a boiled dinner party


There are some traditions that make me feel like an outsider in my own land. Cue....the boiled dinner.

We are on vacation up here in Fannin County, Georgia, nestled below the Blue Ridge mountains in our cabin on the river. When the sun sinks below a certain point on the horizon, everyone's mind turns to the night's feast. Cooking for 10-11 people is no mean feat, so we've all been sharing the duties. This particular night we enjoyed a meal that has deep roots in American culture- the boil. There's the New England boiled dinner, the crawfish boil of Louisiana, and then the shrimp boil.

It basically consists of throwing corn, potatoes, onions, and shrimp into boiling water, staggering their drop times so that everything comes out perfectly. For our meal, we added polish and andouille sausage, and I threw together some coleslaw. I admire this as a cultural phenomenon. I admire it as a way to avoid dirty dishes while feeding multitudes. But I couldn't stop part of me from thinking of about a dozen yummier ways to prepare each ingredient. But then I did, because the atmosphere was so jovial and breezy, with nothing to do but dig in and watch the river float by.