Yummm She-Crab Soup
She-Crab Soup is not only a Charleston tradition, but has long been associated with South Carolina. Our first introduction to it was in Beaufort, and although it doesn't fit our low-fat diets, we splurged, and it is a splurge I hope to make again. Below you will find a recipe for She-Crab Soup. Although the recipe calls for fresh she-crabs and their eggs, store-bought lump crabmeat and crumbled egg yolks can be substituted. In the 1700s dry Madeira was the wine used in She-Crab Soup, but today many establishments substitute Sherry.
2 T. butter
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 Tbls. flour
1 quart whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 c. cooked lump fresh she-crab meat and its eggs (or 3 c. lump crabmeat and crumbled yolks from 2 hard-cooked eggs)
Salt and white pepper to taste
Dash hot sauce or Tabasco
One third cup dry Madeira (or Sherry)
One half cup heavy cream, whipped
In a heavy saucepan melt the butter, add the onion and celery, and saute until the onion is soft but not browned. Stir in the flour, then add the milk and cream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes. Add the crabmeat with the eggs (substitute crumbled yolks from 2 hard-cooked eggs if fresh she-grabs are not used.) When ready to serve, warm the soup briefly to 180 degrees over very low heat, stirring. Do not allow it to boil. Taste, season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce or Tabasco. To serve, place a small amount of Madeira or sherry in each bowl, add the soup, top with whipped cream, and sprinkle with paprika.
Thomas Ledbetter House c 1840 (#14 on tour)
This house at 411 Bayard Street was built in the early 1800s although a builder's name and the date '1840' were found behind plaster. Woodwork throughout the house is circa 1840.
Thomas E. Ledbetter served as a minister to the Beaufort Methodist Mission, which was an attempt to evangelize slaves on the cotton and rice plantations.
Leverett House (pre 1776) (#26 on walking tour)
Leverette (or Leverett) house at 1301 Bay Street was originally built on St. Helena Island prior to the Revolution. It was moved by Benjamin Rhett to the current location in 1850. In 1854, Edward Leverette bought the house for $1,800. The front door still has the original lock, and there is an additional method of locking the front door -- with a large wooden bar to protect it from wind and intruders. .
Chapel of Ease
On Feburary 22, 1886 the Chapel of Ease Episcopal Church was burned in a forest fire, and what remains are the ruins from this fire. If you have extra time, and are interested in historic ruins, then you would enjoy this. In 1740 this small chapel was built of tabby and brick for the parishioners on St. Helena Island. Tabby is a type of concrete made of lime, sand, and oyster shells. At one time tabby was a common building material through out the southeastern Atlantic coast. The Ruins are located on Land's End road on St. Helena Island.
Beaufort is a lovely little town, with a historic district right on the river within easy walking distance of the marina. It is also right on the ICW so we don't have to waste a lot of time getting to it.
However, in order to get from here to Charleston, it is quite a long hard day. We have to start really early because the Ladies Island Bridge just north of the marina has restricted opening hours and if we do not reach it before the restrictions start, we will not make it all the way to Charleston.
Parris Island Marine Base is south of Beaufort. There used to be a military marina here, but it has silted in - with the 9 foot tides it would need to be deep so that boats would not be aground at high tide.
Next stop going south Thunderbolt GA.
When we went south in 2003, we went from Charleston to the Saint Mary's River in Florida, and we did the same coming north in 2004.
Our final visit to Beaufort was by car in February 2005.
"2002, March 24 Northward Bound"
In addition to Parris Island south of Beaufort, there is a marine air base north of the town. We see this fuel dock each time we come through here going down the river and speculate that it is connected with the marine base. It is a sign that we are approaching our destination or that we are on our way.
After the first time (fall 2000) when we by-passed Beaufort and went from Dataw (Datha) Island to Hilton Head, we've always stopped in Beaufort. The first time was in the spring of 2001.
After the spring 2001 trip north (when we ripped out the top of the staysail), we've always staged the trip on the south side of Charleston rather than trying to get all the way from Beaufort in one day. On the way down in the fall of 2001, we stopped at Ross Marina on Johns Island.
On March 24, 2002 we came up from Thunderbolt to Beaufort SC (47 sm). The ice cream place we liked was closed earlier than the times on the sign said. There was also a BIG thunderstorm while we were there. I was glad we were safely tied to the dock.
Coming back to Charleston, we were again aiming to get to Ross Marine. But we still have to leave early because of the bridge restriction.
Next stop going north - Johns Island and Charleston SC