the sauce
and season with more salt, if necessary.
Serving: Chicken Marsala is best served with warm, with wide noodles or another pasta.
Mashed potatoes would work well, too.

Jim loved it-it’s almost like the poultry version of beef stroganoff but better.  And it definitely sticks to your ribs on cold nights.  The recipe is another one by David Lebovitz-try it, it’s not difficult or complicated to make and I’m sure you will love it.

Another example of Snapseed-the creek that enters the ocean just up the beach from us

Well the rain has stopped so I’m putting my hiking boots on and hitting the beach.  Happy Trails my friends and safe travels.


  1. Thanks for the recipe... sounds delicious! And that shrimp looks "marvelous"!

    1. Hope you enjoy it! We will be picking up some more shrimp before we leave!


  2. South Carolina has beautiful State Parks on the beach! Hunting Island and Edisto Islands have beautiful campgrounds.

    On your way north, there is a beautiful place to see in Charleston. It is called The Angel Oak Tree--a mammoth live oak in excess of 400-500 years old and stands 67 feet tall and measures 28 feet in circumference. From tip to tip it’s longest branch distance is 187 feet and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet! It is an absolute must see for anyone who likes to marvel at what nature can do. Last year ended a six year fight to save the area from developers who wanted to build 600 apartments plus retail space on the rural site. James Island County Park is a beautiful county campground--with an off leash dog park!

    Another beautiful State Park is at Huntington Beach State Park close to Myrtle Beach. It is one of our favorites! They have Atalaya there which is the picturesque, Moorish-style winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, philanthropist and sculptor who left the park and adjacent Boorkgreen Gardens as their legacy. They have beautiful nature walks in the state parks. If you want to see some absolutely beautiful wildlife pictures, visit: http://phillanoue.com/ His pictures are amazing and AWESOME!!

    Two seafood places near Huntington Beach are in Murrells Inlet Seafood and Seven Seas Seafood Market. We always stop to get our seafood there.

    I enjoy reading about your travels.