Southern cooking at its finest! We had: Ossabaw pork (roasted and smoked for 24 hours and basted with a mustard/vinegar sauce and donated by Holy City Hogs), hash, chicken bog, okra stewed with tomatoes, cukes with dill and red onion, succotash that featured raw (delicate!) corn and butter beans, cornbread, and Carolina Gold rice, donated by Anson Mills.
Hash, apparently, can be made of various parts. For this one, our host used pig’s head and feet. It tasted remarkably like pate. ‘Chicken bog’ is a porridge of stewed chicken and rice. On the Anson Mills site, they call it ‘the most famous unknown dish of the South’ and include a recipe.
Ossabaw hogs are a breed of pig derived from feral pigs found on Ossabaw Island, Georgia. Unique in many ways, these hogs are “the closest genetic representative of historic stocks brought over by the Spanish”. Read more about them here.
Sides were prepared by Gullah Chef BJ Dennis. I didn’t get a great picture of him, but there’s one on this post about the evening (and, by the way, you’ll also find lots of other great pictures). For a wonderful portrait of Mr. Dennis that also talks about Gullah food generally, go here.
For the dinner, we were joined by foodies, botany experts, fashion designers and entrepreneurs and a filmmaker. It was an interesting and vivacious group.
The pole barn was transformed with white and indigo-dyed linens. Bouquets of local flowers and indigo leaves (of course) dotted the tables. A glorious sunset lit up the horizon.
After dinner we were treated to a showing of Laura Kissel’s documentary about clothing manufacturing called, “Cotton Road“. The movie starts with cotton in a field in South Carolina, follows the fiber to China, and then back again, as clothing being shipped into Charleston Harbor. It was poignant and disturbing.
From the website:
Cotton Road uncovers the transnational movement of cotton and tells the stories of worker’s lives in a conventional cotton supply chain. From rural farms in South Carolina to factory cities in China, we span the globe to encounter the industrial processes behind our rapacious consumption of cheap clothing and textile products. Are we connected to one another through the things we consume? Cotton Road explores a contemporary landscape of globalized labor through human stories and provides an opportunity to reflect on the ways our consumption impacts others and drives a global economy.
All in all, the Sea Island Indigo workshop was an educational, stimulating, fun, and worthwhile experience!
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Sea Island Indigo Workshop took place September 18-21, 2014 in Charleston, SC. A field of indigo was grown for us by Donna Hardy, of Sea Island Indigo, on Rebellion Farm, in Ravenel, SC. Fiber artist Kathy Hattori, of Botanical Workshops, flew in from Seattle to co-lead the two days of hands-on indigo dyeing. My participation in the workshop was funded by a kickstarter campaign.