Perspectives of a Lady, Gentleman & Dane

southern food Archive

Hannah Sheflyand

I promise this will be the last post specifically about our holidays until the end of the year when it comes around again, however there was so much that happened and I would love to share the stories and photos (we forgot our camera so unfortunately these are all iPhone photos)…


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We had an amazing weekend in Alexandria, VA over Christmas visiting Brian’s family. His sister lives in a beautiful old colonial house and in a great neighborhood near many little shops. When we were in California, Brian enjoyed playing around with acrobatics¬†so for Christmas he got a unicycle and some juggling balls to get him started. Luckily the weather was amazing and we had many opportunities to hang out and play. Everyone was super generous with gifts which was unnecessary but a great way to spend Christmas morning followed by a lot of delicious food.

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Brian’s sister was due to have a baby Christmas day but the days passed and no baby, so we spent a lot of time just walking around, reading and, at the end, making gingerbread cookies. Instead of going with the traditional cookies we played around with zombie cookies ūüôā

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And then the little beautiful Lillian Marie was born on December 27th… and we headed home for a day to repack and then off again for New Years celebrations!

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I surprised Brian by flying us into Charleston, SC and spending a few days fattening ourselves up on good food and southern hospitality. We spent two days in downtown Charleston where we had a beautiful New Years dinner at McCradys, some time relaxing and some time shopping, followed by more and more food.

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One afternoon we decided to take a short drive to the Charleston Tea Plantation. Big fun fact, this is the only major tea farm in all of North America, the next closest one is Guatemala. The whole place is not very big, there is only 4 workers in the whole plantation and a few in the store but the place pumps out lots of tea on a daily basis. Another fun fact, tea plants, Camillia sinensis, naturally produce chemicals that keep bugs and weeds away which means this whole plantation is maintained without herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.¬†We had a fun time taking a tour around the shop and then through the whole plantation. Brian was especially interested in the custom made machine that was designed so one person can drive and collect the tea leaves all in one go. I was very happy to bring home lots of yummy tea and spend a wonderful warm afternoon with Brian ūüôā

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We then headed off to the Middleton Plantation. We have visited the plantation before and I really loved the gardens and found out they have an inn just a short trail walk from the plantation gardens.

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I am so happy that we decided to stay here! There are not enough words to explain just how beautiful and relaxing our weekend away ended up being. Our room was rustic with a big fireplace, which was Brian’s favorite part because he got to play with fire each evening, and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Ashley River. Each morning we would wake up and had the opportunity to walk through the whole plantation before it was even open to the public. We also had time to play¬†with all the farm animals ranging from horses¬†and¬†pigs to chickens and goats. ¬†We both agreed that the best part was walking around the property and under the old oak trees covered in spanish moss (the blue speck on the last photo is me under a 300 year old oak tree).

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The biggest news by far &¬†for our trip… Brian and I are thrilled to announce that we are¬†ENGAGED! Brian surprised me by asking me to marry him on¬†New Years eve. We were able to celebrate the New Year and a new Engagement. It was a magical and giddy¬†evening and weekend. We are already going crazy with wedding planning, my love for lists has finally paid off… but mainly we have been enthralled with calling each other Fiance and talking about all our future plans together.

(I don’t want this blog to become filled with wedding posts so I think instead I will just do a monthly update for those interested… but I am very open to ideas. What do you think?)

How were your holidays? Any stories to share?

Happy Friday!


I am happy that this week was so busy that it flew by. No more concerts for a while but we have a lot of plans to keep ourselves busy for the next few weeks, starting with this weekend which we will be spending upstate in the Catskills with Brian’s parents.

I am also excited to be heading into  NYC this evening, for a date night with my mom and little sister, to go to a new photo exhibit at International Center of Photography by Sebastio Salgado called Genesis.


One of the photos previewed for the exhibit

Ashley from Hither&Thither has got me excited about the new addition to the High Line Park so I hope to be heading there for an after dinner walk as well.


A glimpse of the new part of the park. I hope to take a lot of photos later today and post them later.

I have been enjoying my free time catching up on some reading, especially loving this book, and on some blog posts I have been missing out on the last few weeks.

My favorites this week have all been from Garden & Gun, I think I am just missing Charleston and southern life and enjoy reading and dreaming about our future there.

A day in the life of a southern chef

New coffee table book with beautiful photos of southern artists

Do you want to add some extra flare for your walls?

The best honey!

40 Years in Georgia (cover photo above from here)

Do you know how cane syrup/sugar is made?

