What started as a quiet Sunday afternoon picked up a bit. Mrs. Poolman and I were planning on just hanging around our pool, catching up on reading, blogging, etc. Then a handful of the neighborhood kids rang the doorbell and asked if they could swim. They have been asking all summer and my answer has been the same each time. “You need to have a parent here with you. Go ask your Mom or Dad.” In the past couple of summers, we let the kids swim on occasion. An attorney friend told us that we were absolutely crazy to do that without at least one parent from each family there to assume responsibility. Well today, for the first time all summer, one of the Moms called to confirm the invitation and to say she would be down with her kids and a couple of the others that she was looking after this afternoon.
So we spent a couple of hours watching a group of 9-12 year olds trying to drown each other. Loads of fun.
Yesterday, we did our neighborly good-deed and had a small dinner party for a couple of friends and two couples who have just moved to the area. The wife-half of one of the couples is our new business officer. The other couple I met through work, and then discovered they had moved ito a house about 100 feet from our front door. Small world.
We did a “low country boil.” It’s also known as Frogmore Stew, after a town on St. Helena Island, SC, in the heart of Gullah country. For those of you now familiar with the term, this is a popular regional “party meal,” similar conceptually to a clam bake in Maine, a full-steer barbecue in Texas, etc. It usually involves a social gathering.
You start with a set-up like this.
Into the pot of water you add some “crab boil” seasoning, red potatoes, short-ears of corn (I don’ t know why you use short ears, you just do.) and a sausage, like kielbasa.
Cook that until it is good and done. I usually remove the sausage and vegetables before adding the final, most important ingredient – shrimp. (If you are feeling elaborate, you can also add some crab legs. That gets away from the traditional “low country” part of the recipe, however. The only Kind Crabs or Snow Crabe you will find in this part of the country are in the frozen food section of Publix. We stuck with the traditional recipe this time.) It is amazing how quickly the shrimp cooks. It usually turns pink and plump in about a minute or so.
You take the whole mess and dump it onto a newspaper-covered table or large platter. This arrangement is much neater than a typical presentation, courtesy of Mrs. Poolman.
Throw in some garlic bread and maybe some cole slaw and you have an excellent party-meal.
Back to work tomorrow. Later this week, we will be the overnight hosts for several homeless families who will be staying at our church this week. We’ve never done anything like that before, so it should be interesting.