Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Crawfish Boil

Our American flag waves proudly off our balcony, over the front door, every day, not just on holidays. My husband puts it up every morning and down each evening.  We are very proud of the fact it was a gift from our nephew-in-law, who brought it to us from his tour in Iraq.

We celebrated Memorial Day with a Crawfish Boil by the pool on Sunday.  This time of year we can buy them live at our grocery store and the whole family loves them!  

The first layer on the table for eight by the pool was a new white hem-stitched cloth and on top of that a vintage sea-themed square cloth, placed on the bias.  This is another of my purchases from Michelle Piccolo who has a booth at the Red Barn at the Round Top Antiques Show.  She brings hundreds of really special vintage cloths, napkins and tea towels to the Spring and Fall shows.
The main course place setting included Johnson Brothers' transferware "Fish" pattern.  There are six different patterns and this crawfish/lobster is #1.  Although I have some of each pattern, this is my favorite so I've gone on eBay and bought extras so that I can set a whole table with them.

The napkins are vintage white cotton damask held by a new knife, fork, and spoon ring.  I don't have any fish-themed rings.  Gives me something to look for!
The flatware is a new set I keep at the pool kitchen.  It's fairly "elegant" but is stainless and plastic so it holds up well in an area with stone floors and lots of dampness.  It does beautifully in the dish washer, an important consideration when the hosts are trying to have fun too. 

I used two salt and pepper sets.  One is a plastic scallop shell with two pearls inside and the other set is ceramic lobster claws.
Our centerpiece was a vintage Italian metal candle holder, made around 1950, at the same time as all the floral metal chandeliers.  I also have floral metal napkin rings from Italy from the same period of time.
I used a round folding table as our buffet with a floor length lime cloth as the base and then a lobster themed vintage topper.
I love "odd" color combinations like these lime green lobsters.

This particular cloth is signed by the artist in the lower right corner.

I used three platters to hold all of the crawfish, corn, and potatoes.  Though different shapes, sizes, and patterns, they are all part of the vintage Johnson Brothers' "Fish" pattern.

The buffet table centerpiece is another metal candle holder.
Our Key Lime Pie dessert was served on small "Fish" pattern plates with the flatware salad fork.  Footed glassware for our iced tea is actually very pretty plastic, perfect for the pool area.

Recipe for a Crawfish Boil

Get the biggest pot you own, fill it with water and crawfish boil seasoning and salt.  When it's boiling, dump in new potatoes; depending on size, 2-4 per person.  Let them get a 5 or 10 minute head start and then dump in fresh ears of corn-on-the-cob broken in halves, 2 halves per person, and the crawfish.  It sounds like a lot, but you'll need about 2 lbs per person.  Bring it back to a boil and cook another 1 or 2 minutes.  If you're not ready to eat immediately, turn off the heat, and put on the lid.  Sitting in the seasoned water will just make everything better but don't continue boiling.  Serve with drawn butter if desired.  Put some extra bowls on the table for shells.

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