One of my favorite family pastimes is a family trip to the beach each year. These trips are full of tradition, laziness, sun, and of course, good food.
This experience has me spoiled for life. Yes, there were times in my teenage years when I wished that we could spend our family vacations with the masses on the crowded condo Gulf beaches, but I have long since come to appreciate those childhood years when we could roam up and down the bayside "beaches," our sunburned bathing-suited bodies running in and out of our house and the houses of our friends down the beach.
I spent hours (and days!) on the swinging bed on the porch. It is here that we told ghost stories, played hours of cards, had fashion shows of our recently purchased outlet mall attire, had family reunions, and screamed or ran when large bugs came out of the woodwork.
It is here that I fell in love with fresh shrimp (and like Bubba Gump, I literally could eat gulf shrimp every day in every way for my entire vacation and beyond). It is here that, as far as I am concerned, the sweetest corn is grown and can be bought at roadside stands and family farms. With such good, local fare, it only makes sense to enjoy it in tried and true fashion.
Low Country Boil
3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 vidalia onion, cut into four wedges
1 lemon, halved
6-8 small new potatoes, halved
1/2 pound spicy link sausage, cut into 2 inch pieces (Conecuh brand is my favorite)
3 ears of sweet white corn, shucked and halved
2 pounds of small, fresh, unpeeled shrimp
Fill a large pot 2/3 full of water. Add old bay seasoning, salt, and onion. Squeeze the lemon over the water, and add the halves to the pot. Put the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. When the water boils, add the potatoes. Cook for 25 minutes, then add the corn and sausage. Cook for 6-7 minutes, then add the shrimp. Cook for no longer than 1-2 minutes (until the shrimp turn opaque all the way through), turn the heat off, and drain the water from the pot. Serve with cocktail sauce, and along side lots of fresh, seasonal fruit.