Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Crawfish Boil

A family crawfish boil has been on my Baton Rouge-born sons' minds for years. Living in  land-locked Colorado, such a thing is rare indeed but they were determined. My boys, Paul and Andrew, checked into the possibility one Mardi Gras. The price was too high at that time so they waited. The next opportunity presented itself when we gathered the immediate family for a reunion in Lewellen, Nebraska over Father's Day weekend, 2018. 

The boys ordered 40 pounds of live crawfish from the Louisiana Crawfish Company in Natchitoches, Louisiana. They arranged to have it flown to Denver and delivered to the home of our oldest son, Paul.  Since Paul had to work he hadn't come up a few days earlier with the rest of the family so it was exciting waiting for Paul to drive up to Lewellen from Denver bringing the big Styrofoam container of live crawfish on Saturday morning. The squirming, smelly crawfish added such excitement when we all took turns peeking into the big white container carefully cradling our anticipated dinner.  

Andrew had the pot, burner, paddle and all the ingredients prepped, the corn, potatoes, onions, garlic and seasonings, ready to start the party once the crawfish were on scene. 

In go the crawfish!  Before our trip I mentioned our impending crawfish boil to local friends, I had to explain they just resemble tiny lobsters. I was hoping that would sooth their imagined disgust. As it turned out my daughter-in-law instigated a bowl of melted butter with creole seasoning added to the table to dip her delicately peeled crawfish in, pretending it really was lobster . I did try it and admit it was a good taste. Of course I like all things butter. 

Andrew stirs the crawfish, corn, potatoes, onions and garlic so they absorb the seasonings well! This boil broth turns everything to eating perfection. 

This golden broth becomes the messy juice that soaks your fingers and runs down your arms.  Even though it's drained off, it perfectly soaks the added sides to complete a most delicious meal.

40 pounds of crawfish and trimmings perfectly cooked and ready to pour onto the newspaper coated picnic table. The newspapers soak up any extra juices and makes for easy clean up of discarded shells and corn cobs. 

Steaming hot, heavy and drained Louisiana goodness brings the excited family to the table with picture opportunities of this amazing and memorable family event.  

My grandkids couldn't wait to make acquaintances with these strange crustaceans.  
My granddaughter, Morgan,  named her friend Sheila and carried her off to play. When I asked her later where Sheila was she replied "I left her under the tree."  Below Jeb is being  introduced to crawfish. 

Maddie's crawfish friend was named Gary. When the pile of crawfish dwindled, it was a time of accusation when Maddie said "Uncle Paul ate Gary". It was all in fun. Luckily no trauma ensued. 

Finally time to dig in! Twist, pull, peel and eat! No forks, spoons or knives, just plenty of paper towels, napkins and messy fingers. To add to the ambiance we even had Cajun music playing to tap our toes to while we slurped the flavorful juices and tender meat. 

Participating in this ultimate outdoor bash, sitting or standing elbow to elbow with our family the spice level on this boil considered that kids would be eating with us. All the same spice is a special flare to enjoy;  beer is the recommended beverage. Note the koozie from our wonderful supplier of the fresh and live crawfish. 

Finally, here's a picture of the happy crawfish eating gang. Notice our family T-shirts designed by my son, Matt.  

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