Archive for June, 2009

A Newcomers Guide to a Southern Classic – The “Low Country Boil”

This past Saturday I had the honor of being invited (through my girlfriend, Kristen) to an official “Low Country Boil”.  I had no idea what to expect when preparing for this event, and I wanted to help you be prepared for your first “Low Country Boil” experience.  I am a Northerner (born and raised in Arlington, Virginia/Washington D.C.), and this wasn’t something I had ever heard of.  Kristen, having lived in South Carolina for less than a year didn’t know much about it either, including what to wear. I figured this is The South right?  We’ll wear whatever we want.

We Show Up And…

This was not what I expected for a “Low Country Boil”.  Her friends hosting the event are both Pharmacists and obviously bring in a decent amount of money because their house has a completely sodded yard, wall mounted flat screen TV, you name it.  People were dressed like they were in an Ambercrombie catalog and were setting up “cornhole” as we arrived.  There was a Blue Moon pony keg, and beer of all sorts from guest donations. (A Random Observation: It seems as though Coors Light’s new marketing campaign is working well for them.  The “Cold Activated Can” because it was definitely the most abundant beer there.  Or maybe it was on sale?)

Low Country Boil Ingredients

  • 4 pounds small red potatoes
  • 5 quarts water
  • 1 (3-ounce) bag of crab boil seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 pounds kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 6 ears of corn, halved
  • 4 pounds large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined optional
  • Cocktail sauce

(Recipe From: CoastalLiving.com.  If you like Paula Dean, you can use her recipe instead.)

Cook it up

Paula Dean says the total cooking time is 43 Minutes.  Has she ever lied?  I don’t know, but I know a lot of you Food Network people swear by her. Coastal Living breaks it down a little more:
“Add potatoes to large pot, then add 5 quarts water and seasonings. Cover pot and heat to a rolling boil; cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add shrimp to stockpot; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with cocktail sauce. Serves 12.”

Dump It All On The Table

WHAT?!?  You’re just going to dump that delicous food on the table?  Yes. That is “what you do”. You are supposed to eat with your bare hands too.  And oh man, was it ever good.  This is one of the best meals I have eaten in a while.  I even had seconds.

Final Thoughts

A “Low Country Boil” is a great event.  I had a blast.  Good food, beer, and new friends.  Strangely enough though, this did not live up to my initial expectations.  Yes, it did exceed them in some ways, but it lacked that southern “character” I thought it would have.  That character I expected is best captured by Larry the Cable Guy or Jeff Foxworthy, but I suppose we were amongst the southern elite, and this was an exception.  Do you think it was?

Since moving down to South Carolina, I have seen a big gap in the socio-economic ladder, and I see big differences between Rich and Poor.  I suppose there is just a big of a gap in Washington, D.C., but there seems to be no help here… or is that just my uninformed view?  Let me know what you think about the “Low Country Boil”, how your experience was different, and watch out for an upcoming post on my take on the gap between the Rich and the Poor of South Carolina.

Update: In case you didn’t hear, South Carolina Governor, Mark Sandford, Father of 4, just got back from Buenos Aires, Argentina where he’s been having an affair with his Argentinian lover..

"The 4-Hour Workweek" Book Review

I just finished the The 4-Hour Workweek, which is saying a lot because In my reading list is not all that impressive. In the last few years, I finished a total of like 3 books. The The Da Vinci Code, Choke, and I attempted to read Atlas Shrugged (and only got about 200 pages in).

In the Beginning (of the book)

The book really dragged for me in the beginning as Timothy tried to brag, but not brag about everything he has done. He lists how he has won a kickboxing championship, a world record holder in tengo, went to Princeton (but didn’t finish until he came back after a break) and owns his company BrainQUICKEN. This was annoying, but it soon passed, and some decent knowledge began to trickle through.

The “New Rich” (NR)

The “New Rich” are the type of people who have setup business that can run without oversight, or the owner’s time. They are people who live with a series of “mini-retirements” rather than vacations, and cut out the extra fat from their life. This being things they don’t need whether it be a job, or possessions, or anything.

