Kent’s Korner – December 6, 2019

Top of the Food Chain

Among the myriad of benefits of living adjacent to the river and amongst the Lowcountry marshes is the abundance of wildlife. Near the top of the food chain are a group of majestic birds classified as raptors. These birds use their keen eyesight to scour the marshes and the pineland forests hunting for vertebrates including; rodents, small mammals, lizards, fish, and snakes. The American Bald Eagles have returned and are active along the marsh on hole nine of the Nicklaus Course and along the fifteenth and sixteenth holes of the Dye Course. Red-tailed hawks strike fear in the hearts of squirrels on the Borland and have been active along Magnolia Blossom Drive. For early risers, keep an eye out for the Great Horned Owl, who has recently been spotted between Inverness Drive and Merion Way, and a local Barred Owl, who roosts near the duck pond on Foot Point Drive. If you are interested in observing some of these fascinating species, an active group of birders lead by Mark Hyner, Karen Anderson, and Stephen Dickson routinely meet with the Colleton River Birding Club and catalogue bird species in the neighborhood. Both novice and experienced birders are welcomed to join the Birding Club. Expect another great month of golf at Colleton River Club and take time to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Red-tailed Hawk overseeing the bush hogging process.

Barred Owl roosting on Foot Point Road.

Bald Eagle perched on Turnberry Way.

Kent’s Korner – November 29, 2019

Amber Waves of Grain

When Katharine Lee Bates authored “America the Beautiful” and noted the “amber waves of grain,” she probably never envisioned the reddish-brown centipede rough on the Dye Course. The mature centipede complements the golf experience and provides a reasonable penalty to errant shots. In fact, while enjoying the Dye Course, it is hard not to compare it to courses found on Nantucket or Eastern Long Island. As part of normal winter maintenance, we continue to work to control Broomsedge, Andropogon virginicus. This native meadow grass is a prolific seeder that aggressively invades our low maintenance centipede roughs. Along with physical removal, we treat individual Broomsedge plants with non-selective herbicide and periodically mow the high roughs to discourage this grassy invader. During the winter season, along with scattering carts on the low-cut turf, please continue to minimize traffic in the centipede to help the high-rough maintain its density and discourage further invasion from problematic grassy weeds. Thank you as we continue to enhance the golf experience.

Centipede provides a splendid color contrast.

Around the Table – November 15, 2019

FOOD PRESERVING

It’s no secret that we like to celebrate the start of fall by planning seasonal parties to host, tailgates we can conquer and beautiful weeknight dinners we can create. But there was time when people didn’t utilize the crisp nights to throw oysters under the burlap or boil shrimp by a fire. They used the fall season to gather, hunt and store food for the upcoming cooler months.
 
Canning is a relatively recent development in the long history of food preservation. Humans have dried, salted and fermented foods since before recorded history. But preserving food by heat-treating and then sealing it in airtight containers didn’t come along until the late 18th century. In 1795 a reward was offered for whoever could develop a safe, reliable food preservation method for the traveling army. Fast forward to today, and I am still amazed by all the various methods of canning, smoking and preserving food items for later compulsion and sustainability. I appreciate all efforts to preserve foods and resources, especially if it honors the work and passion of those who plant, grow, raise, catch and cultivate foods for our tables.
CANNING FAVORITE
As a self-proclaimed condiment hoarder, of course I own (or have tasted) every pickle, jam, preserve or sauce available, pickled items have become an important condiment to me and I incorporate this flavor where I can.
Basic Cold Pickle Recipe:
  • Combine in a small saucepan
  • ¾ C Rice Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ C Water
  • ¼ C Sugar
  • 1 T Kosher Salt
  • Heat everything to dissolve the salt and sugar
  • Pour over thin-sliced cucumbers, peppers, onions or cabbage
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate for a day
  • Use as a condiment or snack
  • Add seasoning as you wish; a bay leaf, thyme sprig, teaspoon of dried mustard seed. Be adventurous…
    SPEAKING OF…..As mentioned above, this is a great time of the year time for shellfish, shrimp, oysters, and crab. Expect to see these items as we cycle them into our fall and holiday menus.
As always thank you for your adventurous outlook!
 
