Chef Otto's Blog

Board and Scared Stiff

I live in Ladson, SC, a small town that borders Summerville. Just about 20 clicks west of Charleston. Shortly after the Revolutionary War Charleston residents began to escape the industry of the city, the heat, seasonal insects, and swamp fever. They sought a country getaway. Plantation owners originally developed the area. There were so many pine trees it was known as Pineland Village. Eventually it was named Summerville, perhaps because it became a village of Summer dwellers. It officially became a town in 1847. That year, the town passed a law against cutting down trees of substantial size. The first of such laws in the United States. A $25 fine was issued upon anyone

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In Praise Of Millennials

Last week, on Friday the 13th I attended a fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Not that I am superstitious, but the pandemic of the coronavirus certainly factored on my decision to attend. To be one of 500 plus guests, in the chandeliered confines of a Marriot ballroom eating from a two-sided buffet featuring yard bird and mac & cheese doubled one’s chances of becoming contaminanted. Groups of 10 and the 6-foot rule be damned I decided to attend. I was obligated, for two reasons. One, I was part of the auction that evening raising funds for LLS. I

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2020

Twenty twenty, whenever I see or hear that repetitive numerical phrase, visual acuity comes to mind. The clarity or sharpness of vision. The Snellen chart, created by Dutch ophthalmologist Herman Snellen in 1862. The classic eye chart you see in the office of an optometrist determines what level of vision you have. The Snellen chart has 11 lines of block letters. The first line is simply one large letter, such as E, H, or N. Successive rows have increasing amounts of letters that decrease in size. Normal vision is 20/20. It simply means you can read a specific line on the chart at the distance of

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Believe

I was raised in a town the size of a postage stamp. It wasn’t even a town but a township. Webster defines township “an organized subdivision of a county” Brownhelm Township is anything but unorganized. This small farming community, located 30 miles west of Cleveland and a skipping stone’s throw from the shore of Lake Erie, is one of the most organized communities in America even though you won’t find it in the Rand McNally Road Atlas.   During the Great Depression the leaders of this agricultural hamlet decided to get together and provide for everyone in the village who

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A Deep and Meaningful Christmas

Being raised on the subzero shores of Lake Erie I was virtually guaranteed a white Christmas. Old Man Winter would wallop lake effect snow gripping the Heartland with a slashing chill dissecting your marrow. Drifts as high as the tractor trailers that were stopped dead in their tracks on the Ohio Turnpike. Do you recall the Blizzard of 78? Some called it a white hurricane. I get frostbite just thinking about it.   In 1980 I was a young gun, gung ho US Navy Sailor, the pride of the fleet. So imagine the thrill when I received my orders to

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