Our trip to Charleston started with an email from my friend A. who sent a link and a note: “I think you should go here.”
A small bookstore devoted to cookbooks recently opened in the city. I forwarded the email to G. with a note, “A. thinks I should go here.” He wrote back, “Let’s go!”
I love that man!
We already had a trip to the Carolinas planned to see my mom and dance in Myrtle Beach, so a short detour to Charleston wasn’t hard to work in. We were lucky because G. has been traveling for work and has a lot of points with Marriott, so we were able to stay at their hotel in the historic district for free.
We stopped by Heirloom Book Co. after our walking tour of the historic district. It’s on the lower section of King Street and tiny, so it’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. But I think everyone who came in was looking for it. It’s gotten a lot of attention in the food press.
The selection was smaller than I expected. I guess I’m used to Borders and big bookstores. Going to Heirloom Book Co. feels like walking into someone’s living room and looking at their book collection. In fact, G.’s allergies were bothering him, so he plopped down in one of the chairs in the sitting area at the front of the store while I looked at books.
I bought two, a hardcover version of Diana Kennedy’s The Essential Cuisines of Mexico and a book on casseroles. Both were thick and heavy, and G. gets a lot of credit for carrying them home in his luggage.
We had dinner from the casserole cookbook last night. G. spent last weekend visiting family in Eagle River and went to the cranberry festival there. He brought back about 25 pounds of cranberries, a few of which I used to make the following very easy and very good chicken dish.
Cranberry and Chicken Casserole
1 chicken, cut into pieces (this is about 3 pounds)
1 small onion, sliced
12 ounces cranberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Place the chicken pieces in a casserole dish or Dutch oven. Lay onion slices and cranberries on top.
Combine water, tomato paste, vinegar, salt and sugar to make a sauce. Pour over chicken.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.