One of the delightful things about this part of Texas is the crawfish boil. This project is thoughtfully and cleverly always an outside project. Perhaps it is the outgrowth of the separate kitchen to minimize the danger of fire and lessen the heat in the house or maybe it is just the really smart women of the area who have insisted this project be conducted outdoors.
The project begins with the purchase of bags of crawfish. They are alive and contained in mesh bags. The crawfish must be purged—to get rid of the sand and dirt they have ingested. A large pot is filled with bags of seasoning—this can be purchased as crawfish boil in the grocery store; traditionally onions, corn on the cob, potatoes, and sausage are also added. At some point the crawfish are added and cooked for about ten minutes, then dumped out onto a large picnic table.
If you are a true Cajun, you consume these by shelling off the meat from the back similar to a shrimp—and then—no—I’ve never done this—I think the guys do this just to gross out the girls—suck the heads!
Needless to say, your fingers are covered with spices and juices, as is your face and clothing.
The best ending is a nice piece of ice cold watermelon—consumed standing up and leaning over. Unfortunately, they are now mostly seedless—so no more seed spitting contests.
More photos can be seen here: