Sunday, January 31, 2010

Christmas Shrimp Boil & Ribs

Traditional food is a big part of my family. Eggs benedict for Christmas morning, clam chowder for Christmas eve dinner, baked apples for Christmas Eve dessert, prime rib for New Years, grape sherbet for Memorial Day (or any other outdoor family gathering), sauerkraut on Thanksgiving. You get the point. However, there is one rather interesting meal left out: Christmas dinner.

I think Christmas dinner is supposed to be turkey and ham, or something like that for most people. Sometimes after the presents are all opened, we just eat cherry chocolates and the Life Savers books that came in our stockings and call it good, but sometimes we get adventurous on Christmas dinner. I have a vague memory of duck back there somewhere, and I'm pretty sure there was lamb once (only because I distinctly remember the mint jelly), and I am positive there was a goose that did not go well.

In spite of our many attempts, nothing really stuck as the traditional, Christmas dinner. To be perfectly honest, I don't think this one is going to stick, either, but it sure was fun. We invited over some cousins and just dumped the shrimp, veggies, and ribs right in the middle of the table. Most people were a little skeptical, and Grandma seemed a little scandalized, but we had a ball. Make sure you have adequate paper towels: it's really important.

Now, I just outright stole the recipe for the shrimp boil, and the ribs are my brother's super-secret recipe, so there's no actual recipe here. Just some ideas for super-fun, utensil-optional meals for large groups.

What are ideas you've done that are great for parties or large groups? Fun food traditions? Let us know.