Thursday, October 11, 2018

Southern Exposure -- An Evening with Chef Elsie and Friends

In my last post, we visited the gardens of Southern Exposure on a rainy, late September evening. Imagine how nice it was to step inside, be dry and see this lovely table!


Or this vignette.


It was cool but cozy on the patio as Angie prepared a wonderful blood orange mimosa for us.


So pretty! And with lots of garnishes -- raspberries, candied ginger, orange, even gummy bears!


Then inside for a fabulous dinner. Chef Elsie prepared duck with ratatouille, roasted potatoes and salad, to go with our wine and bread. Note the pretty garnish of rosemary and mums on the plate. It's little touches like this that make Southern Exposure so special. Our dessert was pumpkin creme brulee!


While Kate was chatting with the other ladies at our table, Jan and I had to toast the evening!


Instead of doing a take-home project, tonight was a "food night." We started by going to the main house where the owners of Southern Exposure live. Kevin, who makes the garnishes for our meals, led us through a look at herbs -- growing them, mincing, and making herb butters. Of course when I got home, I immediately wanted to strip my garden of all herbs and make butters. And you know I'm going to.


Then we moved to the next building, the Hog House, where Elizabeth shared a recipe for delicious brownies. (And I know they are delicious because we each had one!) She also talked about using chocolate in cooking and a bit of the history of it. Cocoa beans were considered a marketable item for bartering with the Spanish explorers of the 1600s and from there it went to Spain and into Europe, primarily as a liquid. But I never knew that in England there used to be hot chocolate shops everywhere and that it was there that they developed the process of turning cocoa as a liquid or powder into a solid.


Then it was on to...


Yes, Chef Elsie's kitchen! She shared with us the recipes from our wonderful dinner along with a few prep tips.


Everyone in our group was eager to find out how she prepared the duck so it didn't taste fatty or too gamey. Slitting the skin, dusting with salt, pepper and paprika and doing a five minute skin-side-down cook in a hot skillet before transferring to the oven is the secret.


Angie was back when we went to the Corn Crib for look (and recipes) of several winter drinks, including a delicious mulled wine, the mimosa we had earlier and the recipe for a hibiscus sugar syrup. Elizabeth of Brownie Fame earlier in the evening made wonderful truffles to go with our wine. Of course, the table looked so pretty!


We hated to leave! But we know we'll be back.


Although, I'm not so sure the view outside the window will look this green when we come! But I bet there will be sparkly lights on those little trees!

I'm sorry I won't be able to reply to comments or visit for a few weeks. I will be offline getting all sorts of great photos and inspiration for posts to come. But please do leave a comment if you like -- I read them all and they make me smile more than you know. We need all the smiles we can get!

30 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

Your food night sounds like fun evening for you and your friends. The food and mimosa drink look delicious. I would like the herb butters too. Wonderful photos. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and weekend ahead!

William Kendall said...

It sounds like you had fun!

My name is Erika. said...

I love the rustic decor. It is sure a beautiful place. Hope you are having some fun in Europe. Hugs-Erika

Susie said...

Jeanie, What an awesome adventure. I love the rooms and the food. You sure looked cute and happy. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

Jean R. said...

What a fabulous evening. I love the main house. I've been through it so I can imagine how fun it was to eat there. You are so right about the little details they do being one of the things that sets them apart.

Sami said...

What a fabulous house, so well decorated and of course the food and drinks looked great too.

Joyful said...

It sounds like a fantastic time. I love everything you post about this place and all the photos too. Everything looks so cosy, warm, inviting and delicious.

Valerie-Jael said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time! It's a great place. Hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a thrill. I also want to make herb butter. It's been at least three years since I've made any. You had a fabulous looking meal, too, although I'll pass on the duck.

Iris Flavia said...

Ohhh... we have a "cow" hanging onto the ceiling :-)
Hmmmm your drink sounds very yummy!
My Mom used to make a goose for Christmas, so yum, but duck... not to my liking but it looks lovely arranged :-)
And toasts are always great!
I´d like a reciepe then of herb butter (though all my herbs died, sadly).
We had chocolate beer once. That´s the kind of chocolate I like ;-)
And I loooove truffles (hubby and my (male) friend T hate the smell)...
To great times!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

What an amazing place! I spent a lot of time just looking at the d├ęcor! The meal looked wonderful. I've never cooked duck. Have you? -Jenn

Mary Rose's said...

