Tag Archives: scuppernongs

BBQ, Catfish, and Grapes

If I named all my post titles after all the literal things I did, it would make for really random posts. This one is a great example of that. I am trying to get back into the habit of my little Monday life/weekend updates. I apologize if some of the Instagram pictures are a bit redundant for some folks!

Saturday I volunteered for our Humane Society at the Smoke Under the Oaks BBQ Festival. It was hot, but the BBQ was delicious and we hopefully raised some dollars for an excellent couple of causes.

Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society Fundraiser | Oysters & Pearls
This year they had a “People’s Choice Award,” where you could buy a plate that held a little scoop of every competitor’s pulled pork. It was pretty awesome.

Smoke Under The Oaks BBQ Festival People's Choice Award Plate | Oysters & Pearls

After my shift was up, we loaded up the dogs and headed to Bristol. After a gnarly storm passed over, we hit the river for a little fishing.

Baby Catfish on the Apalachicola River | Oysters & Pearls

Small Catfish on the Apalachicola River | Oysters & Pearls

Apalachicola River | Oysters & Pearls

Apalachicola River, Just South of Bristol, Florida | Oysters & Pearls
Just caught a few of these little guys! Enough for a catfish dinner though.
Sunday was very low key. Wheat and my dad went fishing again, and I picked the first shirt-full of grapes of the season!

Shirt Full of Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Muscadine Grapes | Oysters & Pearls
It wasn’t the most exciting (or productive, which about killed me) weekend, but it was a good one!


Scuppernong Sangria

It’s Booze-day Tuesday!

A couple of weeks ago at our Farm to Table supper, I served a white scuppernong sangria, and I promised I would share the recipe with you.  So here we go!

This recipe is from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen – one of my very favorite cookbooks.  See also: remember that time I got to meet Matt Lee and Ted Lee in Charleston?

Natalie Meets The Lee Brothers in their Charleston Cooks! Class | Oysters & Pearls

The Brothers call it “Muscadine Sangria,” but I grew up calling all muscadines scuppernongs instead (really, a scuppernong is just a type of muscadine), but mostly I just appreciate the alliteration.

Scuppernong Sangria, Farm to Table Supper | Oysters & Pearls

I froze about 6 gallons of scuppernongs/muscadines last summer that I picked at my parents’ house.  I’ve made some into jam, but I think this might be my new favorite use for them.

Making the Lee Brothers Scuppernong Sangria, Farm to Table Supper | Oysters & Pearls

Scuppernong Sangria Recipe
via The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen


– 1 quart (1 1/4 pounds) ripe green or bronze muscadine/scuppernong grapes
– 1/2 cup purple muscadine/scuppernong grapes
– 2 pinches Kosher salt
– 1 lime, sliced into thin disks
– 1 quart ice cubes, plus more for serving
– 1 (750-ml) bottle dry, fruity white wine, such as pinto grigio, pinot gris, or sauvignon blanc
– 1 cup seltzer water


Pour 3 cups of the green or bronze grapes into a food processor, and process them just to a slurry, with four to five 3-second pulses.  Strain the grapes through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing the pulp with the back of a spoon or spatula to extract the juice.  Discard the remaining solids.

Slice the remaining grapes in half with a sharp knife.  Don’t worry about the seeds.
Sprinkle the salt into the bottom of a large pitcher.  Scatter one-third of the halved grapes and lime slices on top of the salt, then add one-third of the ice.  Continue to fill the pitcher, repeating the layers of fruit and ice, until it’s full.  Pour the reserved juice, white wine, and seltzer into the pitcher and stir.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.

Pour into glasses over ice, garnishing with halves grapes and lime slices from the pitcher.


We served ours in mason jars, but something with a wide mouth so you can pick out the fruit to eat would also be ideal. ;)

Speaking of fruit: I followed The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen recipe to a T.  However, if you only have one color available, or more of one than another, feel free to use any color muscadines you want in any proportion you want.

Scuppernong Sangria, Farm to Table Supper | Oysters & Pearls

This is the perfect light, bubbly sangria to serve in our sweltering Southern summers.  I know I’ll be making it again soon!

Until Next Time

Weekend Recap

As you may have gathered if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, we had an awesome weekend!

Nothing especially pin-able today. I just wanted to update y’all on all the exciting/laid-back fun that happened.

