A tradition in many coastal areas is some kind of seafood boil. The Pacific Northwest has such an abundance of fresh seafood it becomes a great excuse to gather your friends and have a fun and unique dinner experience.
My dear friend, who recently sold her waterfront home on the Hood Canal, had passed down to me, her box of fun and festive nautical themed dishes, serving plates and most importantly the giant pot and burner. What’s a girl to do but invite over some friends and carry on this wonderful tradition on the shore of Ostrich Bay in Bremerton.
The table was set with layered dishes, blue and red enamelware were used like a charger with the top plate a cute nautical melamine style dish. Gingham napkins and vases with sunflowers added lots of color to the table.
This night was a bit breezy so our outdoor burner was struggling a bit to get our pot to a boil, we decided to move it back to a more protected area. That was the trick, it came to a boil and we began, under the supervision of my friend and seafood boil expert, to add our layers.
On the menu this night was a pot stocked with jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels, andouille sausage, small potatoes, & corn. The stock got it flavors by adding garlic & onions, seaweed for added steam, and most importantly, old bay seasoning. Chardonnay or your favorite white wine is a great pairing choice along with sparkling water. We included a caesar salad with fresh made dressing & croutons, warm loaves of crusty bread and ended the night with peach & blackberry cobbler.
While another fun tradition is to dump the boil right on the table, this night, because of our group size, we dumped the boil onto a huge serving tray and dished up from there. Craft paper or newspaper on the table to catch the butter and seafood mess is a must, along with lots of lemon and more old bay. I also added several galvanized containers to collect the shells.
This was a special night watching the sunset behind the Olympics with a slight chill of fall in the air signaling the final goodbyes of summer.