Becoming part of the “New Rich” – Cutting out Time Wasters

One of the biggest thing Timothy Ferris suggests is to cut out all time wasters. This being emails. He suggests that you only check email at certain times and make sure this is known by everyone. If someone constantly tries to start conversations without a purpose, tell them you have something you’re in the middle of and ask them to send you an email. He loves email because it either makes the person define a problem instead of running in circles, or has them go ahead and figure it out on their own.

Outsourcing your Life

It almost gets to the point of hilarity, but he suggests that you should outsource work that is purely time consuming and not something you need to do. He suggests getting someone in India, or elsewhere to do it, based on the costs. For about $X a week, you can have someone working full-time for you who could do research on a certain topic, do scheduling, whatever. My two favorites were when he used one of his outsourced employees to write part of a chapter in the book, and when he cited someone using a outsourced employee to send their wife flowers, and apologize for him.

What’s the goal?

He sums up the goal is to free yourself of the burdens of what people “assume” they must do, and then enjoy life. He defines enjoying life as “loving, being loved and always learning” which I would pretty much agree with.


Final Thoughts and Grade

I thought this book had a lot of really good quotes and ideas, and would highly recommend it. On a grading scale I gave it an A- because it contains a lot of really cool ideas that I liked, but I did not like his tone in the beginning of the book. There is a lot more in the book that I found important, but I did not mark those sections as I read. Being the first book review I have done, I will attempt to “doggy-ear” pages when I read next time so I will have exact quotes.

If you have an office job, and feel like it could be better, I would definitely go grab it down at your local library or on Amazon.

June 2009 – 12 of 12

8:20 am – Reminder Text [Flickr]
Google Calendar helped remind me about 12 of 12 by sending me a text message.

10:00 am – Morning Coffee [Flickr]
Orioles over the Nats any day.

1:00pm – Office Space [Flickr]

3:00pm – Laundry Complete! [Flickr]
Laundry seems to take forever.

5:37 pm – My Packing Skillz [Flickr]
I have to get real luggage. Using a crate is kinda "ghetto".

6:30 pm – Kristen at the Helm [Flickr]
I-85 northbound to Ashland, VA.

8:30 pm – Wendys [Flickr]
Road trips do not equate to healthy eating.

9:35 pm – View of Harpers Gentlemens Club and Exotic Carwash [Flickr]
You read that right… Exotic Carwash. We dropped off Kristens roommate to go hang out in Greensboro with her brother, and this is their drop off spot. The brother called. "I’ve been here forever, where are you!" "We’re 2 exits away" "Well hurry up, I feel like I’m going to get mugged."

9:42 pm – Exactly 124,000 miles [Flickr]
Kristen’s Car is perfectly at 124,000 miles at the gas station. Lucky number of the day.

12:46 am – Sheetz for a pit stop [Flickr]
Bathroom – Check, Slushie – Check, Doughnut – Check, and we wonder why America is fat… Cause we’re pigs!

1:29 am – That took way too long [Flickr]
This trip took 7.5 hours, oh man what a lonng drive.

1:30 am – “Home” for the weekend! [Flickr]
Made it to Ashland, VA. Time for this overtime 12 of 12 to be over!

Under Construction

If you are brave enough to actually get to this, I consider you a true friend, or this is purely an odd coincidence. I’m currently re-doing my page and it looks like absolute crap. The main reason I’m blogging here though is because I’m falling down on the “new posts” list on www.urizone.net and it is very important for me to not fall off. Also, 12 of 12 is coming up tomorrow!

Welcome to My South Carolina Home

My South Carolina Apartment[View Slideshow]

Welcome to my Living Room [Flickr]

Maybe you like this corner of the ceiling better? [Flickr]

Why are You Sitting on the Floor? [Flickr]

Deck with Bike [Flickr]

Open Kitchen and Living Room [Flickr]

Kristen has discovered that she really likes thai food, so I made some tonight.

Thai Red Curry Chicken with Cilantro over Brown Rice [Flickr]