Friday night we did the usual happy hour at the BCC, then Bruce and Nancy took us to Crave. It was a treat! And always a good time, both at Crave and with my in-laws. :)

And now, the most exciting news of all… WE GOT A BOAT!

Swamp Thing | Oysters & Pearls

This should be our 2013 Christmas card picture, no?

I kid. Kind of.

Anyway, my parents gave us a boat. An old, painted camouflage 13′ Boston Whaler with a 1983 Mercury 40 hp outboard. My dad spent a few weeks fixing it up, and then as a surprise, gave it to us. WE ARE PUMPED.

We love y’all, Doc & Usa!

We have dubbed it the Swamp Thing (note my prominent display of the Gator koozie… shhhh, don’t tell Wheat) and absolutely cannot wait to get on the Flint River in it. And Wheat is pretty stoked about the fact that it will double as his duck hunting boat (which may or may not have been my parents’ motivating factor to hand it over). I’m currently online shopping for a blaze orange swim suit to be more appropriate dressed on the thing. Embrace the camo, y’all.

Other than the boat, we did some other pretty exciting stuff.

We watched a katydid walk.

Katydid | Oysters & Pearls

It’s more entertaining than you might think.

But then again, we drank a beer in a camo boat that was sitting on a trailer under a carport. So we may not be the best judges of true entertainment.

Then, we rode to the lake to test out the Swamp Thing.

Riding | Oysters & Pearls

Millie and Bubba loaded up, so they went too.

Millie rides around in a truck like a boss.

Cruise | Oysters & Pearls

We hung out all day at the lake, and took the Swamp Thing on her maiden voyage at Lake Mystic. I was on the Swamp Thing (or the Swamp Ship – I call it both interchangeably), so I only got a picture of the other boat.

Booze Cruise at Lake Mystic | Oysters & Pearls

That is one rowdy crew, y’all.

Then my dad and I took the Swamp Thing on another tour de Lake Mystic with Harold, who was really bummed he missed out on the first trip.

Trip on the Swamp Ship | Oysters & Pearls

It was a gorgeous day on the water – FINALLY. We deserved a good sunburn and day outside after all this rain we’ve had this summer, amiright?

Lake Mystic, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Then Sunday Wheat and I spent the morning picking (more) scuppernongs. They have since joined the rest of the ones I picked a couple weekends ago in the freezer for now. We only got 3.5 gallons this time.

Scuppernongs | Oysters & Pearls

I plan to get them all out of the freezer this coming weekend and turn them into jelly and some grape simple syrup. Thank goodness for freezers!

We also picked a 5-gallon bucket’s worth of sand pears. I will be figuring out what to do with them this week, as well.

Sand Pears  | Oysters & Pearls

I grew up eating them as-is, but I have my grandmother’s recipe for pear preserves that I’m thinking of trying. She also made tarts with them, so that’s on my brain, too. Do you have any tried-and-true sand pear recipes? Their texture is so different than a regular pear (more crisp and grainy), so I’m curious to see what folks do with them. Help me with my research, y’all!

Wheat helped Doc do a little work to the boat trailer while I worked on a church pew my parents gave us that needed a little (okay, maybe more than a little) TLC.

Doc & Wheat Working on the Boat Trailer | Oysters & Pearls

The pew is still sort of a work in progress, so I’ll show it later. I only got iPhone pictures, anyway, so it may just be an Instagram share.

I did manage to snap a couple pictures of a couple other dogs. Yes, there are more. My parents/we have a veritable herd.

Harlow | Oysters & Pearls

Harlow actually started off as my sister Anna Jo’s dog, but she fits right into the pack in Bristol. She is also our official snake guard. She sees them and will back you away from them while growling. She’s a good little jack-ahuahua.

Louie is the patriarch of the pack, and is really showing his age these days. It’s so, so hard to believe he is 13. When he points, if you don’t get there fast enough and he gets tired, he will literally lay down on point and wait for you. It’s so funny. Oh, and don’t mind his homemade haircut. Despite his age, he’s still one handsome and distinguished French Brit.

Louie | Oysters & Pearls

And that’s it! I guess maybe it doesn’t sound all the exciting to just anyone, or everyone, but it was the perfect weekend to me. Just had to share some snapshots from it with y’all.

What were you up to? And what do you do with your sand pears?