So, we're a bit behind on the posts... busy time of year for us music nerds.
Lately, Andrew and I have discovered that keeping to our $50 a week grocery budget is much easier when you get yourself invited to the parentals for dinner at least once a week. Mom, Dad... we're free next Friday. Just sayin'.
This week we were told to bring 5 lbs of potatoes and corn. Why? Crawfish boil!! (Andrew's Note: Somebody please explain the usage of crayfish and crawfish. I don't understand) Mmmm... I can feel my fingernails getting dirty already. For those of you non Texans, crawfish are nasty little bottom dwellers that we Texans like to rip up. In fact, the whole process if pretty disgusting. (My question is: Who said first, "Hey this big cockroach has claws and it eats stuff off the bottom of this river that nobody else touches! Think we could eat it??")
Here's the blow by blow:
1. Get some napkins. NOT the cheap wal-mart kind, we're talking the Viva way-the-crap-expensive paper towels that you can re-use eight times and still support a bunch of grapes under the faucet.
2. Have your napkins? Nope, not enough.. get more. In fact, you might want to line your pants with towels. Impending messiness..... (She's talking about the process AND the after-effects...)
3. Pick up a crawfish, go for the big ones, they may have more poop but are more bang for your buck. (Poop-wise and meat-wise)
4. Take said crustacian's tail between your fingers... twist.
5. At this point it might be wise to consider the wise words of the children's book "Everybody Poops." See, crawfish, while tiny, have one h%*& of a lot of poop. And its so colorful!! Yellow, brown, dark brown... The key here is to not look too carefully at what you're about to ingest. Just wipe... wipe that sucker's tail on the paper towels, preferably NOT the ones you'll be using to wipe your mouth.
(We apologize in case you've thrown up on your nice computer. Please keep reading.
I've heard lots of things about the stuff inside...poop, fat, partially digested food, depends on the color, etc... Whatever it is, it tastes like a foot.)
6. Worst part is over! Good job.
7. Now, pull off the exoskeleton (by the way, I've been itching to use that word for a few posts now) (SURELY there was a chance on that Star Trek post a few weeks ago) and remove the meat. (This process takes about 5 minutes by the way on your first time, 20 seconds to do it and 4 minutes and 40 seconds for you to consider whether eating poop is really worth your while). (Jury's still out.)
8. You get over it. (You don't. I don't.)
9. Repeat the above process. You get really good at this by the way. After 10 minutes you've shucked and gutted 20 or so of the these suckers, and eaten a total of 3 tablespoons of actual crawfish. Poop however.... you really don't want to know how much you've ingested, lets just say you've eaten for two. : )
Fun times all around. I have to say, Andrew is really in his element with this type of stuff. His approach is so much different than mine. If it's dirty, requires living things, and not using a recipe, he's in. For the record, you can get the cajun seasoning at your local grocery. Andrew will make his own. Does it taste better? Maybe? Does it make a huge mess in the kitchen? Yes. Will he be happy? Yes. (Agreed. I once tried to make a Chili Stir Fried Crab a while ago, which involved going to our local awesome Asian store and picking up a live Dungeness crab. Never having cooked with live things before, I didn't realize that the water they have them in inside the tank is so cold that they kind of sit in a chilly coma. Well, Houston in July is the place to be for freezing cold crabs! I put the bag with the crab in it on my front seat and started driving home...it took about 3 minutes of 110 degree heat for the crab to start waking up. I hear gurgling from the bag and it starts moving...I freak out and weigh the consequences of just rolling down my window and jumping out on the interstate...it was a crazy scene. This doesn't even include the part where I had to tear the thing apart (alive) to cook it!!)
So, here are a few pictures of the night. Rest assured, your next trip to the river bed will be 14 lbs of crawfish...less.
|You know that storage bin you keep your Christmas decorations in?|
|'Cause 3 people staring will make it boil faster.|
|We considered boiling Chile.|
|But this guy scared us.... so we spared Chile. (Watch your foot, Steve!)|
|I will kiiiilll you with my itty bitty claws.|
|Insert millions of screams....|
|Feasting on exoskeletons (yes! 2xs in one post!)|
|Notice the lack of talking... we're trying to not think about the poop. (Notice my face...I'm in the 4 minutes and 40 seconds part.)|
|Won Ton's butt got stuck...|
|Chile surveys the feast. (And wonders if he's next...)|