✢ Touring our beloved Old City with Beloved “old” friends – Happy 50th Birthday, friend!

Tommy Dew-Our Tour Guide Extraordinare






I am the first to admit I am guilty.  Guilty of residing in Charleston, South Carolina:  the very city named The No. 1 City In The United States by Conde Nast Traveler, and taking the gift of these surroundings as common place.  So when it came time to celebrate a friend’s birthday, why not utilize our noted locale  as the backdrop and have a party;  Charleston style?

 I called on my dear friend, Tommy Dew of Tommy Dew’s Walking Tour to entertain my crowd.  While I’ve been fortunate to previously experience Tommy’s tour, many of my friends had not.  Boy, were they in for a real treat!

We met at St Michaels’ Church and Tommy Dew marched us on to our historic adventure.  Seriously….Tommy is very entertaining, his tour; educational,  and believe it or not, yes…really interesting.  Whether you live here or come to visit, do yourselves a favor and call Tommy at 843-853-8687 and reserve your your spot.  You will be so glad you did.

After working up an appetite, we came back my house for a Lowcountry casual supper.  Hallelujah for The Meeting Street Piggly Wiggly and Mrs. Mac’s Fried Chicken!  I called ahead and picked up a platter of chicken,  prepared some spicy cole slaw, a tomato pie (recipes below), Gruyere Mac & Cheese, and a  sinful chocolate ice cream Birthday Cake, et Voila!

What a lovely evening!

Thank you, Tommy Dew!

Photos by Eliza T Collins 


Colorful Spicy Cole Slaw

(It does have a good bite!)

Serves 12

4 Cups Purple Cabbage, sliced or shredded

3 Cups Torn Kale leaves, stems removed

1 1/2 Cup Frozen or fresh Corn kernels

1 Cup Julienned Carrots

1 Medium Red Pepper; seeded, and thinly sliced

1/4 Cup fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped.

2 Scallions, thinly chopped

3-4 Chipolte chiles in adobo sauce, sliced

2 Tbsp Fresh squeezed lime juice

1/4 Cup Greek Plain Yogurt

1/4 Cup Mayonaise

Salt to taste

Assemble all vegetables, cilantro, and scallions in a large bowl.

Whisk Chilies, citrus, yogurt, and mayo and add salt to taste.

Pour Dressing over vegetables, and let rest in refrigerator at least an hour, but up to overnight.

*if this is too spicy, obviously cut back on the chilies.


A quick trip to the Downtown Charleston Farmer’s Market, and I was obviously inspired to use these tomatoes some how in our meal…

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

serves 10


2 1/4 Cups all purpose Flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 Sticks very cold salted Butter

3/4 Cups Sour Cream

4 Tablespoons ice water (and more as needed)


2 1/2 Pounds fresh Tomatoes

I Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 Cup Jarlesburg Cheese

1/4 Cup Gruyere Cheese

1/2 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

1/2 Cup Basil, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme, chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 egg, beaten

To make the crust:

Pulse flour, salt, and butter in the bowl of a food processor until it resembles corse meal.  It is acceptable if there are larger pieces of butter.

Place flour mixture in a large bowl and add sour cream, and mix until combined.  Add water one tablespoon at a time, until it forms a ball.  Knead dough a few (only a few) times and wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll to roughly 13” round.

Place dough in a prepared and oiled tart pan. Trim off excess dough along edges.

Return to refrigerator for 30 more minutes.

To make the filling:

Saute chopped onions on the tablespoon oil until browned.

Cut two pounds of tomatoes (reserve the remainder) into slices.  Remove seeds.  Place tomatoes on towel and sprinkle with one teaspoon salt (or a bit more to taste)

Combine cheeses, mayonnaise, basil, thyme, salt, pepper and egg.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pat tomatoes dry.

Layer the browned onions at the bottom of the prepared tart pan.

Layer roughly 1/3 cheese mixture on top.  Layer half of tomatoes over c

heese.  Repeat a layer of cheese mixture, then tomatoes again, and top with the remainder of the cheese mixture.  Finish with the last 1/2 pound of tomatoes, freshly chopped.  Sprinkle with another handful of chopped basil.

Bake for 45 minutes (or longer if needed).

Rest and cool about 15 minutes before cutting.


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