The 12 Days of Christmas – Charleston Style

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By Minta Pavliscsak

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
A Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the second day of Christmas:
my true love sent to me:
Two Parking Tickets and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

20151023_162749-1-01-1

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

sweetgrass basket 3

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

surfboards 2

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Eleven Sailboats Sailing
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

palmetto rose 1

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Twelve Palmetto Roses
Eleven Sailboats Sailing
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

Risks of Eating Steamed Oysters and Health Benefits: Things You Need to Know Going into Oyster Season in the Lowcountry

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We are all excited in the Lowcountry about Oyster Season.? Everywhere you turn restaurants and festivals are celebrating with buckets of oysters for all.? Before you dive in, understand some of the possible risks and ways to reduce the occurrence of illness.? Be safe and have a great oyster season.

Possible Bacteria

Each year, millions of Americans enjoy eating raw molluscan shellfish — especially oysters and clams. But if you have a liver disease, diabetes, or a weak immune system, raw oysters or clams containing the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus can make you seriously ill.

You can avoid illness simply by:
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a.. Eating only oysters or clams that have been thoroughly cooked.
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b.. Eating raw oysters or clams only if they are treated and labeled “Processed to reduce Vibrio vulnificus to non-detectable levels.”
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What is Vibrio vulnificus?
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Vibrio vulnificus is a bacteria that can cause sever illness or death to at-risk people who eat raw oysters or clams.
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From 1989 to 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recorded 282 serious illnesses associated with consumption of raw oysters and clams containing the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. While illnesses are infrequent, about half (149) have resulted in death.
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Where is it found?
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Vibrio vulnificus is found naturally in warm coastal waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico, where levels of the bacteria are elevated during the summer months. Vibrio vulnificus is NOT a result of pollution, and can be found in waters approved for oyster and clam harvesting. Vibrio vulnificus does NOT change the appearance, taste, or odor of oysters or clams.
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Are you at risk?
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You are at risk of serious illness if you eat raw oysters or clams and have any of these health conditions:
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a.. Liver disease (from hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcoholism, or cancer)
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b.. Iron overload disease (hemochromatosis)
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c.. Diabetes
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d.. Cancer (including lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease)
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e.. Stomach disorders
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f.. Or any illness or medical treatment that weakens the body’s immune system
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Side Effects of Eating Oysters

Allergic Reaction

About 3.5 to 4 percent of people worldwide suffer from food allergies, according to researchers at the University of Nebraska; a portion of these people have an allergy to shellfish, including oysters. Evidence presented in the 2008 issue of “Advances in Food and Nutrition Research” indicates that tropomyosin, a protein, is the allergen in oysters that triggers a reaction. Some side effects of eating oysters, both raw and cooked, when you have a sensitivity to tropomyosin include skin rashes and other skin problems, mouth or facial swelling and abdominal pain as well as more serious effects, such as anaphylactic shock that can lead to death.
Hemochromatosis

Oysters are quite high in iron – a 3-ounce serving contains 44 percent of the daily value. While getting the iron you need is important for your red blood cell count, people with hemochromatosis, a genetic condition that causes over-absorption of iron in your digestive tract, may need to avoid eating oysters so they don’t experience the adverse health effects associated with this condition, including abdominal pain, lethargy, loss of body hair and a change in your skin color.
Gastrointestinal Problems

Eating oysters may cause stomach problems, and not just from allergies or bacterial infections. Three ounces of oysters contain 67 milligrams of zinc, or 445 percent of the daily value. Even this quantity of oysters may be enough to trigger gastrointestinal reactions, since it is above the tolerable upper intake level of 40 milligrams per day. These reactions include vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. The problems caused by the zinc in oysters generally hit within three to ten hours of consumption and fade quickly after your zinc level returns to normal.

Bacterial Infection

It is best to determine where and when the shellfish were harvested — oysters picked in certain locations and times of year are more prone to make you sick because they can contain potentially dangerous bacteria. The Vibrio vulnificus bacterium lives in naturally warm coastal waters, and the number of these bacteria increases during hot summer months. However, this bacteria is present at all times of the year, so even oysters picked during the colder months can cause illness. Side effects of consuming oysters infected with bacteria include chills and fever, vomiting, diarrhea and skin reactions. You may also go into shock and die if the infection is not treated. People with certain medical conditions are at greater risk from infected oysters. Heat destroys Vibrio vulnificus, so one way to avoid eating this bacterium is to only eat properly cooked oysters.

