A long while ago. In October of '09. My family had a Po' Man's Seafood Boil.
We didn't go with crab or lobster.
Those suckers'll pinch a dent in the pocket book.
So we did shrimp, crawfish, oysters (I think... It was some sort of shellfish), and assorted vegetables.
Granted, even crawdaddies in the God-blessed middle of the country aren't necessarily the cheapest, but more affordable than lobster, and these were "seasoned". They looked divine. If I remember correct, I got a 5 pound bag for about $10. My dad and I were really excited about these :)
Let me digress for a moment. Something I have always loved about my dad is his enthusiasm for any ideas that us kids come up with. When I mentioned wanting to try a seafood boil (that's what I get for watching too much Michael Chiarello in the summertime), he said "Well when are we going to do it? Let's get it on the calendar". And the other night at the symphony, I mentioned (again) how much I want to learn the Cello. He said "Well what are you waiting for?". Always there to encourage us in our dreams. Even if it's in the form of cooking sea urchins.
So moving on...
Here's everything all ready to go. My dad has a deep fryer (the kind you use outside and fry turkeys in). So we filled that with water and had it come to a boil. This takes a lot longer than you would think. I'd put the water on at least an hour before you're ready to add ingredients. Add a couple pouches of Zatarain's Crab Boil seasoning. I found this at the local grocery store right in with all of the other seasonings. Whooda thunk?
When it comes to a boil, put your vegetables (we used carrots, onions, corn, and potatoes, but use whatever you have on hand or whatever sounds good to you) in the basket part of the deep fryer. If you don't have one, that's okay, you'll just have to fish everything out. Get it? "Fish"? Hahaha :) The veggies will take longer to cook than the seafood, so get them going. We also squeezed a few lemons in there as well then dropped the halves in.
If you're random, like my family, print a picture of a crab and tape it to the front door. Just so everyone outside will know what is going on inside. Because it's obvious when you tape a crab to the door, you're having a seafood boil inside.
Here's a group shot. On a side note, no, my parent's do not have pink walls. Well, they did at the time, but it's only insulation. We did this boil at the perfect time (if you're going to do it in the fall or winter) because they were in the middle of remodeling their kitchen/living room, so there was no carpet or furniture. We hauled the picnic table in from outside, threw down some newspaper and let 'er fly.
After the veggies were done, we removed them and added the seafood and some polish sausage, and cooked until everything was done. We also had some sourdough bread, and we made some garlic butter dipping sauce.
One of the most fun parts was dumping everything on the table and eating troth style. Not that I'm comparing my family to swine, it's just fun to eat with no plates or utensils sometimes :)
Look at how fun that is!
As fun as this little guy looks to eat, we weren't very impressed with the "seasoning" that he came with. Next time, we decided that we'll either go for the big stuff (crab and lobster), and/or season everything ourselves.
But a family memory made to say the least - how many times can you say you've eaten seafood on a picnic table in the living room with a crab taped on the door?