Tag Archives: good friday

At The Boil

Quick reminder that there’s still time to win a free e-book from yesterday’s guest author, Ruth Hartman. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win!

Last Friday was Good Friday, which means most people in my area were scrambling for crabs, crawfish, and shrimp to boil. Boils are a bit part of the social scene here in south Louisiana. It’s a time for good food and excellent conversation. For those of you who don’t have crawfish boils in your part of the world, I’m going to take you through a little of the process.

Before you can even get started with a boil party, you have to get all the fixings. Crawfish, crabs, shrimp, and all the fixings. Fixings are potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, garlic, and anything else you can possibly think of boiling. For us, we like to add mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, and  sausage to the mix. Fixings tend to soak up all of the seasoning that doesn’t make it to the seafood. They’re perfect fillers. Once you have all of the sides and seafood, it’s time to head to the boil.

We had our crawfish boil at my sister’s house. Generally, boiling is kind of like barbecuing: it’s a man thing. In this case, my brother-in-law and brother were the boil masters with my nephews providing manual labor. The first step in the process for a good boil is purging:

In this picture, you have a basket of crawfish sitting in water. We add salt to the water to help purge dirt and impurities from the crawfish before they even reach the pot. As many of you know, crawfish are also called “mudbugs” and they’re called this for a very good reason: they live in the mud. Purging them cleanses them of mud and keeps you from having a dirty taste in your mouth while you’re eating.

After the purging, the crawfish are dropped in a boiling pot filled with seasonings. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how to add the seasonings since every boil master has their own secret ingredients. All I know, is that the propane tanks are loud, which means you have to shout to be heard.

While you’re waiting on that batch of seafood to boil, it’s time to set another batch of crawfish to purge…and entertain the dog.

This isn’t the best picture, but what you have here is my sister’s miniature dachshund, Minnie, taking on a crawfish contender. Minnie won and tried to eat the crawfish alive. We had to snatch it away from her before she could show the crawfish the inside of a puppy dog.

While crawfish is boiling and purging, it’s time for everyone to visit. This means breaking out the drinks (beer, wine, water) and throwing yourself down in a chair because it’s such hard work standing around building up your appetite. My brother-in-law took the time to share his man cave with my brother and a friend of his. Yes, all the men disappeared into the shed leaving all of the women to sit down and soak up the sun.

But they couldn’t be gone for long! Oh no, not when there’s crawfish boiling!

In this picture, my brother is lifting a boiled basket of crawfish out of the pot. My brother-in-law (genius that he is) has a system where they’ll place two planks on top of the pot to help drain the water before the crawfish is carried to the tables. Normally everyone runs out of the way when the basket comes out of the pot because that water is hot! Don’t you just love his shirt? He looked like he was ready for a crawfish boil…with his glow in the dark legs and everything!

The minute the first pot is finished, everyone stampedes to the tables to eat. I can’t eat crawfish because I’m allergic to something in it, but my brother-in-law and sister were sweet enough to make sure I had crabs to eat instead. They were so, so good!

The finished product:

So have you ever been to a boil?

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Fantasy Man Friday

By the time most of you read this, I’ll be sitting in my sister’s backyard sipping something alcoholic and eating boiled crabs. Today is Good Friday, probably one of the most anticipated holidays of the Spring. Not because of the alcohol, but because of the seafood.

Good Friday just so happens to fall right in the middle of crawfish season. People will be lined up at the crawfish houses to get what they can before it runs out. And yes, they are expecting the crawfish to run out this year. It wasn’t a good season. Because I’m allergic to crawfish, I begged and whined for my brother-in-law to boil me some crabs instead. That way I still get to enjoy the boil. Otherwise, I would’ve stayed in my house and sniffled into my pillow.

Ah, my friends. I do look forward to sitting in the sun and relaxing for a whole day. I feel like I need it. *fans herself* I’m not going alone either. I need someone to hand me a towel when my hands get dirty. I think I’m taking him along…

Well? What do you think? Do you think he’d mind me using his um, towel? *cough* Bwahaha! *thinks lots of naughty thoughts*

Since I’m actually able to participate in the festivities this year, I’ll take lots and lots of pictures so to show y’all what our seafood boils are like. Monday I have guest author, Ruth Hartman, stopping by to share her thoughts about her newest release Flossophy of Grace. Tuesday, I’ll have pictures from the boil up to share with you. Bring your appetite!

Happy Friday, y’all and have a safe and Happy Easter!

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Decidedly un-Cajun

With Easter approaching, people are making plans for Good Friday.

I’m not sure how it works elsewhere, but in South Louisiana, Good Friday is a holiday. Most companies close so their employees can celebrate it with their families. Now, I’m not a good Catholic. I don’t even consider myself Catholic anymore, but I always found it weird that people went a little buck wild on Good Friday. The usual Good Friday celebration includes mounds and mounds of boiled crawfish and beer. It’s almost a requirement.

I remember working for this small company several years ago and they didn’t give us Good Friday off. The boss said he didn’t call it a holiday because we would just go to the lake and get drunk. I didn’t even know where ‘the lake’ was, so I was a little offended by this remark.

So this is how it works. People start calling around to the local crawfish houses the week before Good Friday to find out when they’re taking orders. Then they start planning who’s bringing what and how much. It’s like a race. On Good Friday, cars hit the road in search of crawfish. Some houses take orders ahead of time, some are first come, first serve. Then these brave people return home for the Great Crawfish Boil.

In several ways, boiling crawfish is like barbecuing. It’s mostly cooked by men and each of them have their own method for boiling. Some feel that a lot of salt in the purging process makes a better boil. Others believe it’s all in the boil. Whatever the case, I can’t eat crawfish! *gasp*

Let me just explain. I love crawfish. I looked forward to this time of year every year, up until about seven years ago. The strangest thing started happening when I would eat crawfish: my feet would itch. I’m talking it’s an itch that will. Not. Be. Satisfied. Over the years (before I realized my consumption of crawfish was causing it), the itch would then carry over to my hands…and one time, my throat began to hurt.

This doesn’t happen when I eat the crawfish boil fixings (corn, potatoes, sausage, mushrooms, etc.), only when I eat the actual crawfish. Which kind of defeats the purpose of having a boil in the first place (or attending one). So now, I don’t have that to look forward to and when I mention to people that I can’t eat crawfish, they look like I told them I have leprosy. “What? You can’t…eat crawfish? WHY?” Like it’s a crime, which in this area, I suppose it is.

What Good Friday/Easter traditions are common in your neck of the woods? Is there a local dish that you can’t eat due to an allergy that you dearly wish you could eat? And most importantly, have you ever had crawfish?

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