Shrimp Sputnik

Holiday greetings, my friends!

Do any of the following statements apply to you?

  • I want to knock the socks off of all my friends and family at Christmas Dinner.
  • My holiday spread is lacking a breathtaking focal point.
  • I love combining crustaceans and cosmonauts.
  • I have a surplus of toothpicks and need something to do with them.

If so, boy-oh-boy,do I have the dish for you!

For Thanksgiving this year at Iris’ house, I decided that one of my responsibilities would be shrimp cocktail. You know, just a regular old shrimp cocktail with some lemon and cocktail sauce.

But during an office meeting the week before, my boss, Kate, uttered one of best sentences ever: It’s just not Christmas without Shrimp Sputnik!

Excuse me? Shrimp whatnik? 

teresaWhat is this and why haven’t I made this, like, yesterday?

It all starts with plain, ordinary cooked shrimp. I used a recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Creative Cooking Library Snacks & Refreshments  (1963). You do not need to see that recipe because it is basically this: boil shrimp until pink with some celery and bay leaf.

Snacks and Refreshments

I love this one

Nothing special. But hold the phone! It looks like the Creative Cooking Library put its money where its mouth is and got pretty damn creative with their shrimp display. Look at it:

shrimp display

I believe that’s a frickin wooden angel fish bowl festooned with olives and shrimp. Those are vertical shrimp. That is madness, people. Madness!

Since it was a holiday, I made all 3 of the accompanying shrimp sauces:

shrimp sauces

Be sure to add Old Bay to your Red Sauce!

And look how gorgeous the sauces are!

shrimp sauces

Condiment dishes courtesy of Leah

These were all delightful. Especially the hot Chinese Mustard (which I would never think of putting on chilled shrimp).

But this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Brace your self, kittens. It is time to experience Shrimp Sputnik!

Feast your eyes on this…

Shrimp Sputnik


For those of you who want a closer look:

shrimp sputnik

There is something vaguely Cthulhu about this to me

And how is it that I was able to  craft such a breathtaking work of art?

It’s a foil-covered grapefruit. With shrimp stuck in it. Lots and lots of shrimp (I wish that I had a bigger grapefruit–because imagine how amazing just one, giant shrimp ball would be?)

It really was the highlight of the day for me (My Thanksgiving was pretty shitty. But that, mayhap, is a story for another day).

I am so glad that Kate’s great-aunt or grandma or third cousin twice-removed decided to make this a holiday tradition at their celebrations–because I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s one I am going to adopt for mine.

Oh, and if you’re curious, this is what the real Sputnik looked like:

SputnikAnd, honestly, when you started plucking off the shrimp it did begin to look a little Sputniky.

I don’t know how much I will post in the week before Christmas, so if I don’t talk to you before then, Brian and I wish you all a happy, holly, jolly, festive, blessed, and kick-ass Christmas.

Here, I would insert a Christmas-themed Brian photo, but I don’t have one. So here’s just one of him underneath a ton of pillows and sheets. Merry Christmas!

Fort Brian 2


This entry was posted in Food, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes, Shellfish, Shrimp and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Shrimp Sputnik

  1. Conor Bofin says:

    I have been in need of a big laugh all day, having been at a funeral this morning. God help me for blurting out loud when I saw the angle fish. Your sputnik puts it to shame. I love the paper turkey. As I have said before, you are indeed stone mad.
    Happy Holidays,

    ps: All 4 apply to me.

    • Yinzerella says:

      Conor, I am so sorry for your loss. There is no “fun” in funeral.
      My paper turkey has been alive and kicking for almost 10 years now. I should really name him.
      Email me so I can get you the Presley Fried Chicken Recipe.
      Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  2. Yinzerella is indeed as mad as a meat axe. I LOVE the shrimp sputnik.

  3. Godzilaw says:

    I am SO copying this for Christmas – brilliant!

  4. Angie says:

    Yeah I don’t know how the other people get their cats to do those pictures. but this one is just perfect. Have a great holiday. Hope it goes better then your Thanksgiving.

  5. this is the most brilliant celebration of the soviet union’s space program I’ve ever seen 🙂 great post as usual. Made my day, thank you!

  6. That is hilarious. Perfectly retro in so many ways…

  7. Melanie Preschutti says:

    I just love your blog posts! I was a young bride trying to impress my guests in 1973!

  8. Rusty Cunningham says:

    You do realize that most of your “followers” are of the age of Sputnick, you young pup, you? 😉 Merry Christmas, Comradette!!

  9. Steve says:

    Stop. Just stop it. You had me at foil-covered grapefruit.

  10. tarynnicole says:

    Loved it. I also want Santa to bring me one of those woodeb angel fish! xx

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