Health Benefits

Aphrodisiac

As an aphrodisiac, oysters can help boost sexual performance and libido, primarily in men. The zinc content of oysters is nearly unbelievable. They contain more than 1500% of the daily requirements of this essential mineral in a single serving. Zinc has also been closely linked to sexual dysfunction in men, while impotence and erectile dysfunction are closely associated with zinc deficiency. Therefore, eating?them can give men their sexual edge back and increase feelings of masculinity.

Weight Loss

Oysters represent one of the most nutrient-packed foods with the lowest calories versus the volume of serving size. This means that people trying to lose weight can keep their body packed with the nutrients it needs, without adding too much weight. Compared to an equal serving size of a chicken, oysters have nearly half the calories, and chicken breasts are often turned to for low-calorie, protein-rich meals. Oysters are far superior in this respect, but it must be noted that they do have a high content of sodium. So for people already suffering from obesity, oysters may exacerbate the problem.

Protein Content

Proteins are?an essential part?of our diet, and oysters are a very strong source. Proteins are often broken down by the body’s enzymatic activity and then reconstructed into usable human proteins in every part of the body.?This ensures proper metabolic activity, tissue repair, cellular growth, muscle strength, and a wide variety of necessary aspects of human health. The importance of protein in the diet cannot be overstated, and a single serving of oysters provides nearly 1/3 of the daily requirement.

Protect Heart Health

Oysters can positively impact heart health in a variety of ways, but primarily the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids versus omega-6 fatty acids are what impact the cholesterol so greatly. Omega-3 fatty acids are known as “good” forms of cholesterol (HDL cholesterol), and the high ratio of “good” to “bad” (LDL cholesterol) (omega-6 fatty acids) makes?them a major player in heart health.?They can reduce the content of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream and inhibit it from binding to the blood vessels and artery walls. In this way, the chances of plaque accumulation are minimized and a variety of health complications, including cardiovascular diseases, says Dr. William S. Harris, Metabolism and Nutrition Research Center, University of South Dakota. Furthermore, the high potassium and magnesium content of oysters can help lower blood pressure and relax the blood vessels, thereby increasing circulation and oxygenation of the blood and reducing strain on the cardiovascular system as a whole. Finally, vitamin E in?oysters increases the strength and flexibility of cellular membranes, which is the?third level of protection against dangerous heart diseases.

Speed up Healing

Oyster has unprecedented levels of zinc, as per the?Journal of The American Dietetic Association. This result in a number of health benefits, including quicker wound healing rates and a boosted immune system against various infections and microbes. As an essential mineral, zinc is also important for proper growth and development of children and adults, as well as the maintenance of bodily function for people of all ages.

Increase Blood Circulation

Oysters are also a very impressive source of iron, says Dr. Ralph G. Smith, ex-professor at the University of Michigan in his study. They contribute to more than 90% of our daily requirements in each serving. Iron is a key component in the formation of red blood cells in the body and is the primary defense against anemia, also known as iron deficiency, which can lead to fatigue, cognitive malfunction, stomach disorders, and general muscle weakness. Also, with a fresh supply of healthy blood cells in the circulatory system, organ systems have high levels of oxygenated blood to stimulate their activity, making them function efficiently and boosting the overall metabolic rate of the body.

Maintain Bone Health

The mineral content, as we’ve explained, is quite impressive in oysters, and is also a major contributor to the strength of your bones. The high levels of calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, and selenium contribute in their own way to increase the bone mineral density and durability, thereby protecting you?from developing conditions like osteoporosis. This is confirmed by a study published in Elsevier’s journal: Bone and Mineral.

Boost Immune Function

Boosting the immune system is yet another possible health benefit of eating oysters. The vitamin C and vitamin E content, as well as various minerals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, are able to defend the body against free radicals that are byproducts of cellular metabolism. They can attack healthy cells and mutate the DNA into cancerous cells. These dangerous free radicals cause heart diseases, premature aging, and general body disrepair wherever they lodge themselves. Antioxidants and various vitamins can eliminate these free radicals from the body, thereby boosting the immune system.

