Friday, July 5, 2013

Low Country Boil - The Southern Way

Each year our fabulous friends hosts a "low country boil."  If you are a foodie like I am, there is nothing like this in the entire world. It is a one pot buffet kinda thing.

It is AMAZING, people.

If you have never been a part of a low country boil, you must.

What goes into the pot depends on what you like. Sometimes there are only one or two seafood items, along with the corn, sausage, potatoes and spices.

Our friends, on the other hand, go "all out" - or "all in" whatever you like to say.  I get those terms confused.  One is for life and one is for playing poker, I think.  I can't remember which one is which.  I like "all out."  We will use that one.

They go "all out."  

In our pot we had onions, lemons, potatoes - fresh from the garden, corn on the cob, shrimp, clams, oysters and lobster.

Yeah, they do it up right.  Outrageous in it's finest form.

There is no dress code but I must warn you...don't wear zippers, buttons, hooks or snaps.  Bad news, people.  Just don't do it.  Expanda pants rock.  That is the only way.  

Okay, here we go.

We had big pot filled about two-thirds with water.  We dumped in 3 Zataran's crab boil bags, salt, cayenne pepper along with a few other things.  Don't skimp on the spices.  We used more this year and found that "more" was definitely "better."

Yeah, the pants are going to get REAL tight.  I can tell already from all the spices.

This spice is straight cayenne pepper.

Bring it on, baby!  

In my crazy world, if a recipe that says to use one garlic clove or 1/4 tsp of something...what the heck, why bother?  I use about 4-5 garlic cloves or a teaspoon/tablespoon of the "something."  

I mean, people, get real, a 1/4 tsp. of anything is virtually nothing.

I know people who are kinda scared of spices.  I'm not.  Look at it this way, spices are like parties - the more the merrier.  

We kept pouring them in.  It will be fine.  Take a chance and something good may happen.

Next, we added the potatoes, lemon and sausage.  They take the longest time to cook.  Remember to set the timer.  

Notice the "Charlie Sheen" shirt.  Yes, I knew you would catch that.  THIS is a "Charlie Sheen" type of guy so of course he would wear a "Charlie Sheen" shirt.  

The seafood in the cooler waiting for their turn to get into the pot.  Oh my.  YUM-YUM-YUM in it's finest form, people.  

It's time for the oysters.  Notice the "blue shirt" guy guarding them and making sure they go down, just right?  

The boys were on high alert.  

Ahhhhhhh a ful pot of oysters....I wish they were all mine.  Other than the lobster, the oysters are my favorite.

Set up the table while the timer it ticking.  You need a big felt-backed plastic tablecloth and thick newspaper in the middle.  The newspaper will soak up the bits the hot water after the "dumping."

Lemons, shuckers and oysters knives.  Don't forget the salt, pepper and cocktail sauce.

Oh yeah, the BUTTER.  We are going to need lots of butter.  

If the pot gets too full, it may boil over and put out the fire.  The boys liked this part because they got to play with fire again.  

There was almost a fist fight over who got to re-light the fire.  The "Charlie Sheen" guy won.  Guess he is not that big of a weenie boy after all.  The other boys watched in pure amazement as the fire was re-lit.

Be careful with this part.  You don't want a big boom.  See that tank of propane?   

Once the boys re-lit the fire and the pot was boiling again, the clams were up next.  They are so cute.

At this point you should put one of the boys on patrol.  You don't want a masked man grabbing the pot and taking off with it.  Don't laugh.  It could happen.  Keep your boys on high alert.

Lobster up next.

Look at all those pretty babies.

Oh no, the fire went out again.  The pot is really heavy now.  Maybe 40-50 pounds heavy.  Notice the fire gloves?  You will need those too.  The pot is really hot.

The shrimp are up next but wait....there is no room left in the pot.  We had to take out the lobster, a few oysters and a few other goodies to make room for the shrimp.

Like I said, our friends go all out.  We should have had two pots going.

Is there anything in the world better than lobster?  Don't think so.

We removed a few oysters and sausages along with the lobster.

We now have plenty of room for those shrimp.  

In they go.

Everything is FINALLY ready to come out of the pot and dumped onto the table.  Did I mention that the "waiting" can be pure torture?  It is.

Notice this boy has on jeans.  He is going to be sooooo sorry later because his pants are going to be way too tight.

Up, up and out.  The boys had to hold the pot like this so the hot water could drain and not end up running off the table.  Don't forget to put newspaper down before "the dumping."  We forgot this important step this year.  

The pot is sitting in a large bowl to drain a little more.  It is almost time.  I am starving.

We are all drooling at this point because we had waited so long.

"The Dumping" right in the middle of the table.

Everyone just grabs what they want.  


Yes, we did that.  It causes pain later on but you can "work through" the pain if you try.

THIS is the aftermath once we finished eating.  We had a few left-overs but not many.

The hubster got hung up on the garden-fresh potatoes.  He ate 12 of those.  Yes, 12.  Lots of potatoes.  He also had 4 oysters, 3 shrimp, 1 lobster and 1 hot sausage.  He passed on the clams and corn this year.  He is an engineer so he kept up with his intake.   Engineers do silly stuff that that.

Me, well, I just ate.  Numbers are not necessary when eating.   I may have eaten 1 lobster, 5-10 oysters (YIKES), 1 corn, 3 potatoes and 2 hot sausages.  Maybe more.   I really don't want to know so I will just leave there.

Once everyone finished wolfing down the contents of the pot, someone has to start the clean-up process.  Guess what?  It is easy.  Yes, an easy clean-up, imagine that.  

With all the shells, cobs, claws, plates and everything else that is left on the table, simply pick up the felt-backed table cloth with all four corners and toss it in a trash bag.  Wa-la...the table is clean.  

Make sure your keys, sunglasses or anything else of value isn't left the table or it will go in the trash with everything else.  That happened one time.  We tossed a pair of prescription sunglasses.  Not good.  

We had this homemade strawberry pie for dessert.  

We ate so much of the pot, we were unable to finish this beautiful strawberry pie.  

There should never be left-over "sweet" anything.  But we just couldn't do it.  Sigh.

The evening was still young but "we called it" early.  

Eating like you are in prison takes a lot of energy.

It was worth every bite.

Have you ever done a low country boil?  If so, what was in your pot?

I am smiling at you


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