I love nothing more than to throw a fantastic soireé, especially if it’s in honor of a special person celebrating a milestone occasion. Graduation in the time of quarantine has been especially trying on the Class of 2020; spring of senior year for these kids was basically erased with no prom, senior activities, pomp and circumstance, or celebratory parties, so we had to pivot and come up with a memorable way to honor our recent grad.
Without skipping a beat, Allison decided she fancied a down-home, backyard shrimp boil, and we ran with it. Due to Covid-19, there were very obvious limitations to this idea, but yet again, Allison proved to be Class of 2020 flexible, and rolled with what was safely possible, meaning a very tight guest list to allow for wide table settings, as well as eliminating the “throw the boil contents down the middle of the table” signature move. There also wasn’t a hirable caterer in town, so we were on our own, which in all honestly, was more fun. The shrimp boil recipe was easy enough to follow and the ingredients even more fun to source, with clams and lobster tails for grilling coming all the way from The Lobster Guy in Maine. Never have I ever had more delicious, fresh, and flavorful shellfish. Highly recommend them! We scored pounds of shrimp from Costco, linguiça sausage, and bought up all the Old Bay seasoning, Zatarain’s Crab Boil, lemons, potatoes, and corn on the cob we could get our hands on. Into the cauldron it went and we continued to stir it up with a wooden paddle from Amazon for the next half hour or so, and voilá! The best damn meal I’ve had in a long, long time. And also, quite possibly the easiest to put together.
Thankfully, Allison gave us a great theme to run with, so it was easy to make it even more personal with custom disposable bibs, face masks with her baby picture printed on them, lobster printed wet wipe (all from Etsy), as well as printed place cards, napkins, drink tags and stir sticks. Each place setting also had a personal bottle of Tabasco sauce, a lemon wedge in its own cute yellow cover, tongs, and galvanized shell buckets, all laid out on black and white gingham tablecloths and yellow striped napkins from restaurant supply site WebstaurantStore. If you think you need it, they carry it. I also found a University of Colorado cornhole set, prompting yet another outlet for healthy family competition.
When life gives you lemons, simply buy a few bags, dump them all in a big boiling pot, mix in close family, add a heavy dose of good humor, sprinkle in top honors in all categories, an overwhelming abundance of love and laughter, and it’s a perfect recipe for an intimate afternoon to celebrate that special graduate.
The time has finally come for Birdie (cutest nickname of all time, btw) to spread her wings, fly the coop, and become a University of Colorado Buff! We could not be more proud to launch this young lady into her own college nest…next stop, Boulder!