Perhaps because of a habit previously constructed here, or maybe we’ve just cultivated it since our return, we cycled again late this morning to Sea Shack on Executive Park Road for some serious down-home low-country cooking; viz., conch fritters, She-crab soup, blackened grouper and an assortment of variable sides like simple green salad (with an astonishingly clever Balsamic vinaigrette), Cole slaw (similarly unique and tasty), Hush Puppies (always satisfying though never entirely free of guilt), delicious homemade fries (ditto), collard greens and red rice. Today is Saturday which for its own reasons continues to be a recurring weekend motive for singularity from the regular work week. We prefer to arrive at Sea Shack sharply at 11:00 am when it opens though today there was no line-up, just the same gang as last week sitting once again at one of the three outdoor picnic tables (the same one as last time). We too sat outside but instead at one of the café style tables under an umbrella at the opposite end of the restaurant in view of the backyard dumpsters (which added the further ingredient of commonalty to an otherwise superb dining experience).
The Lowcountry (sometimes Low Country or just low country) is a geographic and cultural region along South Carolina’s coast, including the Sea Islands. Once known for its slave-based agricultural wealth in rice and indigo, crops that flourished in the hot subtropical climate, the Lowcountry today is known for its historic cities and communities, natural environment, cultural heritage, and tourism industry.
She-crab soup is a rich soup, similar to bisque, made of milk or heavy cream, crab or fish stock, Atlantic blue crab meat, and (traditionally) crab roe, and a small amount of dry sherry added as it is plated. It may be thickened either by heat reduction or with a purée of boiled rice; it may also include such seasonings as mace and shallots or onions. The soup is a regional specialty from Tidewater Virginia, the South Carolina Lowcountry and Georgia coast. It is commonly featured on the menus of many Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia restaurants.
The soup is named for the “she-crab”, or female crab, originally a gravid (roe-carrying) crab, as the orange crab roe comprise a chief ingredient in traditional she-crab soup. As with turtle soup, other ingredients may be added to the soup or substituted for others, although crabmeat is found in all versions.
It was effortless to cycle from our apartment at Cutter Court in Sea Pines to Sea Shack. To begin everything here is at sea level. I imagine the distance is no more than seven kilometres (the return trip clocks on my Fitness App as 14.68 Km). After the filling and fulfilling luncheon at Sea Shack I hadn’t the energy or inclination to cycle back along the beach partly because the Low Tide wasn’t forecast until 2:09 pm though in honesty I doubt it would have hindered my return, I was just feeling suspiciously lazy. I have to remind myself in the face of my relentless enthusiasm that I have about four months remaining to “live the dream” (an aphorism which has indisputable legitimacy). But I never fully exhaust the ardour which arises each morning upon seeing the sun rise above the towering sea pines in the distance and the long shadows and funnels of shimmering yellow light cast upon the manicured golf links. Surely there will always be time to sleep! I cannot imagine creating a more resourceful and inspiring motif.
As we incrementally blend with the wallpaper it becomes commensurately superlative not to accustom oneself to the treasures of the environment but one never quite rises above it. Hilton Head Island is one big park, a symphony of natural sounds (other perhaps than the ubiquitous leave blowers) and stunning vista.
As I wend my way cautiously through new villas and along new avenues throughout Sea Pines and the immediate area (that is, within the scope of my physical ability on the bicycle) I am perpetually heightened by new discovery, architecturally, geographically and culturally. It is impossible to overstate the splendour of the Island.