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June Porchin’: Rosser’s Sea Pines Retreat

Space exists everywhere. It’s all we know and all we want to do is capture it. We want to bend and shape it a certain way in order to create a new space, one that inspires distinct feelings within those who occupy it.

Editor’s Note: We close our home and garden issue with this tranquil image of family and friends gathered on the porch of Joni and Terry Rosser’s home in Sea Pines. The following was written by their son, Dylan Rosser.

Thanks, Dad.

Space exists everywhere. It’s all we know and all we want to do is capture it. We want to bend and shape it a certain way in order to create a new space, one that inspires distinct feelings within those who occupy it.

This is the architect’s enduring and undying pursuit. When he erects a wall, he doesn’t just form an interior, but also an equal and opposite exterior. This exterior effects the space just as much. Often it’s why we’re there in the first place. Otherwise, more of us would live in windowless houses. Instead, we want to plop ourselves down in the middle of a beautiful place and be immersed in it.

But how? We need more than a look through a window or a daily walk to the car. How can we dive deep into the place we’ve chosen? Inside is inside and outside is outside. And then, of course, the almighty architect gives us… the porch.

And this porch here. This porch was mine. This house was my home. But so was the marsh, the mud, the water. My bedroom, the living room, the den, all at times felt like dark holes. Static. Stagnant. But the porch was always open. Open to music and laughter, to silence. Open to parties and dancing, to solitude. Open to the world around. A space that always gave me a calm, visceral buzz that numbed my mind in a nothing to do, nowhere to be sort of way.

How did I get here? It’s a question I ask myself and then let the thought drift down the creek with the outgoing tide. A confidence in time and place rouses, a boost of kinetic energy builds toward the here and now. That’s what a space can do. That’s what this space has done for me and anyone who’s been supported by its beams. And it just so happens that the architect also shaped me, for he is my father.

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

1 part Gosling’s Black Seal rum
2 parts ginger beer

Fill glass with ice, add rum, then top with ginger beer.
Squeeze in, then garnish with a lime wedge.

Haig Point’s Buttermilk Fried Quail with Cheddar Grits and Alabama White Sauce

Ingredients (Buttermilk Fried Quail)
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 semi-boneless quail, each carved into 4 pieces
Vegetable oil, for frying

To brine the quail, combine 1/2 cup buttermilk and salt in a bowl, mixing well. Add quail, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. One hour before frying, place 2 1/2 cups of seasoned flour in a shallow bowl. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk into a second shallow bowl. Have ready a large rimmed sheet pan. Remove 1 quail from the brine, drop it into the bowl of flour and turn to coat. Transfer quail to the bowl of buttermilk and turn to coat. Return quail to the flour and turn to coat. Remove from flour, shake off any excess and transfer to the sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining quail. Refrigerate the breaded quail, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Place a rack on a sheet pan near the stove. Pour oil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches into a deep, heavy saucepan and heat to 350 degrees. The pan should be no more than half full. Once the oil is hot, add four pieces of quail. Fry for about 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs or a wire skimmer, transfer the quail to the rack to drain. Repeat with remaining quail. Serve with creamy cheddar grits and Alabama white sauce.

Ingredients (Seasoned flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup white rice flour
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Combine all ingredients, whisking to blend.

Ingredients (Creamy Cheddar Grits)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick grits (not instant)
1 large egg
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole with 2 tablespoons butter. Combine the remaining ¼ cup butter, water and salt in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, add grits, stirring until thoroughly combined. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, or until thickened. Meanwhile, whisk together egg, heavy cream and pepper; stir into the cooked grits. Add cheeses. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish, smoothing the top. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven; let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Ingredients (Alabama White Sauce)
4 cups mayonnaise
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Prepared horseradish, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Whisk together all ingredients.