Ruffin's Roost

SEA ISLAND SEASONS FOR THE FAMILY CHEF

The second Sad Blister is our family chef possessing the foodie’s Midas touch.  She can take a turkey carcass or a hambone and turn them into the most delicious pots of soup you’ve ever tasted.  But don’t fill up on that soup just yet, because her desserts are phenomenal and you will definitely kick yourself later if you missed the opportunity to indulge.  So when I found a copy of Sea Island Seasons, a cookbook published by Beaufort County Open Land Trust at the White Owl in Mt Pleasant NC, and explained to it that I was going to take it to Cookbook Heaven, where it would be read from cover to cover and used time and again, it jumped into our basket.  Being in near pristine condition, it doesn’t look like this cookbook ever saw much action in anyone’s kitchen.  I doubt that Deedee will let it lay dormant for long.   

The last time we went to the White Owl, it had just moved into its new location and along with a huge crowd, we searched for treasures but when we saw the checkout line snaking in and out and down and around, we decided we would just be lookers that day.  This time, the crowd was manageable and most of the empty booths have been filled.  We found more than a few goodies.  My favorite was a MIOJ Uncle Sam figurine.   

That is, until we were checking out, when The Great One mentioned that we had seen a really pretty Art Deco night stand but the price was marked “firm” and we weren’t willing to pay the asking price as the piece had a bit of damage.  While most places won’t bother to contact the vendors regarding a below-asking-price offer when a piece is marked “firm,” the White Owl ladies are always willing to ask.  As they had given us a map when we entered, it should have been a no-brainer to make note of the location of the nightstand in question, but we won’t get into that.  Fortunately, the White Owl folks know their stock, which vendor it belongs to and the quickest path back to that booth.  We found it, they called, and a satisfactory deal was made.  Now we just need to figure out how to repair a small spot of damaged veneer. 

After all of that, we were starving and the White Owl ladies also pointed us in the right direction for lunch - Buddy’s Place.  Our timing was perfect.  The lunch crowd had come and gone and the dinner crowd had not kicked into gear yet.  He enjoyed a flounder dinner including fried okra and I had a rib eye sandwich with potato wedges.  We left barely a crumb - the Great One may have licked his plate clean.  Not only is the food delicious, but the staff is friendly and welcoming - visit them again we will. 

Their menu not only has plenty of options for lunch and dinner, but provided us with our next destination as well – Grammy’s Attic which is located not far from Buddy’s Place.  We had never heard of Grammy’s Attic so decided to check it out.  From the outside, we thought it would be a tiny little shop.  We stand corrected.  It was well worth the stop.  The Great One found a mill crate marked BE Mills, Rt 2 Campobello SC and I found Lego games that include banana trees and monkeys for our 35-year-old Lego aficionado.

Unfortunately, there were not enough hours in the day to make a stop at Ruffin’s Roost, also located in Mt Pleasant.  We’ll have to start there next time. 

If you’re looking for something to do the weekend of September 19th, check out the Huge Outdoor Yard Sale/Swap Meet at Grammy’s Attic on September 19th and Owl Fest at the White Owl September 19th & 20th from 7 AM to 7 PM.  While you’re in Mt Pleasant drop by Buddy’s Place for lunch.

RUFFIN’S ROOST - THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME

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Visiting Ruffin’s Roost in Mt Pleasant, North Carolina was a real treat, particularly for my nose.  I have this hypersensitive sense of smell, so the first thing I usually notice about my surroundings starts there.  Don’t even get the Great One started on that subject.  After 40 years, he still doesn't understand.  Unfortunately, while my other senses seem to have mellowed with age, my olfactory nerve fibers have definitely not followed suit.  Walking into Ruffin’s Roost my first cranial nerve – the one that governs the sense of smell – sighed in relief.  It may even have done a little happy dance.  The scent was subtle and homey.  And yes, you can buy a candle with that very same scent.  Stupidly, I passed up this opportunity.  You better believe, when we go back, I’m getting one.   

Owner Tiffany Ruffin really loves what she is doing.  It certainly shows not only in her smile, but in the way she greets her customers and the way she talks about her lifelong passion for antiquing, picking, junking, or whatever you want to call it.  She glows when talking about her past experiences and pointing out some of her favorite pieces.  She enjoys talking about her family, her animals and how they are making this old North Carolina farm their new home.

Her shop is not the typical run of the mill antique/vintage store.  The building itself was originally an old harness shop.  She has furniture and accessories that you will not find in other shops in the area.  There are no vendors, just Tiffany’s eclectic collection of pieces that speak to her keen sense of style and search for timeless beauty.  Some will jog the memory, reminding you of grandma or great grandma.  Some might inspire you to begin a collection of your own.  She knows each piece because she found each piece herself.  She isn’t just selling dusty-rusty old things that somebody else got tired of, she is selling treasures that have spoken to her on her journey.

On the way to Ruffin’s Roost we had spent hours searching through Cline’s Country Antiques (a story for another day) for casters to put on an Electro Acoustic Magnavox Symphony floor model record player.  Our hunt eventually yielded a dusty, multi-braced old headboard and footboard with wooden-wheeled casters so we snapped them up and though a bit dusty ourselves, headed on to Ruffin’s Roost.

To our surprise, lying in a bowl on a table right inside the front door of Ruffin’s Roost we found the set of casters pictured above.  Even more surprising, Tiffany had just put them there earlier that day, so if the Roost had been our first stop, we might have missed them completely.  What a shame that would have been!   

Mark your calendars, Ruffin’s Roost is having their first Spring Event on May 9th.   Follow the link below to their website to see pictures from their prior event - Fall at the Farm.   What better way to spend a beautiful spring day?