Memorial Day is over, and to me, that means summer is really here. Perhaps the season doesn't technically begin until mid-June, and we're still knee-deep in pounds of asparagus, but summer activity has officially begun. It was a long weekend of Bloody Marys, bonfires, and burgers on the grill -- all of which I'll get to...eventually. Not in this post, though. Because as you may already know, with all the weekend activity and changes to get used to, I've fallen a bit behind on blog posts.
So I hope you'll forgive me for taking more than a week to write about the food we had in Louisiana. Oh yes, there were po' boys. And catfish, stuffed with crab. And crab, stuffed with more crab. And crawfish.
Boiled seafood is big in Louisiana. While we're up in Chicago, gathering around the grill on summer days for hot dogs and burgers, the folks down south are boiling a big pot of seafood and making a mess of peeled shells and heads. Now of course, grilled burgers will always have a special place in my heart. But I don't think eating a burger could ever be as fun as pulling the head off a crawfish, peeling back its shell, and pinching out the soft, flavorful meat. It just so satisfying, and messy, and good.
It took a few tries for Murdo and I to get the hang of it, but once we could successfully pull out the meat whole, we easily put away pounds of the stuff. Because that's the best way to eat boiled seafood: Buy a few pounds of crawfish, or six, along with shrimp, crab, spicy mushrooms, and corn on the cob, lay out a few empty pans for heads and shells, and get to work. This is best accomplished with a group of friends and family, showing you the best methods and tricks for peeling the shellfish, while chatting about good times, and good food, and how the two just go hand in hand.
If the entire six pounds can't be devoured in a matter of a couple of hours, the last pound or two can be stored in the fridge, to be eaten after a night of Hurricanes on Bourbon Street.
Just look at that mess. You know how some messes can give a person a headache, like a pile of dirty dishes (not unlike the one stacked behind me in the sink) or an unpacked bag of dirty laundry (perhaps filled with sundresses and swimsuits from a certain Memorial Day vacation in Michigan)? This mess of crawfish heads and salty shells just makes me very, very happy that such a night took place.
Thanks, Briscoes and Bellangers, for the good food and good times!