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My husband’s family is from all over Maryland and Washington D.C. and so for decades many family memories have been made around  butcher paper lined tables with piles of blue crab, shrimp, Old Bay, melted butter and wooden mallets.  I got to experience this phenomena  for the first time while Rich and I visited his cousins and Aunts and Uncles on the Chesapeake Bay and celebrated the 4th of July with them. So in the spirit of his East Coast family tradition we celebrate many holidays and family get togethers in a slightly modified “West Coast version.” We might not feast with paper lined tables and fresh from the boat sea food at my house, but the laughter, the sharing of old stories and sometimes new stories, the gathering of generations and people we love, and the feeling of togetherness is what happens, and we leave with full bellies and full hearts, just like those who started this tradition had intended.

Large, cleaned, uncooked, shrimp with shell and tail cooking in 1 part beer, 1 part vinegar, 1 part water and about a half cup to 1 cup original Old Bay. Boil liquids and Old Bay for a few minutes in a large pot with the lid on. Then add shrimp and cook till skins turn red. The skins turning red is the indicator that they are done. Keep a close watch and stir often because they cook very quickly.  We like to pair with a nice white wine, rice pilaf, caesar salad and  garlic bread. Yummm!