—Chef Robert

The Land Between Two Rivers – as seen in Executive Golfer

The inaugural U.S. Senior Men’s Amateur Championship was held in 1955.  This year, 2,466 competitors, age 55 and up, at 49 sites, played for the right to compete at Old Chatham Golf Club in North Carolina. Duke Delcher and Kevin King, both members at Colleton River Club, made the field of 156 players, and earned the right to trek north.

Read the November Executive Golfer article to learn more!

Kent’s Korner – October 29, 2019

Queen of the South

Whether you are a longtime resident or new to the Lowcountry, take a moment
to appreciate the beautiful camellias that are beginning to bloom throughout the
community. Camellias are members of the tea family, Theaceae. While there are
two members of the family that are native to Beaufort County, fragrant Camellia
japonica were originally brought to South Carolina from China and Japan by
wealthy families who used them to adorn their formal gardens. Today, due to
hybridization, there are thousands of varieties of both Camellia japonica
and Camellia sasanqua to choose from.

When selecting a planting site for camellias, choose an area in filtered sun, with
adequate air movement, and good drainage. Camellias are best used as feature
plants rather than in a cramped foundation planting. Generally, smaller leafed
Camellia sasanqua will tolerate more sun than Camellia japonica, which exhibit
symptoms of leaf scorch if exposed to direct sun. Both species prefer moist but
not constantly wet conditions. In the sandy Lowcountry soils, these shallow
rooted shrubs benefit from the addition of compost at planting and normal break
down of leaf litter to enrich the soil. Selecting an appropriate planting site and
adhering to good cultural practices helps promote healthy plants that are less
prone to insect and disease problems. Happy camellias pay gardeners dividends
with vibrant winter blossom displays while many shrubs are dormant. If you are
interested in these shrubs, there are samples of seven different varieties planted
at the Camellia Garden across from the community dock.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Cleopatra’

Congratulations!!

Colleton River Club’s Men’s 40 and over 8.5 combo team won the South Carolina State Championship this past weekend.  This is the first Colleton River Club team to ever win a state championship in tennis and we are so proud of their hard work.   Colleton members on the team were Jon Boyd (captain, pictured holding championship plaque), Todd Blackwell, and Mike O’Regan (director of Racket Sports).  The team will be heading to Mobile, Alabama in December to represent South Carolina in the Southern Sectional Championships. 

Around The Table – October 18, 2019

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

It’s no secret that in order to cook well, you need three things: fresh ingredients, simple techniques, and a few, high quality tools. As a professional cook you can imagine owning every knife, spoon and gadget there is. The truth is, I am a bona fide gadget fanatic, and at one point or another I’ve had every kitchen instrument you can think of. However, over the years I’ve realized it’s not about the melon ballers, whisks, or chopping appliances, but about having the right tool for the job.

I have been captivated by knifes and kitchen utensils for decades and have enjoyed being a genuine collector of both. High quality, well-made and robust kitchen tools are vital to my day-to-day work, and without them I would be lost. Like anything, having the right equipment makes doing the job that much better. Whether it’s a well-seasoned pan or a casserole dish that’s been passed down through the generations, great kitchenware makes cooking a joy.
 
CHOOSING THE SET – BUY WHAT YOU NEED VS. WANT
A Chef’s knife is the single most important tool in any kitchen and is used in the creation of virtually every dish. A sharp knife means more control and less slippage when you cut, leading to safer, more consistent slices. Plus, cutting with a sharp knife is just more fun! (Don’t try this at home kids).
 
For such an important piece of equipment, it’s worth doing a little sharp research to find a knife you will love to use. In my tenure at Colleton River I’ve received a lot of questions about buying the right kitchen knives, and I’m here to answer your questions.
 
  • What knives should I buy? Buy what you need for the task. If you’re thinking about chopping squash, dicing tomatoes, or slicing a steak – you’ll need to go with the Chef’s knife.
  •  What are considered the best? Forged steel, classic design, German made is a safe bet.
  • Is it true – are Japanese knives the best? Depends on what you want to cut. If you’re thinking fish, you have the right idea!
  • Should I buy a set? I would only buy what you need! I’m lucky, I have an extensive ‘set’. However, my set was assembled over a long period of time. As I progressed, the additions were various slicers, bread knives, butcher and bonging knives. I started with a 8” Cooks knife and a 4” paring knife! My best advice, whichever way you go (a full set, or individual knives), sharpening equipment is a must have for both!

