Us folks here at the Aquarium know all of the ingredients for the perfect backyard boil… and that’s because we hosted one!
We needed some appetizing seafood pictures for our upcoming ad in Art Mag. We thought and thought and thought…and thought some more — how can we get some photos of a tasty and mouthwatering seafood spread? We have plenty of photos of digging up clams, searching for oysters, reeling in fish, but none of a colorful, southern seafood feast. Solution?
Put one on ourselves!
Aquarium staff, with the help of St. Jude Farms, organized our very own backyard boil. Michael Kalista of St. Jude was gracious enough to lend us his picturesque backyard complete with fire pit, picnic tables and tree lights. We all gathered around, enjoying a glass of our preferred wine or a bottle of our favorite beer, talking, laughing and eagerly awaiting the main event.
St. Jude arrived with 6 pounds of their succulent Sea Island sweet shrimp, 50 Combahee clams and a special treat: a basket of live blue crabs, all sustainably caught. Aquarium staff helped prepare and clean the blue crabs while baby red potatoes, corn, a couple bulbs of garlic and some spicy-sweet sausage all boiled in the pot. (And of course, you can’t forget the Old Bay.) Once the crabs were ready, we tossed them in the pot followed by the clams and lastly, the shrimp.
It was a chilly, fall day so, when the pot was dumped onto the newspaper-covered picnic tables, we welcomed the steam billowing up and warming our faces. We dunked the hot potatoes and juicy sausage in cocktail and horseradish sauce. We taught the Ohioans (because there’s always at least one Ohioan at parties in Charleston) how to pick and eat the rich crab meat. We peeled the sweet shrimp and dipped them in warm, melted butter…
Needless to say, we were in heaven. All 15 of us went through two picnic-tables worth of Lowcountry boil. There was no shrimp left behind, no clam abandoned, no crab leg left un-plundered — absolutely zero leftovers to speak of. We all went home full and happy, having spent the day with our fellow colleagues and friends, enjoying the delicious food the Lowcountry has to offer. Good company, good food and the briny sweet toast of southern coastal tradition.
And that, friends, is how you put on the perfect backyard boil.