Monday, September 5, 2011



Guy, Tom and Mark sponsored the third annual crab party at Brizes’ house, and Terry, the next-door neighbor, made these fantastic T-shirts for all of us.  Guy was the crab chef, and guests brought side dishes.  The weather decided to be ugly, and after the tables were set, it poured.  No matter, the party got moved to the garage where we all chowed down on some of the best blue claws we’ve ever had, meaty, sweet and delicious.
There I am in blue and white, Mary’s in green, and Rita is watching us chow down on blue claws.
Here are Guy and Mike.  Mike is wearing his new T-shirt.  He’s a neighbor of Brizes also.  (Guy and Mike are both Cleveland Browns fans.  Mike is from Ohio; Guy is from New Jersey.)

Enjoying a break from the rain:  Rita, Tom and Jim.

So here's what happened next:  Chandler, Terry’s hub, asked Guy if he would help out the following weekend as he hosted his crew before their next mission to Afghanistan, September 9.  Any time Guy can be near crabs, the answer is always yes.  He went back to his Oriental, NC, source to get more of those great crabs, and he gleefully helped Chandler get ready for the party.  I just showed up, and had the best time meeting Chandler’s wonderful crew and their spouses.  But this time, we didn’t have the normal steamed crabs.  Instead, Chandler introduced us to his grandmother’s recipe for Low-Country Stew.   (According to Wikipedia, Low-Country Stew falls into the general category of seafood boils, and each region of the country has its own version; i.e., New England Clam Bake, South Carolina Frogmore Stew, Louisiana Crawfish boil.)

Here is Chandler as he put the last layer into the stew pot.

As you can see, you need a 40-quart pot, preferably one that keeps the ingredients off the bottom, so the liquids don’t make them soggy. 

Lois Seagraves’ Low-Country Stew

INGREDIENTS:  1 cup vinegar
1 gallon water
3 oz. bottle hot sauce
1/2 handful of salt
1/4 handful of black pepper
4 large onions, cut into eighths
8 medium red potatoes, halved, or 16 smaller red potatoes
1 package Hilshire Farms Smoked Sausage, cut into chunks
6 ears of fresh corn, shucked, cut into 3 sections each
12 blue claw crabs, backs removed, cleaned
2 lbs. jumbo fresh shrimp in shells

Combine vinegar, water, hot sauce, salt, pepper, onions and potatoes in bottom of large (40-quart) pot with steaming basket that sits above the liquids.  Bring to a boil over high heat; cook 5 minutes.  Add sausage and corn, return to boil.  Add crabs; return to boil; cover about 7 minutes, or till crabs are almost cooked.  Add shrimp, cook another 3-4 minutes, or till shrimp are done.  Lift basket from pot and pour basket contents on paper-lined table.  Everyone digs in. 
Serves 8 - 12, depending on appetite