TAKE CARE OF YOUR INVESTMENT

You finally took the plunge and invested in a good knife – or maybe a few good knives. Either way, you’ve spent good money and your blades deserve a storage place that will keep their edges pristine for as long as possible, and nearly as important as buying the right knives is storing them correctly.
 
Tossing knives into a drawer along with other kitchen gadgets and cutlery is a bad idea. Not only is it a fast pass to the emergency room should you grab the business end of a blade when you were actually going for the ice cream scoop, but jostling against other metal objects can damage a knife, causing it to become dull or need of repairs. I am telling you there is a better way to store your knives.
 
  • If you don’t mind counter clutter, a knife block helps keep tools organized, dry and sanitary.
  • If you do use the drawer method, you can purchase an inlay that keeps your blades safe and orderly. If you like this method, try using blade guards – they work wonders and are inexpensive! Personally, I prefer the bamboo blade guards because they absorb moisture!

CLEANING | CARE | HONING

HONING – The point of a knife is, obviously, to cut things. Therefore, the sharper the knife stays, the better it will do its job. Ideally, you should hone your knife every time you use it (every few days is okay, too). Part of my daily tool and knife ritual includes passing the knives over the sharpening steel to hone the edges.
 
CLEANING – During the preparation phase I take time to clean and dry knives while moving from task to task. At the end of preparations, I sanitize all the tools with soapy water, dry thoroughly, and then do another quick pass on the steel before storing for the evening. This ensures the knife is clean, sharp and ready for its next adventure.
 
CARE – Don’t leave it to the air to dry your knives and don’t leave them in your kitchen sink overnight! We talked about this; store your knives properly and you’ll be able to use them again and again!
 
Happy Honing!                                    
-Chef Robert

Around the Table – October 10, 2019

FALL AFFINITIES

When the temperatures drop and the sun starts to fade, I’m in full-on braise mode. To me (and I hope I’m not alone), braising is the ideal method of fall cooking. It’s an easy technique that guarantees flavorful, warming results. Braising is a well-kept kitchen secret that makes heroes out of weekend (or weekday) cooks. There’s no other technique that asks so little yet gives so much back. Sure, braising requires some practice, but the good news is that you’ve probably already done it. If you have ever cooked a pot roast or even operated a crockpot, you have braised. But the beauty of braising comes from what you like to braise, how you develop flavors, and most importantly – the ingredient selections.

FALL BRAISING TECHNIQUES & RED WINE

I think we can all agree that wine is a delicious flavor, rather it’s poured in your preferred glass or used to enhance the taste of your favorite dish. Red wine is an important ingredient of most braised dishes and is a natural enhancement that encourages richness and succulence to the dishes. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as cooking wine and would suggest using table wine in the dishes you prepare. Don’t cook with something you wouldn’t drink!

THE RECIPE – BRAISED BEFF & FALL VEGETABLES

 
Ingredients
  • 1 – 1 ½ pounds of Beef Short Rib, Top Blade or Chuck Flap
  • Oil for searing
  • 1 cup each organic celery, carrot and onion
  • 1 cup dry red wine (we talked about this)
  • 1 generous sprig of fresh thyme
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cups veal stock
  • 1 cup veal demi-glace or refined stock
Method
  • Trim away excess fat, if any, season freely with salt & pepper
  • Sear in a hot pan until crisp and develop color, be careful not to burn.
  • Remove to an oven proof pan
  • Add the vegetables and caramelize evenly and deeply, remove/reserve
  • Add the red wine and reduce by half
  • Add the stock and reduce by one third
  • In the oven proof pan, combine the meat, vegetables, reduced liquids and thyme sprig
  • Cover with lid or foil and braise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, at 300F
  • Remove, uncover and test for tenderness. If more time is needed, keep cooking
  • When very tender, remove the meat from the pan, strain the braising jus and return to reduce
  • Taste, reduce slowly, season, skim away any fats, and taste away
 
Enjoy with red wine and good friends!

