Thursday, February 12, 2015
Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today: 2.50 miles; Running Total: 170.44 miles)
Day 216 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.
Justin and I took Mindy to experience a traditional living-along-The-Gulf meal. A meal you can only get in the springtime and early summer: Crawfish.
Crawfish season is a big deal here in Houston.
If you’re unfamiliar with crawfish (or crayfish or crawdads or mud bugs or whatever you want to call them) allow me to educate you.
Eating crawfish is an exercise in brutality.
Crawfish live in the mud in freshwater bayous (hence the loving term ‘mud bugs’). So before you eat them you have to ‘purge’ them of all the dirt inside them.
While still alive the crawfish are gathered in a pool of water and a liberal amount of salt is added to the water. This induces the crawfish to vomit up all the dirt inside them.
After purging the crawfish are then boiled like lobster. Namely, alive.
After the crawfish have died horribly (seriously, you can hear them scratching at the inside of the pot), their scalding and seasoned carcasses are dumped five pounds at a time in front of the guest.
To eat a crawfish you dismember the tail from the head, peel the shell off the tail and eat the meat from the tail. If you want an extra kick of spices (and if you’re feeling brave) you can suck the juices from the head. The remains of the shell, head and claws are discarded into a bucket that sits at the table.
(A tip: if the tail is curled, then the crawfish was alive while it was boiled. If the tail is straight, it was dead. Don’t eat the dead ones.)
Justin is a crawfish eating machine. He can expertly peel the crawfish, suck the juices from head, eat the tail, discard the remains, and then go back for more before I’ve even managed to get the tail off. Mindy peeked into the bucket at his elbow and declared it crawfish mass murder.
I like crawfish, and I’ll eat them, but I’m slow and, frankly, I don’t like to work that hard for my food.
I told this to Mindy as she held a crawfish between two fingers, her face horror stricken.
Hannah smiled and said, “It’s terrible. But it’s yummy.” Then she grabbed another crawfish from Justin’s tray.
“You know,” Mindy said, “Back home these are a sign of a water quality problem.”
I shrugged. “Here we just eat ‘em.”
She eyed the crawfish on her plate skeptically. “But…”
Hannah held up her partially peeled crawfish for Mindy to see. “Just eat it!”
Peer pressure is powerful and Mindy finally caved. She threatened to vomit the entire time, but she caved.
After she peeled and ate her crawfish (in case you’re wondering, no, she did not suck the head) she vowed to contact PETA and start a Crawfish Advocate group here in Houston.
Justin said, “I’m pretty sure you’ll be the only member.”
Today’s silver lining: Mindy ate her crawfish.
I don’t think she’ll be back for more, but do I admire her food bravery.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!
Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.