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SCIWAY News No. 49 – November 2007

Previous Issues of SCIWAY News

In This Issue

  1. The Daily SCoop – Today in South Carolina
  2. November's Top 10 – Notable SC Websites
  3. How to Help South Carolina's Homeless
  4. SC Picture of the Month & Town Clock Update
  5. Introducing the South Carolina Soundtrack!
  6. Upcoming SC Festivals & Events
  7. Modern Day Grits – The Old Fashioned Way

1. The Daily SCoop – Today in South Carolina

What if you could quickly find all your SC info for the day in one place – from local headlines to movie showtimes to lottery results and the lowest gasoline prices?

Well now you can! Just visit The Daily SCoop at https://www.sciway.net/today/ . This handy new collection of helpful links features South Carolina information that changes often – like weather and tides and the road conditions for your drive home.

Check SCoop every day to keep up with what's happening around our state. You can use it to answer fun questions like "What events are on tap for the weekend?" as well as serious questions like "How did my Congressmen vote on last week's bills?" It also features a daily RSS feed of major SC news brought to you by SCClips.com.

So whether you want to peruse today's blogs or watch one of SC's 70 webcams, we hope you'll find The Daily SCoop useful. As always, if you think of a resource we should add, just write service@sciway.net.

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2. November's Top 10 – Notable SC Websites

Carolina Climate Network - fighting the causes and effects of global warming in SC - site no longer exists

Family Service Center of South Carolina - serving the midlands with job training and placement, consumer credit counseling, pregnancy prevention, therapy, parenting and anger management classes, and a children's dental clinic - site no longer exists

The Center for Birds of Prey - new avian medical facility near Charleston - information on what to do if you find an injured bird in the Lowcountry

Newberry County Economic Development Office

Salkehatchie Arts - promotes art from Allendale and surrounding areas, plus gives specialized art classes

SCIWAY's Directory of Christmas Tree Farms - support local farmers; choose and cut your own tree this season

South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

South Carolina Tobacco Museum - located in Mullins, which was once the largest tobacco market in SC

Strategic Spartanburg - task forces set goals and assess Spartanburg's improvement in key areas such as civic engagement, health of community members, and economic viability then release community indicator reports

Teacher's Supply Closet - Charleston - gives teachers in six Title 1 schools supplies for their classrooms and students

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3. How to Help South Carolina's Homeless

With the weather turning cooler and winter approaching, most of us cherish the warmth and comfort of our homes. Yet, for the many South Carolinians without a home, the season brings with it the challenges of keeping warm, finding a hot meal, and seeking shelter from the elements. Find out how to help – visit our Resources for the Homeless page.

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4. SC Picture of the Month & Town Clock Update

Town Clock Update: The good news is that we've received seven town clock submissions so far – including a town sundial! The bad news is that several of our state's clocks are still missing. Georgetown and Greer, for example, are both home to handsome clocks, but no one has sent in a picture yet. If you have a picture or can take one, please submit it. To view our town clock gallery thus far, click here.

SC Picture of the Month: In addition to being one of our state's most cherished and historic places, Charleston Harbor is also an interesting boating area. With steady winds, scenic vistas, and often beautiful weather, it's an especially good place to sail.

Charleston Harbor Sailing
—  Charleston Harbor Sailing  —

In this shot, the Ravenel Bridge appears in the background, framed by a heeling sailboat, a gorgeous sky, and the lively waters of the harbor.

Thanks to Nancy of Boiling Springs, who submitted this photo. Her niece Amanda took the picture.

To see more of our recent submissions and submit your own, check out the South Carolina Picture Project.

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5. Introducing the South Carolina Soundtrack!

Good music has a way of bringing back memories. It also has a way of bringing us together. Last month we asked you to nominate songs for SCIway's South Carolina Soundtrack. Since then, we have received over 200 suggestions.

South Carolina Soundtrack CD Cover
—  Enlarge | Opens in Adobe Reader  —

Sifting through seven decades of songs either about South Carolina or by an artist from our state was challenging ... but enjoyable. The 15 songs we finally selected range from beach music to country, blues to bluegrass, and rock & roll to gospel and jazz.

Your votes were a major consideration as we put together our SC Soundtrack. We also considered music by artists who are credited with innovations in their field and have had a widespread impact on their peers and musical successors. If you'd like to read more about why we chose these 15 songs, please visit our SC Soundtrack "liner notes," where we describe each choice. We hope you'll agree that these songs represent the best of South Carolina music.

