People who have come on my tour, who are either fans of these icons or have worked for them, have flattered me. I succumb very easily to such praise. Ask professional recording guitar artist Bruce M. Wallace, my first boyfriend, who I saw for the first time since 1979 this past week due to this web site, who told me I had not gained an ounce! As with Oprah, it is always a challenge, since I love my cooking more than anybody. To be honest, these following comments may be the closest I ever get to these Grand Dames of America.
The memorable reference to Oprah came from someone who was wild over the taste of my homemade Loquat Liqueur served as an aparitif at the end of the tour after lunch. “Wait til Oprah gets a hold of you and your Loquat Liqueur! You won’t have TIME for your tours anymore! Everybody will be wanting a bottle. We had better keep it a secret to keep you in the tour business.” As my father says, “Flattery will get you everywhere.” I am down to my last box of my home made bottled Loquat Liqueur. I also use it in marinated chicken and home made peach iced cream! The seed gives it an almond flavor; the fruity taste is closer to a peach but wilder, more exotic. This spring’s batch of Loquat Liqueur is infusing now and will not be ready until the six month period is over, around Thanksgiving. Then I will strain it with cheesecloth and my Georgian silver funnel shaped decanter, which I bought in Rochester, England, after plucking with my mouth the juiciest mulberries from the tree in the Rochester Cathedral garden with late friend Steve Dixon and family after our children’s choir sang inside.
The comment about Martha Stewart was a closer hit. It was from a lady who has been her right arm women in every capacity working for her for years. I think it was my elderflower iced cream with the Johnny Jump Up blossom on top that sealed the deal for her, or it may have been the roasted beet slice cut with a cookie cutter on top of our tabouli salads with herbs fresh from my garden, though my memory is fuzzy on the details of the hit food that day… As she walked out the door, I remembered that her friends had told me on the phone that she worked for Martha Stewart. I asked her about her work. She responded saying, “Believe me, this is right up Martha’s alley, and I am going to email her about this tour as soon as I leave. She would love this. This is just her cup of tea, literally!” That tops my Martha Stewart comments. Later she wrote me saying,
“We loved every minute with you on the house and garden tour. We learned so much and felt transported back in time. Your knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion for Charleston history were infectious! It seems you truly love your work. Lunch was absolutely delicious, and MARTHA would have enjoyed your attention to detail and Southern Hospitality. I was so touched and surprised that you baked a lovely birthday cake –how sweet of you. All in all, it was a perfect day!–Cathy
Why do I bring up this subject of my praise now rather than when it was fresh in my mind? Because my husband tonight over a special Eve of Bastile Day Dinner I prepared was praising our friend, Dr. Ann Gregorie Kulze, better known as Dr. Ann. She has written the ultra diet/lifestyle book, Dr Ann’s Ten Step Diet, and now a cookbook, Eat Right for Life. She has her own radio spot. Husband Preston said tonight, “I do not know why OPRAH has not snatched her up and gotten her connected to all the Fortune 500’s to teach their executives the basics of healthy eating.” He waxed poetic as I have never before heard. I marveled. He said he sent her an email to this effect. My eyes lit up. Does he know, I thought, what my faithful flattering fans have said about ME? Maybe one day he will be chiming in with them, or even be taken by surprise!
South Carolina’s motto is,”While I Breathe, I Hope !”
Husband Preston actually is a part of the winning team and deserves a lot of praise; he came home from his office to help me get the plates served for my tour today for two families, one man, Frederick Gasman, being a return visitor now with his wife and three children from Denmark, having been on my tour with his brother in 1988! It being the hottest day of the year, I sent them swimming in my friend’s pool on the Battery after the tour today. Twenty three years ago, Preston took them in his green machine to his family land in the country to swing out from a live oak tree into the Stono River.
In this new economy, I am humbled by those willing to invest their time and resources in my private tour during their precious vacation. Making your break from the every day routine COUNT is very important for healthy living. When you go back into your daily life, my hope is that I have given you something here in Charleston to feast upon when you need to transcend to a place of serenity, something more than food, a memory of a city that time forgot, that still has that elusive something to give those who visit in a receptive mood that will make life forever richer. Call me to make a reservation for my private tour and leave a message if I do not answer. I will return your call. Also, check out my Shop Til We Drop Antiques Tour at the top left of the page.
Thank you for reading my musings of the day. — Laura Wichmann Hipp–843-577-5896