You know the summer is coming to an end when it’s time to celebrate Hudson’s birthday. I look forward to planning a unique celebration for him each year mid August. Being the outdoorsman that he is, we settled on a crab boil on the beach to commemorate his 9th birthday.
A crab boil is fairly simple to put together and made a memorable day for Hudson. We let him invite a buddy to spend the day fishing and crabbing with. The guys took off earlier in the afternoon to catch fish and crab, while we got the beach set up for the boil.
I always start each party with one piece of inspiration. It could be a color palette, a swatch of fabric, a piece of decor or (most often) the invitation. Minted had exactly what I was looking for in an invite. Clever design, great colors, thick paper and coordinating address labels to complete the look.
For the best crab boil outcome, you’ll want to send family or friends details for your boil. Let them know what beach, what time and perhaps a reminder that it cools down at night (so layer up!). The invite is a great place to relay all of this info. Minted offers an optional printed back side to include any extra party info or instructions.
To host your own crab boil, you’ll need to get crabs! Send the crabbers out early to drop pots to claim your dinner! My husband and father-in-law took the boys out into the Puget Sound for the day.
It’s always a surprise when you pull up a pot. You never know how many crabs will be inside. If they’re below a certain size, it’s the law to put them back into the water.
For a great crab boil, gather the following ingredients:
Corn on the Cobb
You’ll want to get your broth going in the biggest pot you can find. Lemons, onions and seafood seasoning will make a great broth. I found quite possibly the world’s largest crab pot at Hayneedle. It held all of our ingredients and had a drain on the front to release the broth once the food was cooked.
Once the broth is at a rolling boil, begin adding ingredients from longest-cooking to shortest-cooking. Use a cell phone to set a timer for about 25 minutes and add each ingredient as it’s cook time comes up. Start with potatoes and carrots. When you’re 15 minutes in, add the sausage. At 10 minutes add the corn. Keep the pot covered as much as possible to keep it extra hot inside.
You’ll want to keep a close eye on the pot to ensure ingredients are cooking as expected. Watch for the crabs to turn bright red!
While you’re waiting for everything to cook, set your table! Line the table with newspaper and have guests grab a drink. I brought two beverage dispensers of drink options that I set on a small galvanized folding table. I found enamel tableware in the camping section at Hayneedle (complete with silverware, cups, plates AND bowls) which was perfect for our outdoor crab boil!
Once your food is ready, spread it down the table. Make sure everyone has napkins and plenty of dipping sauces. This is a hands-on experience so dig in and get your hands messy!
After you’re stuffed with seafood, take time to enjoy the beautiful beach. I brought comfortable chairs for adults to relax while the kids played in the sand. Don’t forget to snap a photo in the evening light!
I knew the dinner would be quite filling, so instead of a full dessert table, we had a fun crab cake and cookies from Jenny Cookies Bake Shop for the birthday boy.
I put the cake on a wood round and placed it on top of a galvanized crate turned upside down. Adding the additional height gave it more of a grand appearance. I always include the number of the year my kids are turning into the dessert table or desserts, so I placed a vintage wood #9 and seashells along the base of the galvanized crate. It was definitely the centerpiece of the party!
One of my favorite things about summer is s’mores on the beach. As usual for Washington, we had a burn ban in effect which was a bummer. I knew the kids would have fun doing s’mores so I brought our portable bbq for s’mores nachos! I used it last year for our beach tailgate and it’s gotten so much use since!
To make S’mores Nachos, line a bbq safe tray with foil. Layer graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate and place on bbq until toasted!
We stayed at the beach until the sun was completely gone. Hudson loved his crab boil birthday party and is already planning our next seafood boil on the beach!
Happy 9th Birthday Hudson!
For more Crab Boil essentials and favorites, visit my style board on Hayneedle HERE!
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THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. JENNY COOKIES HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTING, HOWEVER ALL OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN AND I ONLY PROMOTE PRODUCTS/COMPANIES I LOVE.
Photography by Kelly Clare Photography