PROVISIONALLY SPEAKING

We are happy to furnish you with fresh-refined stocks and finished veal demi, if you desire. As part of the our process we keep these items on hand and they may be ordered through the Nicklaus Clubhouse! 

BE ADVENTUROUS

The gloomy fall weather persuades cooks and chefs to think about comfort foods. I want to advise you that during the cooler months you’ll witness a few special dishes, dishes both wholesome and satisfying. To get your appetite going, here’s a few dishes you’ll see this fall season at Colleton; Lamb Neck, the Osso Bucco, and the Short Rib! Any option is sure to cover your comfort food needs!
 
We’ll have the red wine ready!
 
Happy Fall & Happy Braising!
 
—Chef Robert

Bridge Bowl 2019

Colleton River Club was pleased to welcome back the Bridge Bowl Championship.  The Bridge Bowl Tennis Event was started in 2015 as a way for our tennis community to use our love for the game to give back to local charities.  There has always been an underlying “off island” versus “island” rivalry and this rivalry became the format for the Bridge Bowl. Made up of an Island Team and a Mainland Team, the competition consists of a series of doubles round robins between each of the teams culminating in a deciding doubles final between the various levels for the Island and the Mainland. 

Bridge Bowl 2019 championship results-CONGRATS TO THE MAINLAND

M=Mainland I=Island

Men 3.0 

court 1: Hahn/Marcotte (M)

court 2: McShane/Withrow (M)

court 3: Flickinger/Durrin (M)

Women 3.0

court 1: Clark/Katoh (M)

court 2: Couchillon/Faciszewski (M)

court 3: Hahn/Curcio (M)

Men 3.5

court 1: Tolley/Elgass (I)

court 2: Hawk/Lezcano (I)

court 3: Blackwell/Thomas (M)

Women 3.5

court 1: Polites/Todd (M)

court 2: Kelly/Marler (M)

court 3: Li/Crutchley (I)

Men 4.0

court 1: Bensch/Cannarozzi (M)

court 2: Meeder/Nitz (M)

court 3: De la Cruz/Villalon (I)

Women 4.0

court 1: Bradsaw/Childers (M)

court 2: Castricone/Bautista (I)

court 3: Barlett/Picano (I)

Men 4.5

court 1: Keller/Robertson (M)

court 2: Child/Frangos (I)

court 3: Stone/Torres (M)

Women 4.5

court 1: Cambron/Meeder (M)

court 2: Gillis/Pollizer (I)

court 3: Archibald/Fisher (I)

Open Men (4.5 plus players.  Basically the pros)

Wuller/Leal (I)

Open Women

Webb/Wiren (M)

Open Mixed

O’Regan/Webb (M)

Kent’s Korner – Water Wisely for Dew Removal

Oftentimes, I get asked, what time is the best time to irrigate a lawn. Normally, it is best to begin irrigation cycles in the early morning hours and target the water to be completed before 8 am, when the natural drying process is underway. Watering your lawn in this manner helps decrease the wet period of the turf and is a good first step in suppressing disease. Dew begins setting after sunset and dissipates in the morning as the sun rises. Dew is a combination of condensation and guttation (excretions of sap) water from the turf’s respiration. This plant exudate is full of natural juices that combine with normal condensation to create an ideal environment for disease. Planning your irrigation to help wash guttation water off the turf and interrupt the dew period is a good way to improve your lawn.
 
We follow these same watering principles on both courses to help reduce disease. In addition to good watering practices, you may notice our teams periodically dragging a hose down the course fairways with maintenance carts in the mornings. This process is done on days we are not mowing the fairways to remove the dew from the grass blades and promote quicker drying. Knocking the dew down not only helps keep our member’s feet dry, it also improves ball roll and aids in disease prevention. Reducing the wet period and promoting drying is an important part of interrupting the pathogen’s life cycles, minimizing disease, and promoting healthy turf. Hope to see you on the courses.

Dragging fairways to promote drying