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?
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.
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:
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:
And look how gorgeous the sauces are!
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…
For those of you who want a closer look:
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:
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!