If you're curious as to which song got the most votes ... it was a tie! Carolina in My Mind by James Taylor and Carolina Girls by General Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board were "must-haves" for many of you. Most of us seem to agree that beach music is essential for a South Carolina Soundtrack – this was the main complaint about Southern Living's songlist. (By the way beach music lovers, the Carolina Beach Music Awards are being held this weekend in Myrtle Beach.)

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6. Upcoming SC Festivals & Events

For a complete calendar of South Carolina festivals and events, visit https://www.sciway.net/calendar.html. Here are just a few of November and early December's highlights:

Holiday Lights Shows around SC - Nov 9-Jan 1

Penn Center Heritage Days Celebration - Nov 8-10 - St. Helena Island - Gullah traditions

National Veteran's Day Celebration - Nov 8-11 - Charleston - USO shows, parades, music, fireworks - page no longer exists

Vista Lights - Nov 15 - Columbia - food, arts, Christmas tree lighting, US Army brass quintet - page no longer exists

Colonial Cup - Nov 18 - Camden - steeplechase horse racing at Springdale - page no longer exists

South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival - Nov 22-24 - Myrtle Beach - 18 bands in 3 days! - page no longer exists

Backcountry Holiday - Nov 24 - Ninety Six, Greenwood County - history comes to life - site no longer exists

Chitlin' Strut - Nov 24 - Salley, Aiken County - rides, pageant, tractor show, and of course, chitlin's! - site no longer exists

ChristmasVille in Rock Hill - Nov 29-Dec 2 - featuring a holiday village and outdoor art festival

Holiday Fair - Nov 29-Dec 1 - Greenville - art, craft, and gift show

FestiVELO de Charleston - Nov 29-Dec 2 - holiday bicycling festival for families

Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade - Dec 1 - Columbia - floats, bands, drill teams, vintage cars, live performances

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7. Modern Day Grits – The Old Fashioned Way

As South Carolina's state food, grits are considered a staple, a comfort food, and a symbol of our unique culinary traditions. We've been wanting to write an article on grits for a while, but we had so many questions. How exactly are grits made? Why are some grits coarser than others? And just what is the difference between grits and hominy?

Blizzard Branch Gang Grits Hopper Finished Grits

Then we heard about a little farm in Chesterfield County that grinds its own grits using vintage engines and grist mills that the owner, John Catoe, rebuilds. We called John and asked if he would be up for some visitors with lots of questions, and he was happy to oblige. So we headed to Middendorf, the home of Blizzard Branch, to learn about making grits.

Blizzard Branch is a milling and syrup company that John runs with his son Andy. They are often helped by John's brother Randy. Their grits start with the corn they grow on the farm and harvest in late August or early September. The corn had just been harvested the week before we visited, and the kernels had been taken to a neighboring town to be dried.

When the kernels reach a moisture level of 12%, they are ready to be ground into grits, but they are also safe to be stored until needed. We were lucky enough to capture the rest of the process in photographs. We also got all our questions answered:
  • The color of grits depends on the color of corn used -- yellow or white. The yellow and white corn fields must be a considerable distance apart so they do not cross-pollinate.

  • Often mistakenly called a "grits mill," the correct term for any mill that grinds grain, including corn, is a "grist mill."

  • The two stones inside the grist mill are granite. They rotate in opposite directions as the corn enters, and they grind the kernels into grits (coarser) and cornmeal (finer).

  • Although cornmeal is now used less than grits, it is a byproduct of the milling process. The distance between the two granite stones determines the ratio of grits to cornmeal, and also the coarseness of the grits themselves.

  • Hominy is produced by soaking dried corn kernels in lye water, a corrosive (and poisonous!) solution made with wood ashes. This process removes the outer shell of the kernel (hull) and the germ, which is the small "heart" inside of the kernel that contains most of the nutrients. Although hominy is sometimes dried and ground into grits, it is often sold canned. We'll take regular grits, thank you.
What's really special about Blizzard Branch grits is the process by which they're made -- a process that includes family and a willingness to work hard. Blizzard Branch is a place where creativity and ingenuity meet tradition and manage to peacefully coexist. This is what made our lesson in a South Carolina tradition extra rewarding ... and the grits so delicious when we got home!

To learn more about this tradition, visit our SC Grist Mills page!

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© 2018 SCIway.net, LLC. "SCIWAY News"™ is written by the team at SCIWAY – with a lot of help from people throughout South Carolina. ISSN: 1527-3903.

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