Tag Archive | greenwood

My love affair with Old Main Catering food

It seems that I have a foodie love affair with Old Main Catering. I have at least one blog post each year extolling the great food experiences. I have not had a mediocre experience yet. There is always different gourmet food being offered when OMC caters an event.

Over the summer, I attended several events that Old Main catered and I had to share pictures of my favorites from these events.

In the collage, here are the standouts.

Top left – Teriyaki wings. The flavor was tangy and a little sweet. These were probably the best teriyaki wings I have tasted. Most the time teriyaki can be too sweet and overly salty. With OMC, the balance of savory and sweet left my taste buds wanting more. It was messy to eat, but no one was complaining because it was so delicious.

Bottom left – Fruit water. I liked the presentation and the bright colors of the fruit. Who needs soda when you can have something that is so much more refreshing! Plus, I felt healthy drinking it.

Middle – Banana cream tarts. I have to dissect the dessert for you to fully understand how awesomely good this was. The pie shell was thick, buttery, sweet, flakey, and crumbled in your mouth. It was the perfect pie crust. The banana cream was thick, not too sweet, and had bits of banana in it. The whipped cream on top tasted like REAL whipped heavy cream with a hint of vanilla. And the caramel drizzle was super sweet but there was just enough to compliment all the other flavors without overpowering them. This is what dreams are made of. Sigh….

Top right – Smoked salmon tart. The same pie shell crust for this is as what was used in the banana cream tarts. In this instance, the sweetness of the crust seemed to be intensified in comparison to the savory smoked salmon quiche filling. I was not sure if I would like this because I never had smoked salmon in this way before. Although hesitant, I still tried it because I believe you cannot say you don’t like something if you have not tried it. In this case, I loved it! I ended my dinner by eating two of these tarts. The herbs and smoked salmon came together well.

Bottom right – Tiny apple pie. It was cute and delicious. Wonderful combination! I like bite size confections with hints of spice and fruit and flaky crust.

Bottom right – Key lime pie in chocolate shell. I have mentioned the key lime in chocolate shell before.

The chefs consistently produce creative bite-sized dishes that excite and delight my taste buds. At every event, I was sad that I could not eat more. I know that makes me sound like a little piggy, but OMC food is so good that it is worth a little gluttony.

Excuse me while I look for OMC’s next catered event…


Run your ice off 5K style

I do not DO mornings, especially on weekends. I do not DO cold.
But on a cold Saturday morning in February, I was up and dressed by 7:30. When I say "cold", I mean water was freezing. The thermometer showed 28 degrees.

I thought that I was crazy.
But there was a reason for my madness. I had decided that in 2013, I was going to run/walk in a 5k. It was my "good health" personal goal for the year. I was resolved to participate. No matter the temperature. It is my opinion that when you set goals, if you begin to make trivial excuses, it is harder meet the goal. It is better to make every effort to do it and then you have achieved something you wanted to accomplish. Once I registered online a couple weeks before the race, I knew I had to do it or lose my money.

Checking in was easy. I got my t-shirt and little gift bag, which I put in the car. I saw some friends and we chatted in high pitched voices indicating our excitement.
As I made my way to the starting point, I was anxious to begin. I was bouncing, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. I saw people stretching, so I figured I better do that too. That helped calm me down.

And then I began to feel the cold on my ankles. I went back to the car and put on my extra pair of socks.
Hubby was supposed to come out and I was feeling a little despondent because I did not see him. But then, like a beacon of light, I saw his car pull up. It gave me renewed energy. He is a great supporter of whatever I do.

By this time, it was getting close to 8:00 am. Runners began to gather near the starting line. Time to do what we came to do. Run this race.

Ready. Set. Go.

I was like a shot out of the gate, but within probably a quarter of a mile, I began to go at my regular stride. I knew that if I wanted to finish, I needed to pace myself. I had only been training for about a month, so I knew I do not yet have the endurance to run the whole 3.5 miles.

I found that I run best when I kept my eyes closed. I focused on the movement of my feet hitting the pavement. Two friends were running alongside me, but they both have longer legs so I had to take two steps to their one if I wanted to keep up with them.

I thought that I would have my iPod blasting with music to keep me pumped up, but the ear buds kept falling out of my ears.
In the end, I talked a little with my friends when we walked.
When we were running, we yelled encouraging phrases at each other to motivate: "KEEP IT UP!" "YOU GOT THIS!" "WE ARE ALMOST FINISHED!"
When we saw the finish line, the adrenaline kicked in and we gave all we had to run that last little bit.

My ending time was 48 minutes.

I did not win, but I did not come in last place either. That was my goal for my first 5k.
Hooray for me.
I had fun with good friends. Most importantly, I proved to myself that I could do it.

This was a great first 5k race for me. I recommend anyone who wants to exercise to participate. The race is usually the couple of weeks first of February in Greenwood SC.

Let’s go to Cookout – a fast food restaurant

There is a new fast food restaurant in town called Cookout. They were so busy for the first few months that I did not care to brave the crowds. But when I finally went, I realized what all the hype was about. It is really cheap. Plus, you can get 2 sides. Albeit small portions, but two sides nonetheless.

I ordered the spicy chicken grilled sandwich with sides (1) onion rings and (2) coleslaw. The combo comes with a large tea for less than $5.

