Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's The Company That Counts

It isn't so much what's on the table that matters as what's on the chairs. W. S. Gilbert
I don't know about you, but I have never been a fan of dining alone. Somehow the food just always tastes better when shared with friends or family.

I listened to a Food Network Survey the other day where they presented the exact same food to two groups of people and asked each group to rate the taste and value.

To one group, they presented the food using simple names like broiled fish and potato casserole with spinach. The food was presented in a cafeteria like environment.

The other group was told the fish was "Parmesan Crusted Filet of Sole, Potatoes Diane, and Spinach souffle. The food was served on white linen tablecloths with flowers on the table and fine china.

Remember, this was exactly the same food! The groups were asked to rate the food on a scale of 1 to 10 and what price they would be willing to pay for it. The first group universally rated the food a 2-4 and priced it at less than $10.00. The second group rated the food as 8-10 and priced it at $28-$35!

Although this was about presentation, the same is true of food served in good company. It always tastes better! Laughter and good conversation is good for the digestion and the soul! So, let's find a good recipe for company and call a few good friends to share it.

One of our family favorites is Low Country, one pot and great for sharing.


Once called Frogmore Stew, this one-pot wonder was created by a National Guardsman when he needed to cook a meal for 100 soldiers. Richard Gay, who learned the recipe from his family, had everyone remembering his stew. The dish was later named Frogmore, where Richard was from, by the guards who teased him about home. The postal service eliminated the name Frogmore, which changed this popular dish to Low Country boil.

This seafood dish is a combination of shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes. Great for relaxing trips to the beach, it is also easy to create for a crowd. Low Country boil can be served on newspaper for easy clean up. Crab, onion, and butter are frequent additions to the pot, and having a removable drain basket only makes cooking easier. The rule of thumb here is the bigger the crowd, the bigger the pot.


4 pounds small red potatoes (or small creamers)
1 large onion (quartered)
5 quarts water
1 (3-ounce) bag of crab boil seasoning
4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
2 pounds kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage, cut into 1½-inch pieces
6 ears of corn, halved
4 pounds large fresh shrimp

Cocktail sauce

Add potatoes to large pot, then add 5 quarts water and seasonings. Cover pot and heat to a rolling boil; cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add shrimp to stockpot; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with cocktail sauce. Serves 12.

No one will go away hungry, and people can pick out their favorite may also add Blue Crabs or Crawfish to this dish if you like!

Call some friends and eat up!

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