Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cajun Trip to Louisiana

My brother, Gary, and my sister, Barb, and I headed down to LA for a visit.  We flew to New Orleans and rented a car for the trip over to Crowley, LA to visit my daughter, Molly, and Joey.  After we arrived Joey ordered two 20 # gunney sacks of live crawfish from a local farmer.  We picked up the bags and put them on the back porch.  We ran cool water on the bags several times as we waited for the crawfish to purge.

Here I am holding a pail of fresh crawfish waithing for their bath and hot tub!  We had the Turkey Fryer going with water and Cajun boil spices.

These critters are lively and we sort out all the ones that appear to have suffered a stroke or something else. Don't want any bad crawfish in our Hot Tub.

The local rice farmers flood their fields after the rice crop and the crawfish start reproducing.  Crowley is considered the Rice Capital and they have a huge Rice Festival.  Then the flooding of the fields.  We were a little early and the crawfish were only medium sized.

This is after the hot tub bath!  Any crawfish that have straight tails, instead of curled tails are picked out.  Then it is time to 'suck head and eat tail'.  Eating crawfish is slow process and half the fun is getting some ready to eat.  Everyone in the neighborhood stopped over.  The smell of crawfish in the air brings people out of the woodwork. About 12-14 people were here for our crawfish boil.

First, you make you own sauce.  Everyone makes the sauce different.  We start with some Mayo, ketchup, hot sauce, and some special spices.  It is mixed up in a bowl beside you and then they bring out the platters.

To eat crawfish, you first twist off the head and then you use your thumbs and first fingers  on each side of the tail to crack the shell and pinch the end of the tail to have the tail meat pop out.  Most shuck several tails before they start eating. The size of your pile of tail meat depends on how hungry you are.  Can you wait for a big pile?  Ears of fresh corn and new potatoes were in the hot tub with the crawfish and you have a complete boiled dinner.

My sister was a little hesitant to eat crawfish for the first time.  She thought she would only taste a few.  In a short period of time, she had a plateful of shucked crawfish and decided they were pretty tasty.  You can see the hot sauce and Tony Chachere's seasoning on the table.  What do you do with all those empty heads and tails?

You make puppets, of course!  My brother , Gary, was having a little puppet show to tell how much he liked those little guys.

After a day of rest we headed out for the Town of Mamou..  This was a little drive NE of Crowley.  A lot of interesting history was here.

We arrived at 9:00 am on a weekday.  What to see first?  Well, we could hear the music and saw the sign and our minds were made up.

That's right...the Mardi Gras was revived in 1950 right here at Fred's Lounge.  It was 9:00 am and the musics was blasting and some people were dancing on the top of the tables.  Being from the North, we had never witnessed such a sight so early in the morning.  Well, it was a sight and a site to remember.

A true story about Mamou.  A Judge was sentencing a man for being drunk in public.  He stood weaving back and forth in front of the Judge.  "How could you appear in court, 5 days later, and still drunk?" the Judge asked.  The man said only, "Sir, I am from Mamou".  Case was dismissed.

What a culture stop!  Zydego music, cajun music, and you don't say 'no' when asked to dance.  It ain't friendly!  Just about every weekend you can find a festival and a band going on somewhere.


   If you get to Louisiana, be sure to see some of the smaller town away from New Orleans. You will meet friendly people who know how to celebrate life.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez .... Let the Good Times Roll.

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