As you can see from the picture, the chicken sandwich was bun+meat+tomato+lettuce leaf. Nothing fancy. Nothing special. The bun was cold so I just ate the meat, tomato, and lettuce. I like toasted buns.
I was a little annoyed that I only received 4 onion rings, but I guess that is about right for a small portion. The coleslaw was okay too.

The whole meal was okay. Nothing spectacular BUT it was cheap. And there is always something to be said about a low cost meal.

Cookout is supposedly known for their delicious milkshakes. I can vouch for those (even though I did not get a picture of it). I had a strawberry milkshake that was really yummy. It was almost as good as Chick-fil-a! And that is saying a lot.

I recommend this place when you want something fast and cheap. Or if you have teenagers who eat a lot of food.

Beck’s Bakery Greenwood SC

***UPDATE*** This bakery has closed 😦

The great thing about a bakery is the smell. At least, it is to me. Once I walk in and inhale the flavors, my mouth waters in anticipation. I feel enveloped in comfort and remember my childhood when my mom used to bake bread. This is why I am so happy that Greenwood SC has an artesian bread bakery.

Becks bakery has been open for about a year now and if I ate there as much as I really wanted to, I would probably be big as a house. And yes the name of the bakery is Beck’s. Not Becky but B-E-C-K’s. The owner gets that a lot. And she said to me that it is her maiden name (I think that is how she explained it).

But back to the reason why I go to this bakery. It is all about the BREAD. You might know this about me by now: I am a carb fiend. A bread fanatic. All things starchy, I like it.

Beck’s has plenty of options to feed my need. In the picture, you can see some of her pastries. She also makes her cinnamon rolls out of some kind of pastry dough and so the bread for the cinnamon roll is very light but still full of cinnamon flavor topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans.

In addition to the sweet pastries, she also has many savory grades. In the picture I show her pretzels. They were very good I bought two and are two (I thought I was going to share one with a friend). Besides the pretzels, I have had jalapeno cheese bread, French bread, ham and cheese croissants, and spinach and feta cheese croissants.

Everything that I have bought from Becks has been delicious. I am happy to have this option in my hometown. I hope that people will continue to go by her bakery and keep her in business because I like her food.


Festival of Discovery – Greenwood SC

It does not take a math genius to know that the formula Good People + Good BBQ = GOOD TIME!

At the Festival of Discovery, the focus is all about tasting the best BBQ. Cooks from the surrounding areas have come together to participate in the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned event. The goal of KCBS is to showcase BBQ and promote those who love to BBQ. Across the US, there are KCBS sanctioned events and participants can receive points for their placement in each competition. Some people only compete at the events in their local area. Others will travel hours to compete. If a team travels the KCBS circuit and enters different local competitions, they can accumulate enough points to have the opportunity to get invited to national premier events like the Jack Daniels Invitational competition.

The KCBS judges take their job seriously. They make sure that all the rules are followed to ensure a fair competition for the $20,000 in prize money. There is a 10 minute window to turn in food for each competition category. Even one second outside of the window, disqualifies the entrant team for that particular competition.

In the past, categories that were judged were hash, chicken, brisket, ribs, pulled pork, potato salad, and a category called “Anything But”. In the “Anything But” category, the submission could be anything but BBQ. For this, one team submitted New England Style clam chowder. Not what you would expect at the BBQ competition, but it goes to show that these cooks are versatile in their culinary abilities.

No gas grills allowed. These grills and smokers use wood and charcoal only. Many of the grilling teams prefer a blend of apple and hickory wood.

How does someone get to the point where they want to compete in one of these competitions? I talked to a few teams to learn more about this type of competition.

One team captain was Chip Youngblood of CD’s BBQ and More. His love of cooking dates back to the days when he was 8 years old watching his parents working at the family own business Somebody’s House in Hodges SC. I like that his team reflects his family oriented origins because his wife, children and grandchildren were all there on the team helping in any way they can. See picture below for some shots at his cooking station.

CD’s BBQ and More is one of the original 7 teams that started participated 12 years ago when the Festival of Discovery was formed. He has seen the competition grow from 7 teams to almost 80 teams in 2012. And after about 4 hours of setup, Youngblood is ready to start cooking.

This is not the only place where he competes either. He has awards from other competitions:

2009 Piedmont Blues & Hash Bash (Abbeville, SC) 1st place Hash 2010 Piedmont Blues & Hash Bash (Abbeville, SC) 2nd place Hash 2010 Piedmont Blues & Hash Bash (Abbeville, SC) 3rd place Overall team Michelob Ultra Invitational Rib Cookoff 2nd place

When it was time for food submissions and Taster’s Choice competitions, there were so many complimentary comments made by tasters. I overheard one person say, “That is the best piece of meat I ever had in my mouth.” Another person commented on the “smokiness” and “tenderness” of the meat. In my opinion, the meat had a mild flavor. The meat was tender and fell off of the bone (just the way I like it). It tasted like a balanced blended mix of seasoning and smoky flavor. But even with all the seasoning, the meat could not be considered to have spicy heat.

Overall, there were a lot of talented BBQ cooks at the Festival of Discovery and I enjoyed trying the different styles of BBQ. I will be in line the second weekend in the next July for more delicious BBQ. I will make sure to look for Chip Youngblood for a BBQ plate also. Super yummy.