Santa isn't checking his list--not even once, certainly not twice. He doesn't care who's naughty or nice until he finds out what happens to Callie Parrish in Fran Rizer's A Corpse Under the Christmas Tree, available now from Bella Rosa Books and Amazon in print and ebook.
Don't worry about the difference between Lowcountry, Beaufort, and Frogmore Stew. As Callie Parrish's gorgeous Gullah friend Rizzie Profit explains, "They're all the same thing."
Here's Rizzie's recipe:
Water to fill great big pot half full 3 cans of your favorite beer 1 bag Old Bay Seafood Seasoning or 1/4 cup other commercial seafood boil seasoning 4-5 pounds small red potatoes or quartered larger potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled 2 pounds smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
(use Andouille if you love Cajun spice)
6 ears fresh corn cut into halves 4 pounds medium or large shrimp with heads removed, but not peeled Optional: 4 pounds whole crabs, cleaned and broken into quarters
(soft shell crabs are fantastic when in season)
Just like many things (I won't embarrass myself or you by naming them), timing is everything. Bring water to low boil. Add beer and seafood seasoning. Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes. Add sausage and cook 5 more minutes. Add corn and crab. Cook another 5 minutes. Remove one potato and one piece each of sausage, corn, and crab. Check for doneness. Return to pot. Add shrimp and leave everything together for 3 more minutes. Drain the water and discard it or scoop ingredients out with a slotted spoon.
In summertime, dump drained food in center of paper-covered picnic table for guests to serve themselves. In cooler weather, serve in large restaurant style pans. Most folks like cocktail sauce and lots of beer or sweet iced tea with this dish.
Callie's Brother Frankie's Comments
Rizzie's stew is different from lots of others because she uses beer in the water and she likes to add crab to the original recipe. In the Lowcountry (coastal South Carolina), some people use shrimp with the heads on while others prefer cleaned, deveined shrimp. Rizzie removes the heads because she thinks some tourists might object to them, but she prefers to cook the shrimp in shell because she says it preserves the texture of the meat. This recipe is how Rizzie makes the stew at Gastric Gullah Grill, but at home, she sometimes adds whole crawfish. She also claims that the next time someone insists on calling it "Frogmore Stew," she will add frog legs to the pot.
This is only one of Rizzie's Gullah and Pa's southern recipes found in Fran Rizer's A Corpse Under the Christmas Tree, a Callie Parrish holiday whodunit now available from Bella Rosa Books and Amazon in print and ebook.
Why did I title this with a Garth Brooks song title? Because I'm shameless about my subject today. Garth sang about shameless love. I'm referring to shameless self-promotion. An old adage tells us that any publicity is good publicity, and I'm beginning to believe it. I'm also having a great amount of fun coming up with methods and places to post self-promotion for my books.
Now, we'll switch from Garth's song reference to one from James Brown (yes, the same one who sings from Callie's bra when she tucks her cell phone in there to keep from losing it).
"Please, Please, Please," check out my newest self-promotion effort:
What about you? If you're a writer, how much do you self-promote your writings and how do you do it? If you're primarily a reader, give suggestions and tell us what you think is most effective. Please share your ideas as well as what you think of my very first book trailer. I can hardly wait to show you what's coming in January, 2015.
Until we meet again, take care of . . . you!