My first crawfish boil

I think the residency requirements for Louisiana need to be expanded. Sure, you need to get a state driver’s license and motor vehicle registration like in every other state. And, like many other states, every vehicle needs to be inspected at a state-authorized inspection station. However, Louisiana with all its uniqueness, really needs to add at least one requirement for an individual to be able to call themselves a true Louisianan. Each person should have to attend a bonafide crawfish boil.

Let me preface what I am about to say with this: I am not some city-girl who’s never been exposed to outdoor eating or a good fish fry. Growing up in north Mississippi, whenever people came over to eat, nine times out of ten, that meant we would be eating on the front porch gathered around a vat of boiling oil from which fresh-caught catfish and beer-battered hushpuppies were cooked together. So I didn’t expect anything too different from that last night. Boy, was I wrong.

Soon after we showed up at my friend’s house, the two other ladies started laying out layer upon layer of newspapers over the table. I asked if I could help…then I asked what in the world they were doing. They both smiled (knowing I was a crawfish virgin) and said to wait and see. So, I continued playing with all the kiddos and let them continue the preparations. I was waiting for the part when one of them would go inside to get plates, forks, cups, etc. I knew I could help with those things. However, before anyone headed in to get utensils, the guy in charge of cooking walked over to the table with a huge steel drum of crawfish, potatoes, corn, sausages, and hotdogs. I rushed over to see if I could help him set it down somewhere when he dumped the entire thing over on the newspapers. I just stood there and stared. Surely, there’d been some mistake! But no, Michelle and Carley immediately sat down and dug in. I watched a few minutes while they laughed at my expression, then Carley took mercy and showed me how to pull the little creature apart to get to the meat. She laughed even harder when I exclaimed, “But, they have eyes!” (I have a thing about eating anything that resembles itself in its live version.) However, I managed to mutilate two or three crawfish enough to get a taste of the meat…enough to realize that I much preferred the hotdogs and Cajun sausages to the crawfish.

In the beginning, there was a huge pile of crawfish in the middle of the table, but as the evening wore on, the piles of shells in front of each individual grew to rival the pile in the middle, until finally, the shells took over the uneaten pile. A few times, I glanced down at my “pile” of three shells and felt slightly inadequate. And then, I’d grab another potato or sausage.

If you’ve never been to a crawfish boil, you need to go. It truly is an experience. What kind of experience, I’m not sure…but one that makes me now, for the first time since we moved here last year, feel like I belong to this crazy state.

And, to give you an idea of what this looks like in real life, check out this site.

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One Comment on “My first crawfish boil”

  1. Himself Says:

    My brother and sister came to dinner one night and we served boiled lobsters, i.e. mudbugs on steroids. She felt the same way – “I can’t eat this! It’s looking at me!”

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