Wednesday, March 9


We had a ball last week in Charleston at the Potlikker Film Festival. As promised, we enjoyed SFA-produced Lowcountry foodways films; smart words by John Simpkins; local, oyster-flavored beer; good, honest eats from the likes of Sean Brock, Robert Stehling, and Sarah O'Kelley; cool music from Mr. Jenkins; and of course the good company of old and new friends.

Films included shorts (all part of the larger project, Southern Food: The Movie) which took us to Caw Caw Creek Farms, Bowen's Island, Anson Mills, Bertha's, and squirrel hunting with the Colleton family.

photo courtesy of Joe York

Joe York, the director, filmmaker, and producer of the film shorts, visited the Colleton family in McClellanville, South Carolina for Thanksgiving last year. Joe joined in the traditional squirrel hunt, and he describes it below...

"For the better part of the morning we worked our way through the deep woods, pulling and shaking on the vines that hung down from the tall oaks and pines trying to scare up a few squirrels from their nests. The hunt is an exercise in patience and vigilance, not unlike playing poker or watching Big Ten football in that almost nothing happens for a long while and then, without warning, everything happens at once. Unlike watching Big Ten football, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

After the hunt, the squirrels are squinged – the hair is removed with fire – as is being done above, and then they are cleaned and gutted. These squirrels went into a pot and were stewed for several hours.

They were delicious enough to be a meal unto themselves. Instead they were served alongside venison, fried quail, two turkeys (one smoked and one fried), okra soup, conch soup, a Boston butt, several slabs of ribs, sweet potato poon, broccoli casserole, collard greens, macaroni & cheese, red rice, and about a dozen other sides I can’t call to mind at this moment, nevermind the desserts."

photo courtesy of Joe York

Visit our Vimeo page to see the film, Giving Thanks in Awendaw.