Note: If you are looking for a specific
title that is not available on Amazon.com, try calling
The Preservation Society Bookstore at (843) 722-4630,
them here. They are very knowledgeable and have the
best collection of Charleston books available, and they
are happy to handle mail orders.
Much more than a picture book
of Charleston gardens, Cothran's book covers the history
and horticultural heritage of the Charleston garden. He
also includes a wonderfully detailed section of the plants
and flowers that make up Charleston's gardening tradition.
Great tours of the featured city. Narration
by professional local walking tour guides; dozens of tours
based on themes, events, architectural styles, etc.
The CD's navigation is not restrictively
linear, as most CDs are. Instead you can follow links off
to whatever peaks your interest. The CDs also take advantage
of the technology, for example- there are 360 degree Quicktime
panoramas of the interiors of many of the Cathedrals.
In most, if not all of these books, food
and culture are so intertwined that to list them as mere cookbooks
would be a crime. Most are filled with far more than recipes
(or receipts as we call them in Charleston) as the following
excerpt will contest.
"But times have changed. And along
with the change has come a cooking spree. All sorts of people
turn out to have great talents who would never have dreamed
of going into a kitchen a generation ago. There is a charming
story that tells about how people used to feel about their
kitchens. A young Charleston bride, whose husband was overseas
in service-this must be a World War I vintage story-decided
to move back into her parents' home, be patriotic and rent
her own house. The Navy wife who came to rent it was the ideal
tenant. She loved the antique furniture, the beautiful rugs,
and her cultivated tone of voice convinced the daughter and
her mother that she spoke the truth when she said it was just
But the next day she called up and said
rather sharply, the house was lovely, but something would
have to be done about the kitchen. There was a shocked silence
at the other end of the line and finally the mother's voice
said, "You went into the kitchen?"
As the owner and Chef of one of Charleston's
premier restaurants, Louis's Restaurant and Bar, Louis is
one of the top authorities on Charleston cooking. His book
is creatively laid out into Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Inside
and Summer Outside cooking.
This book is worth having just for the forward
alone; full of witty anecdotes on Charleston and cooking.
"You will find many wonderful things
to do with rice in Two Hundred Years. But don't look for rice
pudding. The very idea of sweets with rice upsets Charlestonians
who take rice very seriously. Our late beloved historian and
wag, Sam Stoney, used to ask the hoary old riddle, "Why
is a Charlestonian like a Chinaman?" "Because he
eats rice and worships his ancestors," you would reply
"It used to be that way," Sam
would agree, "but nowadays the question should be, What's
the difference between a Charlestonian and a Chinaman? And
the answer is, of course, A Chinaman lives on rice and worships
his ancestors, but a Charlestonian lives on his ancestors
and worships rice."
- Elizabeth Verner Hamilton,
February 29,1976. From the forward, Two Hundred
Years of Charleston Cooking.