That painting of the cow's face is marvelous! You and Kate look very happy. Thanks for sharing these evenings at Southern Exposure (a place whose name would work equally well down here in the Carolinas, don't you think?) XOXOX Maryanne

BB said...

I love the pix of the main house. It's beautifully decorated.

I've only made duck a couple of times and it was a long time ago. I can't even remember how it turned out. H probably liked it. He likes just about everything.

Sounds like a very fun evening with Chef Elsie and Friends!

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like you had another delightful evening. I wouldn't have enjoyed this particular workshop so much, since I neither eat meat nor drink anything alcaholic. Although, the chocolate part of it sounds fascinating. Either way, I'm pleased you enjoyed yourself.

Pam Jackson said...

Oh my what a beautiful table setting! And looks like you had a really fun time. You fine cool,places to go, I would bid as a house if I was to hang with you,....you food always looks so nice.

shoreacres said...

Your mention of a part of chocolate's history reminds me that I have as part of my china collection three chocolate pots and one chocolate set. They were quite the thing in the late 1800s, both in Europe and America. all of mine are American, save one that's Austrian, covered with hand-painted poppies and gold. It's beautiful, even without being filled with chocolate!

Linda deV said...

How stinkin FUN!

Ricki Treleaven said...

You must be living right because you're having MUCH more fun than I! And I do love hot cocoa. Fun reading about it! Have a wonderful weekend!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Hi Jeanie!!!!!! I'm finally here, enjoying your tour of fall activities! I have been so busy during the school week that I simply can't keep up anymore with anyone. How gorgeous are the colors of Southern Exposure, the friendships bubbling over with laughter, food and beautiful drinks!

I hope you are enjoying every moment of this gorgeous fall. I can only enjoy the colors on my way home from work and on the weekend, so here I go with Ruben for a drive today to catch some fall hues!

Lynne said...

Love to see “the happenings“ at your favorite place.
Thank you for remembering us while you are up, up and away!

Barb said...

I always love your visits to Southern Exposure. This was a yummy one. My aunt always made duck for Christmas dinner when I was growing up - it was delicious!

Pamela said...

What an interesting place! It looks like a very enjoyable visit when in the company of your friends.

Katie Mansfield said...

You always have such fun. It looks like a fun time. Those mimosas looks amazing.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Sounds like a fun and delicious evening. I noticed that everyone was wearing coats inside...was it unexpectedly cold that evening.

Tracy said...

Ooo... that tablescape... WOW! And wonderful your dinner... love the garnish, how pretty the mum!! They sure know how to do SPECIAL at SE!! A place the spoils you is a treat. Fun with the food night this time! Herb butters are so easy to make, and freezer pretty well too. It's fascinating how England shaped chocolate and chocolate drinking. I like the idea of hot chocolate houses! ;) Thanks for the tips on cooking duck--we love duck! Can't wait for SE and halls decked for Christmas/winter! Happy Days, Jeanie! :) ((HUGS))

Marilyn Miller said...

Oh sigh! How wonderful! How I wish I could have been there for this one. All the food sounded just so special. The first picture of the table is beautiful! And I love the cow picture that shows up in two of your photos. Is it a painting? I follow an artist that paints cows that look much like that one. Hoping you are feeling good and having the most special, memory making trip ever.

Pam Richardson said...

I love every Southern Exposure post. What a fun night revolving around food. Does it get better than this? Thanks for sharing this lovely place. Safe travels, can’t wait to read about all the exciting places you have been!

Danielle L Zecher said...

The pumpkin creme brulee sounds heavenly! Pumpkin pie and creme brulee are probably my two favorite desserts.

I love the idea of the food night. It's so fun to take a hands on class and learn a new recipe.

cocoya said...

Please let me know if you're looking for a article author for your weblog. You have some really great posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Many thanks!
reddragon88

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Yum! What a fun and delicious night. That cocktail looks so pretty and refreshing. And herb butter - yum!! I did not grow any herbs this year. I meant to in my garden but then never got around to getting plants. Maybe next year I will!! I would grow them in our yard but the squirrels eat them, even when I coat them with cayenne pepper!!

Popular Posts