Lowcountry Boil (and how parties have changed)

This past Saturday evening we threw a good old fashioned lowcountry boil. Well an old fashioned lowcountry boil would have been cooked and eaten outside, but due to rain and bugs we improved and used stock pots and our kitchen island. If you’ve never had a lowcountry boil (aka Frogmore stew) it’s pretty simple. Shrimp, kielbasa, potatoes, corn, and onions all boiled up with lemons and a boatload of Old Bay. Eaten off a clean surface, preferably with abandon.

I made these cheddar bay biscuits to go with:

They are copycat Red Lobster which I have never had, but which I have heard people obsess over. And I swear these were the best and EASIEST biscuits I have ever made. And I have worked at biscuits y’all. I think I even posted here a couple of years ago about my saga to make the perfect buttermilk biscuits for a friend’s baby shower. I made practice batch upon practice batch. I sought out White Lily flour because per Southern Living this was the only acceptable flour for biscuits. I kneaded and rolled and folded exactly the amount of times I was instructed to in the recipe. I froze and grated butter! And after all this, they turned out…decent. These took about 20 minutes to prepare, dry ingredients together, wet together (and butter simply melted, not frozen and grated), dry and wet combined, cheese folded in, and then boom bam boom. Plus a nice little butter, garlic, and parsely topping. Fluffy and buttery and cheesy. Mmmmm. Sometimes in baking the work is worth it. And sometimes the shortcut, easy recipe tastes better than the convoluted one.

Of course there was also plenty of beer and wine. My husband and I like to throw parties, and this was our first one post baby. And even though I had noticed this change in recent years, I was struck forcefully at this party by how different things are these days. We got a big inflatable kiddie pool from Costco because we knew how many kids would be there. In the past we might have set up cornhole or beer pong tables. Now we fill up a kiddie pool.

In the past people brought their dogs to parties. Now we locked our dogs away in the garage due to the number of small children that our golden would love to tackle. There were 7 small children at this party, and after the fun of the kiddie pool wore off the older ones ran around our (completely un-childproofed house) like hyperactive bunnies. Instead of straining to be heard over music, the adults yelled over the sounds of crying infants and shouting toddlers. Instead of someone passing out and making a mess in the bathroom after one too many, toddlers wet their pants. No one had to uber. Our neighbors didn’t call the cops. 

Everyone was out the door by 8pm. 

Life has changed people. And of course I couldn’t be happier, because even before a baby I was prematurely old and liked to be home in bed by 9pm 🙂 

Ryley actually did really well. She was awake and happy for the first little bit of the party and then passed out in the sling (what did people DO before slings?!) In general she likes crowds and noise and to look at different faces. 

We paid for it yesterday though, because she was in a MOOD. Whether it was from the party or not, she was definitely not pleased with life. It was one of those days that I have to remind myself there is an end in sight to infancy. Her longest nap was about 30 minutes. She flat out refused to fall asleep in the crib for her late afternoon nap and for bedtime (we always try to start there). She fell asleep nursing almost every time (always a sign she is overtired) and then became extremely pissed off if I dared to take my boob away from her even after like an hour. Except for one mad dash out to Kroger, I had pretty much zero time without a baby attached to me. And I adore my little monkey, but even for me that’s a little much. 

On days like these I like to think of Future Liz. She is wise and well rested and showered. She has been through the baby years and has made it out alive. And she reassures me from the future that this stage will pass, the baby will one day nap consistently long enough to at least allow her mother some mental break time, that she will one day sleep in her room, that she will one day not want to eat constantly.

And until then, Future Liz advises present Liz to enjoy all the good baby stuff that comes with the bad (snuggles, gummy smiles, tiny hands and feet), know that it will pass sooner than I could possibly imagine, and in the meantime have a glass of wine.

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