 

TICKETS ON SALE NOW for the 36th Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival at Boone Hall Plantation: January 27, 2019

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (October 3, 2018) – On January 27, 2019, the Charleston Restaurant Foundation invites guests to head to Boone Hall Plantation for the world’s largest oyster festival- the 36th Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival. Tickets are now available for purchase online at www.charlestonrestaurantassociation.com/oyster-fest/.

A tribute to the mighty mollusk, the Lowcountry Oyster Festival will feature over 80,000 pounds of oysters, in addition to a variety of food options from local restaurants and food trucks. Event highlights include the legendary “Oyster Shucking” and “Oyster Eating” contests, live music on the main stage, local wine and beer, and the Pluff-a-Pallooza Children’s Area.

“We can’t wait to welcome the world’s largest oyster festival back to Boone Hall Plantation on January 27,” shares Charleston Restaurant Foundation President Jonathan Kish. “One of the most highly anticipated culinary events of the year, the Oyster Festival is always a memorable experience for both visitors and locals alike.”

The Lowcountry Oyster Festival runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $17.50 in advance online and $25 the day of the event. Children ten and under are free with paying adult. VIP tickets are $100 through Dec. 31 and $125 starting Jan. 1, which include admission to the VIP tent for unlimited oysters, food and beverages. There is no charge for general parking.

The festival is a rain or shine event. No pets, coolers or outside food and beverages will be allowed. Oyster knives and gloves will be available for purchase. Boone Hall Plantation is located at 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464. There are two entrances into the event: the main Boone Hall entrance off Long Point Road and the entrance off Highway 17.

The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is a charity fundraiser.

For more information and to join the #LowcountryOysterFest conversation, follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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The Charleston Shucker Co. Introduces First Folding Oyster Knife with Bottle Opener

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – Local business The Charleston Shucker Co. has introduced the newest item in its collection, a folding oyster knife with a built-in bottle opener. Just in time for holiday gift giving, The Stowaway Shucker is perfect for popping open both oysters and a cold beverage.

The Stowaway Shucker features a wooden handle and a beveled stainless steel blade with a built-in bottle opener that folds for safe, convenient storage. This oyster knife is both stylish and functional and the only two-in-one folding oyster knife available in the marketplace. Priced at $45, the knife comes with a protective nylon cover that can attach to a belt, a complimentary burlap drawstring gift pouch and free engraving is available on one side of the knife blade. Order online at charlestonshuckerco.com.

The Charleston Shucker Co. was founded in 2007 by South Carolina native Lindsey Ballenger and her husband. They were searching for personalized oyster knives to give as Christmas gifts, but couldn’t find them anywhere.

So they started an online shop offering engraved oyster knives. Eventually they designed their own oyster knife and began to offer a few additional, complementary products. Customers from all over the country order oyster knives, fish fillet knives and gift sets from The Charleston Shucker Co.

“We know there are two things people need for a great oyster roast: an oyster knife and a bottle opener, so it made perfect sense to expand our collection to include the first two-in-one oyster knife,” Ballenger said. “And with the folding design, it’s easy to store and safe for the next family oyster roast.”

The company’s custom-designed oyster knife, the Charleston Shucker, was featured in the 14th season of popular TV show “Top Chef.” The Palmetto Shucker also was featured in the December 2016 issue of Southern Living magazine’s “Gifts Made in the South.”

About The Charleston Shucker Co.

Oyster lovers know a high-quality oyster shucker is essential for breaking open an oyster shell with ease, and a personalized oyster knife is a treasure that will last for years. As the original online source for custom oyster knives, The Charleston Shucker Co. offers classic Southern oyster products straight from the owners’ home in Charleston, South Carolina. For more information, visit www.charlestonshuckerco.com.and Sunday matinee only; quantities are limited.)

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Charleston Shucker on social:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/charlestonshucker/

Instagram @charlestonshucker

#charlestonshucker

Locally Made Oyster Knife, Steamer Featured on ‘Top Chef’

Locally Made Oyster Knife, Steamer Featured on ‘Top Chef’

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – A custom-designed oyster knife created by local
company The Charleston Shucker Co. was used by one of the contestants on
“Top Chef,” which premiered its 14th season on Dec. 1.

