Impromptu Dinner

When I got home from grocery shopping last night, I found that my wife was with our neighbors, Gail and Jay Davis, enjoying a glass of wine in their delightful backyard.  After putting away the perishables, I joined them.  (Hey, it was a glass of wine.)

As our conversation progressed, we were invited to stay for an impromptu dinner–a Low Country Boil.  You might start thinking and looking this up on Wikipedia or Epicurious.  I was already aware of what it was based on previous conversations.

Gail is originally from Alabama and Mississippi and the Davis’ have friends in South Carolina.  This recipe comes from one of their dear friends.

New potatoes are boiled in Old Bay Seasoning until done.  The water is drained (as it contains too much starch for the rest of the dinner) and the potatoes are set aside.  Fresh water with more seasoning is brought to a boil.  Chunks of sausage (or kielbasa) are then brought to a boil, followed by small chunks of corn on the cob followed by shrimp.  (If raw shrimp is used, the boiling stops AS SOON AS they turn pink.  if cooked shrimp is used, they are simply heated through).

After all is done, that compilation is drained thoroughly and poured on top of the potatoes.  You serve cocktail sauce to go with the shrimp, butter to go with the corn and potatoes.  Raw sliced or cherry tomatoes made an excellent accompaniment.

And more wine.

As a chef who enjoys regional and ethnic cooking, this was a delight, not only to become more aware but to see and to taste.  On top of that there is nothing like sharing an evening with good neighbors and reiterating what is good about life.

In the poem “Mending Wall”, Robert Frost declares “Good fences make good neighbors”.  This is certainly untrue of the Davis’ and my wife and I are blessed to have their acquaintance.



  1. Jay Davis said,

    September 3, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I pulled up your blog and lo, our boil dinner was reported for posterity..

    That was, indeed, a fun evening (food and wine) and good conversation..It passed too quickly..

    You and Shelia are great neighbors and I loved your shirt..I’m shopping..

    Glad to see that writing is now paying off in “bucks”..for you..congrats on that..I put your blog in my favs so I can keep track of you..

    Jay Davis


  2. Cindy Watson said,

    September 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    JEALOUS!!! You do have great neighbors….and since we are your neighbors around the corner….(a block or so) we think both are terrific neighbors. We are glad to count you and Sheila, Gail and Jay as our friends.


  3. jenniferneri said,

    September 7, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    What is Old Bay Seasoning? I am wondering about making shifting it. Sounds like such a simple meal to prepare in corn season (that is way too short!!). And the corn is cooked with the kielbasa?


    • tikiman1962 said,

      September 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm

      Old Bay is the brand name of a seafood seasoning used often in boiled seafood dinners. You can check them out at the following:

      Then again, if you wish to be creative, put together your own spice blend and you may wind up with a North-Of-The-Border Boiled Dinner.

      And, yes, the corn is put into the same pot as the kielbasa which is then followed by the shrimp.

      Bon Appetit.


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