I hope you enjoy some of the reading and can see my love for the southern charm that flows out of Garden&Gun’s website.

Any fun plans for your weekend?

Hannah Sheflyand

An amazing article was posted on Garden & Gun and I am in love with this story about three women who return to their family farm in Tennessee. The way these girls have returned to their roots and started their own business in a beautifully described farming area is a very sweet story and the pictures attached are gorgeous and make me want to move somewhere south with a big property and just buy a lot of goats (I love me a lot of goats!!!). Their business ideas and how they run their business is what I wish most restaurants would strive for because those are the most gratifying and delicious. Some quotes from the article are below but the whole thing can be viewed on Garden & Gun.

The farm:

Riverplains has been owned and inhabited by the Niceley family for generations, four of which still reside there. The farm covers more than four hundred rolling acres, which hug both banks of the Holston River, and has remained so unaltered over the ages that the narrows still hold a primitive fish trap one visiting archaeologist dated back to before the 1500s. The trap is a simple stack of rocks that could have been easily moved at any point, and yet, there it sits as if frozen in some sort‚Ä®of Southern amber, a literal touchstone offering hope that no matter how messed up modern life becomes, there will always be pockets of the past we cannot destroy.”

The business:

The three of them joined forces nearly four years ago to run an old-fashioned, one-stop, Southern food operation that‚Ä® includes select wholesale‚ÄĒlocal chefs snap up cornmeal, grits, eggs, raw milk shares, grass-fed beef, and pastured pork‚ÄĒa non-GMO food truck, cooking and butchering lessons focusing on historic methods of grain, meat, and dairy prep, and soon, a brick-and-mortar Knoxville restaurant called Mister Canteen. The trio tends every crop from soil to plate‚ÄĒcall it seed to table‚ÄĒa food initiative they believe bridges the gap between farmer and chef.¬†‚ÄúI love being able to bring our food to people in every form,‚ÄĚ says Anna, a certified holistic nutritionist. ‚ÄúWe are farming it, harvesting it, preparing it, and serving it.‚ÄĚ”







How gorgeous are these photos? Do you want to be on the next plane to Tennessee with me?

Some other articles of beautiful property can be viewed here, here and here.

Hannah Sheflyand

To prove how little I know about the south and how much more there is to learn- Boiled Peanuts. Have you tried them before? Its addictive.

The first time a waiter offered me boiled peanuts I was very suspicious. I have never heard of that as a thing. Wow was I way wrong. I have started to crave some southern style food again and hope to recreate this simple dish over the weekend.

Boiled Peanuts


1 pound of raw peanuts (aka green peanuts)

1/4 cup kosher salt

4 cups of water


Rinse unshelled peanuts

Put all ingredients in a big pot and heat to a low boil, then cover and leave it at barely boiling for 3 hours or longer (depending on how soft you want the shell)

Drain and your done. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.




Hannah Sheflyand

I am excited that its finally the weekend because this week has felt like forever.

This warm weather has inspired me to make a refreshingly cold sweat tea. I made this recipe, that I found on Garden & Gun, a few times last summer and am excited to whip it out again this summer.

Sweet Tea Granita
(Makes about six cups)

¬≤‚ĀĄ¬≥¬†cup sugar
3 cups water
2 black tea bags, preferably English breakfast or other good-quality tea

Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add tea bags and steep for five minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Pour liquid into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish (any shallow, freezer-proof dish will do); cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

After an hour, run a fork through the mixture to break up any large pieces of ice; return to the freezer. Repeat every 15 to 20 minutes until the consistency is fluffy and no large ice crystals remain, about two or three more times. Scoop into glasses and serve.

Granita may be made ahead and stored in a plastic-covered container in the freezer for up to three days. Fluff with a fork before serving.

For an Arnold Palmer variation
Reduce water to 2¬Ĺ cups. Zest two lemons; then halve and juice. After steeping the tea bags, add lemon juice and zest and begin the freezing process as directed.

¬†Hope you have an amazing fun filled weekend! Let me know if you try this recipe ūüôā
Hannah Sheflyand

Brian and I were on vacation in Charleston just a few weeks ago. When we planned our trip this time, our main focus was on the food. There is something so special about southern food, to me its the comfort of all the layers of rich flavor… or maybe its just all the extra butter. Either way its delicious and I have been craving some southern style food and as if Yelp¬†was reading my mind, an event popped up for a southern style restaurant dinner and mingle.

SOCO is advertised as a fusion of cajun/creole, bbq and soul food. The menu is filled with many wonderful choices when looking for some southern comfort foods. Read more…