Magic. There be magic!
We drove down to the outer banks, enjoyed a beach house and return in under 60 hours. I was able to stand in the waves and smell the ocean breeze for the last time for this summer.
Also, this life-changing experience happened:
My first steamer pot. As far as I can tell, its almost exactly like a Low-Country Boil. Coastal Cravings (a restaurant attached to a gas station) can boast that Guy Fieri got his steamer pot there on Diners, Drive-in’s, and Dives. There were two options: the “Yankee pot” containing: Lobster, Clam, Mussels, and Scallops, and the “OBX pot” with shrimp, crab legs, clams, and oysters, along with potatoes, Carolina sausage, and corn in both. We judged (correctly) that a “single serving” would be plenty, and ordered 4 orders (two each) for 6 people. They were out of oysters and mussels, so we settled for extra portions of shrimp. I think this was a fantastic choice, as (a) shrimp are my favorite, and (b) shrimp as seasoned liberally with Old Bay, and a triple amount ensured that everything was season with Old Bay. Yummmm!
It was a fairly simple process. The pots are actually just large tins, like the kind you can order from the pitiful-looking, half-frozen elementary school student around Thanksgiving, when they peddle wrapping papers and mail-order gifts. The tins that come with ornamental holiday scenes on the sides and a cardboard divider separating the cheesy, the caramel, and the butter popcorn. Yummmm…fluorescent cheese is always better…ahem.
Anyways, the steamer pot came in that tin. With a hole hammered through the top and weighing similar to a small child. I carried the toddler-sized grail of seafood up to the kitchen and we followed the exceedingly simple instructions the waitress wrote on the top for us: Remove shrimp and scallops in bags from top of pot. Set on stove and cook on medium-high heat until steaming (about twenty minutes), turn down heat and cook twenty minutes more. Add shrimp and scallops and cook for eight additional minutes.
That’s all it took. I tried to take a guess as we poured out the deliciously-steaming contents. I know from its time in my lap on the car-ride back, and by the weight, that the bottom was filled with ice. This kept things fresh during transportation and provided the base for the steaming. Next was probably the potatoes, then the Carolina sausage (precooked) and the corn. Then the clams, then the lobster tails and crab legs. As mentioned, the shrimp and scallops were bagged by themselves and only added in the last eight minutes.
And after just under an hour, we had this:
Steamy, buttery wonderment!
And, though I hope you wouldn’t have to ask…we finished it all. 🙂