(POSTED FROM MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS)
Three times before, my family has planned and had "low country boils". Each of them, from what I heard, was a great success and delicious. Once I even got to sample some leftover shrimp, but I had never been to one.
Each time one was planned I got sick on that day and had to send Judy on without me.
I've written before about "one less set of feet" being under the table and about what it would be like after one of us had passed on. It's not a happy thought, but there are things that remind you, once in a while, about that inevitability - things like when someone gets sick and has to pass on a family gathering.
My wife has four sisters and a brother (he lives in Atlanta and is not always able to come) and we are always together on holidays - it's tradition! Judy and I will be married 30 years this coming June 12th, and family gatherings have been a given on holidays from the beginning. Actually, it started long before I came along, but for me it's been 30 years of pure enjoyment and something I anticipate like Christmas itself!
We get together more often than on holidays too. Sometimes we just can't wait and someone schedules an evening out, or a weekend or vacation retreat together. It just makes life more enjoyable when you can share it with family. Friends are okay, but family is just special!
The times I've missed, and I've missed more than anyone, was an event I sulked over for days afterward. So, you can imagine how thankful and how wonderful it felt when I realized I was not going to miss this Memorial Day's "low country boil"!
The family loves being together, even though the boys and girls always segregate themselves, each finding their own corner. It has to be that way, especially for us guys, if we intend to communicate with each other. You see, we can hardly hear each other over the voices and laughter of the women folk! If you want a sample, just scroll down my sidebar (on Mushy's Moochings) until you see "Dragons Cackling"...click if you dare. This is not an unusual clip...it's typical...believe me!
So, I broke the jinx, finally, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I even drank more than one beer and had two cigars! First cigars in almost a year!
There are specific and timed steps to a "low country boil", as you know if you've ever had the pleasure, so there was a lot of yelling, "Is it boiling yet?!" Then there is the long awaited, "Start the timer!" Each question is followed by multiple people shouting an echo and more laughter!
It seems after each of the 7 steps (see large numbered photo) there is a 15-minute length of time before proceeding to the next step. So, after a couple of drinks, the yelling gets louder, and the comments get funnier! I could see exactly what I'd missed by being puny on the previous occasions.
Once I almost rolled in the yard when Gary, who's basically retired, told us about a day he had relaxed with one too many Miller Lites and went to the dog lot (he trains Labs) to pick up the day's dog business! He didn't think it too strange he didn't find any droppings until he got back to the house and looked down at the mess on his shoes! You had to be there to hear Gary tell it!
Let me tell you...the food was super great, but the company was beyond compare, as it always is. I was very glad all our shoes were still under the table once again.