Vince and I love crawfish. Vince had never had crawfish til we met . . which seems like just yesterday but it was almost 20 years ago. He was determined, which was good for him, that he was going to learn to eat the way we ate in southwest Louisiana and, bless his heart, he will eat just about anything I eat. He’s learned to eat boiled crawfish, raw oysters, frog legs, fried chicken gizzards, boudin . . I’m not sure there’s anything he doesn’t like. I don’t think he will eat hog’s head cheese, which I love.
Yesterday we had to make our Saturday trip to town and he wanted to run by Kroger. It’s very frustrating for me to go to the grocery store without a list but I hadn’t made a menu because . . my kitchen is torn up but you already know that and you don’t want to hear me ranting about it, do you? I squawked about having to go to Kroger but being the good wife that I am . . I went in with him.
As we walked into Kroger, there was a sign on the door that said “Ask anyone in the meat department about our live crawfish!” Vince and I both looked at each other and said “REALLY?” and headed back to the meat department. Yes, they had live crawfish. You could buy a whole bag (almost 40 pounds) for one price, or for a bit more per pound, you could get however many you want. Vince said “We’ll take a whole bag!” I’m thinking . . I hope he’s planning on calling some friends over to help eat 40 pounds of crawfish.
The guy in the meat department seemed a bit concerned about our decision. He was telling Vince that you need to purge them . . and Vince was standing there acting like he knew exactly what to do.
I went to gather up some crawfish boil (spices for those who aren’t familiar), and lemons. I had plenty of potatoes and onions at home.
We left Kroger with our 40 pound bag of crawfish and we got in the car and the fiasco began!
Vince: What do we do now?
Me: What are you talking about?
Vince: How do we cook them?
Me: We get out the turkey fryer gizmo and the big pot with the basket in it and we boil them!
Vince: I don’t think I know where any of that stuff is.
Oh, my goodness. Can we please just take these crawfish back and tell them we’ve changed our mind?
I actually knew where the big pot with the basket was because I use the basket when I make hot tamales. Neither of us could remember the last time we saw the turkey frying gizmo so we figured it would be hopeless to try to find it.
We went to Tractor Supply to get a turkey frying gizmo (which is really just the stand for the pot and the hookup that goes to the propane bottle). Nope, they didn’t have one.
We went to Home Depot. Nope, they didn’t have one.
We went to Wal-Mart. They didn’t have exactly what we wanted but they had something that would work.
We got home and I grabbed the cooler, which was still in front of the freezer from our trip to Sam’s in Abilene on Wednesday.
Vince: What do we do now?
Me: What part are you asking me about?
Vince: I’ve never boiled crawfish before.
Oh, my goodness! I didn’t even think of that but he had never boiled crawfish because he didn’t grow up in an area where they served crawfish and we had always gotten them at a restaurant.
Everything we did, he kept saying “Are you sure?” Are you sure we’re doing this right? Trust me! We rinsed them, we purged them. We added the spices and onions and lemons and butter to the water. We cooked the potatoes, we added the crawfish. We brought the water to boil, turned the fire off, let the crawfish sit in the water for 10 or 12 minutes. They were perfect!
We boiled them in 4 or 5 smaller batches so they would be hot while we were eating them . . since it was just the two of us.
He couldn’t have done better his first time boiling them. They were great! And, I was very impressed with the live crawfish from Kroger — very few dead ones, good sized and the shells weren’t too tough.
We both ate crawfish til I thought we were going to burst at the seams. Then we sat there on the porch til after dark, peeling the ones we couldn’t eat and ended up with three pounds of peeled tails for the freezer.
I guess I could have taken a picture of the crawfish without the peas in the picture but after we finished peeling the crawfish, I finished shelling the peas and put up 6 packs of peas (for a total of 14 packs in the freezer), along with the three packs of crawfish tails. Crawfish etouffee is going to be on my menu . . if ever I get my kitchen back together.
Vince is all proud of himself because his first boiled crawfish turned out so good. I am quite proud of him too but not enough to let him go back to Kroger today and buy another 40 pound bag of them . . which is what he wants to do!