The Brunswick Coastal Cookbook Project
Seafood is synonymous with Brunswick County, so Ann Hall and Carolyn Lockamy, both from the Holden Beach area of Supply, decided to tackle a project for the benefit of seafood lovers and the County.
It happened, Ann explains, in February 2016 when she took a picture of Carolyn cooking in the kitchen of the Bell-Clemmons House in Southport during a “Girl’s Getaway” along with friend Polly Floyd.
“You look like Paula Deen,” Ann told Carolyn. “That picture should be on a cookbook.”
The comment started the women’s brain power running at full throttle, and about a month later, they decided a cookbook was a venture they could undertake. Both women cook and both love seafood. Ann, though, wanted to divert from a traditional cookbook that has only recipes. “Let’s do something different,” she told Carolyn. “Let’s put art in it.”
The pair agreed and went further. They decided to donate the proceeds to charity and chose Brunswick County Streetreach, Inc., which assists the homeless, to receive the funds.
Donna Phelps, founder of the nonprofit organization and ministry, says she was very surprised to have this windfall. “I was so excited I started crying,” she says. “Unless you’re affected, you’re not overly concerned. It was very flattering to me to see how compassionate these women are.”
Donna explains that she was a social worker for 20 years then founded a prison ministry in 1999. Her brother has served 20 years in prison, and she is trying to get his case reviewed. Her nonprofit assists those released from prison and other homeless people who have no place to go. “It takes one bad decision to ruin your life,” she says. “Everyone [at Streetreach] is a volunteer. Every penny we get goes to restore someone’s life.”
“It takes one bad decision to ruin your life,” she says. “Everyone [at Streetreach] is a volunteer. Every penny we get goes to restore someone’s life.”
The journey toward publication of the cookbook required organization, contacts, and creativity, and the women gathered all three to accomplish their goal.
Ann, a retired nurse with multiple sclerosis, says she enjoys typing so she accepted that task. Carolyn works two part-time jobs. One is at Old Ferry Seafood in the Holden Beach area of Supply, which her sister and brother-in-law, Anna and Phil Robinson, own. Carolyn would gather a greater number of recipes, and both women would contact friends and relatives to submit their favorite recipes.
The duo made other contacts, too. Local photographer Terrah Hewett submitted a photo of Old Ferry Seafood for the book’s cover. Bryan Varnam gave permission for his works of art to be included, and Susan Yerry designed the advertising pages. All three donated their services. After researching publishers, Ann and Carolyn contracted with cookbookpublishers.com to produce the book.
Histories of Brunswick Catch and Holden Beach, engaging photography and inspirational poems including Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” are all part of the book.
Ann says 75 percent of the recipes are what people love most about the Brunswick County eateries: seafood. She has several recipes in the book including “Stone Crab Claws,” “Conch Seafood,” and “Blackened Snapper.”
Among the others in the book are Oysters Rockefeller, clam chowder, seafood kabobs, crab meat casserole and tuna dip. Non-seafood dishes are Carolyn’s corn bread, Polly’s cheesecake and the late Capt. Roy Hewett’s peach cobbler. Peanut butter pie and canning recipes are appealing additions.
Carolyn says she sold ads and businesses have agreed to have the book in their stores. Her favorite recipe is her own “Fried Shrimp with Rice and Red Gravy.”
“We concentrated on simple recipes,” she says. “With lemon pepper and Old Bay seasonings and fresh lemon, you can pretty much fix seafood.”
“I think cooking keeps your mind alert,” Ann says. She adds that she didn’t always cook. A nursing career kept her busy, but she came to Holden Beach and met Carolyn, Roy and other friends who encouraged her to cook seafood.
“I laughed it off at first,” she says. “Being around Carolyn and the water had a profound effect on me. I fell in love with oysters. Roy also inspired me. The cookbook is dedicated to him.”
“It’s been a labor of love,” Carolyn says. “We want to help Streetreach and put another good cookbook in this area.”
“It’s mainly a seafood cookbook,” Ann says. “If you love seafood, you’ll love this cookbook.” Besides, “I think seafood is good for you.”
Brunswick Coastal Cookbook, $12.95
Available at local businesses and at www.facebook.com/BrunswickCoastalCookbook/?ref=page_internal