The Charleston Shucker, an oyster knife custom designed by Lindsey
Ballenger, founder of The Charleston Shucker Co., was used by Gerald
Sombright, one of the rookie chefs from Marco Island, Florida.

The popular cooking show on Bravo is a showdown between returning chef
contestants and eight new chefs. It was filmed in Charleston earlier
this year and even features local Emily Hahn, chef at Charleston’s
Warehouse Bar + Kitchen.

In the second episode airing on Thursday, Dec. 8, Charleston Shucker’s
own Lowcountry Steamer will be used to cook up some classic Lowcountry
boil. The Lowcountry Steamer is the company’s all-purpose steamer used
to boil, steam or deep fry and is large enough for parties and corporate
events.

The Charleston Shucker Co. was founded in 2007 by South Carolina native
Ballenger and her husband. They were searching for personalized oyster
knives to give as Christmas gifts, but couldn’t find them anywhere. So
they started an online shop offering engraved oyster knives. Eventually
they designed their own oyster knife and began to offer a few
additional, complimentary products.

Ballenger said she wasn’t completely sure her products would end up on
this season’s “Top Chef,” so she was excited to watch the show and
see her own oyster knife on the screen.

“We’ve remained a small, family-owned business offering products we
love to use ourselves,” she said. “To see our labor of love featured
on such a popular television show was so gratifying. We were thrilled to
represent Charleston to the world.”

This isn’t the only press for The Charleston Shucker Co. this fall.
The Palmetto Shucker is featured in the December issue of _Southern
Living_ magazine’s “Gifts Made in the South.”

ABOUT THE CHARLESTON SHUCKER CO.
Oyster lovers know a high-quality oyster shucker is essential for
breaking open an oyster shell with ease, and a personalized oyster knife
is a treasure that will last for years. As the original online source
for custom oyster knives, The Charleston Shucker Co. offers classic
Southern oyster products straight from the owners’ home in Charleston,
South Carolina. For more information, visit www.charlestonshuckerco.com

Oyster Season – Latest Update (Plus Tips on Harvesting and Hosting) – The Retired Mensch

By Paul Brustowicz - The Retired Mensch
By Paul Brustowicz – The Retired Mensch

So, where was I? Oh yes, oyster versus erster…Here’s the latest:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2015
DHEC closes some Charleston County shellfish beds

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has closed some shellfish harvesting beds in Charleston County due to excessive rainfall, the agency announced today.

“This closure affects shellfish harvesting from Captain Sams Inlet north to Garrison Landing and the north point of Bull Island,” said Mike Pearson, manager of DHEC’s Shellfish Sanitation Section. “The affected area will reopen once water quality data indicate that bacteria levels are once again suitable for shellfish harvesting. Previous closures in the Wando River remain in effect.”

For more information on clam and oyster harvesting areas in Charleston County, call DHEC’s Charleston Environmental Health Services Office at (843) 953-0160.

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Jim Beasley
Public Information Director
beaslejc@dhec.sc.gov
803.898.7769
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oystersWell, I hope you liked Fred and Ginger dancing on roller skates. Back to oysters and oyster roasts. Why roast them and not boil the little buggers? Here in Low Country the oysters grow in clusters, clumped together. Remember those sticks in the mud where the oysters grow? Despite the washing by your friendly oysterman in the oyster tumbler pictured here, there is still plenty of grit and crud on those bivalves.

If you choose boiling, or berling as my Brooklyn grandma used to say, to bring about the demise of your oysters, the shells will open in the crud-laden water and those formerly tasty morsels of molluscan delight will now be as gritty as #2 sandpaper. That’s why they roast oyster clusters. Okay, now that your oysters are roasted, what do you do?

First of all, stand back because someone will shovel them onto your table and there will be a mild stampede to grab those hot bivalves.

Here is where I admit ignorance. Being new to South Carolina and oyster roasts, I had to seek out the advice of a son of the low country and oyster roast aficionado. While I’m talking to A. Aficionado, here’s video from PBS about oyster harvesting.

This selection offers information on how to host a lowcountry oyster roast:

If you get invited to an oyster roast, remember to bring gloves, oyster knife, hand sanitizer and plenty of of your preferred adult beverage with beer being the beverage of choice.
Happy bivalve season!