This year we celebrated the 4rth of July with a Louisiana Crab Boil. So come on down to our “bayou” with us and enjoy some eats. This Louisiana Crab Boil happened in the middle of the mid-west, but the heat was just as intense with the thermometer pegged at 104°.
But first, we need to say good-bye to someone. Someone who has to work so that we can play.
It is not every pilot that reports to work in an 18-wheeler. But not everyone lives at My Whit’s End, either.
My brother was headed down to EVV with a load of grain and dropped The Hunni off at the airport on his way.
The Hunni wasn’t the only one missing from the family 4rth of July Crab Boil. Two nephews were in Wyoming at Morning Star Camp, one nephew was at Carolton Camp (OH), and two more were down in Alabama at Space Camp.
We decided on a Crab Boil as my mom is from New Orleans, and we were celebrating her birthday at the same time. I also found crab on sale for a very good price. A few google searches and we had a general plan for the Crab Boil.
We gathered at Graciela’s and Brad’s place as they have a perfect home and yard for a party. The kids could play in the pool to keep cool during our 104° day.
The rest of us could jump in the pool to cool off, then spend the rest of the day in the shade of their gazebo. We could have “our outdoor patio lifestyle” that is so often mentioned in magazines and catalogs. Our midwest “outdoor patio lifestyle” included a corn field as a backdrop.
A four-wheeler in the yard.
Babes in the pool.
Chefs with farmer tans.
And of course drinks on tap.
But enough about our “cool” outdoor patio lifestyle life, let’s turn up the heat and get the water boiling for our Crab Boil. Brad had a turkey fryer that he filled with water and heated up to a boil (about 20 minutes.) Then he added a whole can of Old Bay Seasoning. It is a staple mix for crab/shrimp boils, but if your grocery store doesn’t carry this seasoning, you can make your own mix.
Old Bay Seasoning is touted as more of a Chesapeake flavor crab boil seasoning while Zatarain’s seems more popular with the Louisiana crowd. My mom grew up using Old Bay, though, so that is what we used.
After the water was boiling, Chef Brad added the Old Bay, several halved lemons, some pepper grounds, a bottle of beer, some onions, and let all the seasonings mix.
Then he added the new potatoes, and whole heads of unpeeled garlic with just the tops cut off. When they were cooked, he added the crab. We realized when we were looking at recipes, that all of the recipes called for fresh, alive, crabs. That isn’t an option here in our midwest outdoor patio lifestyle, and we had cooked King Crab legs. (You can tell that they are cooked because they are pinkish in color.) We added the cooked King Crab legs and the frozen raw shrimp at the very last and cooked them all together for two minutes.
While Chef Brad was working the crab boil, my dad grilled up some sausages. They are an accompaniment to the crabs and little kids who don’t “do” crab legs love them.
Illinois sweet corn was added to the crab boil water. You can add the sweet corn directly to the whole crab boil mix if you have enough room in your kettle of fish.
And while the manly chefs with their farmer tans were busy outside, the ladies were busy inside–drinking.
My sister-in-law, Lily, was in charge of “bringing drinks.” To you or I that might translate into picking up some pop/coke/soda and ice. But to my sister-in-law, it translated into Fruit Infused Water, Non-Alcoholic Pina Colada Coolers, Homemade Lemonade, and Mint Iced Tea. The Non-Alcoholic Pina Colada Cooler isn’t pictured because it probably was already gone. Lily grated the coconut and pressed all the juice out of it. It was undeniably the best coconut-pineapple drink I have ever had (with or without an umbrella) or probably ever will have as Lily said it was too much work to do again.
A prayer was said, and we all piled our plates high. Along with the other fare, there was french bread (for sopping up all the juices or for coating in cooked garlic), homemade cole slaw, and the corn and sausage.
Oh deliciousness on a plate. Can we have a date? I capitulate. Then I ate and ate and ate.
Here’s the Kids’ Table.
And this is the Adults’ Table–wait! I mean a the Kids’ Table, or is that an adult at the Kids’ Table or a kid at the Adults’ Table or is it just my brother being himself??
I’m not sure that this photo clarifies anything. But maybe you can tell that we had a good time.
We were also celebrating my mom’s birthday. It was so hot that we decided to move indoors for presents and dessert.
Grandma needed a lot of help opening her presents.
Aunt Amy was in charge of dessert, and she had arranged for a cupcake decorating table for the kiddos.
The cupcake decorating table was a real treat and the cupcakes were delicious.
They brought out the pirate in everyone.
My niece made home-made ice cream to accompany the Coconut Cake, and then we couldn’t move from being so full and happy and hot.
That was our 4rth of July.
Happy Birthday Mom!
P.S. There are plenty of YouTube videos of Crab Boils if you ever want to try one.