Monday, June 16, 2014

Summertime Crawfish Boil!

I often lament to Jeff that Upstate New York, my mother region, is not known for any standout special events or particular food delicacies.  He, on the other hand, is from southern Louisiana and can easily associate himself with Mardis Gras, jambalya, gumbo, and, of course, crawfish boils - "Suck dey heads and twist dey tails!".  Prior to meeting Jeff, I  had never attended a boil, or, quite honestly, really understood what one was.  This year, specifically because our yard is finally sprouting some green, green grass, a close friend of ours suggested that we throw our first ever boil.  When Jeff's parents stopped by with their big ole' pot and propane tank, filled to the brim, we knew that we were all in!

Our crawfish boil was almost one year to the date of Milton's first birthday bash, so Jeff urged me to keep this party reasonable because Milt's bonanza stressed me out just a littttle too much.  Well, I tried my very best, and one party day meltdown aside, I succeeded!

Welcome to our boil!

Jeff's cousin, Lily (the crafty one!), made this Mardi Gras wreath as a present for Jeff's
parents, and I commissioned it for the day!  To see more of Lily's items -- lots of lovely homemade cards -- visit Handmade By Lily.


To keep the party festive, I bought lobster bibs for everyone at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  At $1.99 for four, it is a pretty good deal:  Fox Run Disposable Lobster Bibs. Unfortunately, there were no crawfish bibs available, but these lobsters look close enough for me but not for Jeff...!

Attack of the giant crawfish!!!

If you are ever in need of a blow-up crustacean, just visit Amazon:  Inflatable Lobster.

Tissue paper chandelier

Per our invitation, guests arrived with a wide variety of side dishes -- pasta salad, bacon wrapped mushrooms, dirty rice -- and we provided the apps, main drinks, and desserts (my favorite!).

Lots and lots of apps -- seven-layer dip, mini hot dog buns, boudin & cheese, and fruit
specialty drink with red & white striped straws to keep in theme
Mardi Gras crawfish (another Amazon purchase!) sprinkled throughout
blondies, red velvet cake balls, and Mississippi mud cake -- Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe!

One of the best aspects of the party was a raffle that our good friends, Fox & Amy, provided for us.  They recently bought a massage shop with two locations (Massage Felax - relax + feet), so they graciously offered a rejuvenating massage to the lucky winner who could eyeball the number of fish in a jar.  If you are in the Dallas area, definitely book a massage -- so relaxing; both Jeff and I recently indulged!

Appearances are deceiving - This count actually stumped our number-minded friends -- math teacher and engineer -- 186!
Outdoor decorations -- In case you are curious, at Dollar General, you can buy a balloon and have it blown up for just a $1!

The perfect setting for chips.

No party is complete without a pinata filled with Pixy Stix, Pop Rocks, Fun Dip, and Ring Pops -- childhood favorites!

Milt Dog was tantalized by how Daddy Dog chose to weight the pinata's rope.

A closer investigation was needed.

For this special occasion, Jeff purchased 60lbs. of crawfish.  He shopped around and around -- Whole Foods, Albertsons, Tom Thumb -- to get the best price, but we finally went with Rex's Fresh Seafood for a total of $171 ($2.85/lb.).  We were quite pleased.

The main course!

Milt investigating
The Mudbug Chef --  That's a real wooden paddle used for stirring.  

The Think Tank of Men -- Notice Jeff referencing his cell phone for pointers!

The whole cooking process is fairly simple although it does require a good deal of monitoring, which Jeff, thankfully, really enjoyed doing, which freed me up to answer the doorbell and introduce people to one another.  First, Jeff boiled the pot of water and rinsed the crawfish with a hose.  The live crawfish were tossed in, and the water was brought to a boil again.  Jeff also threw in ears of corn, garlic bulbs, onions, lemons, and potatoes to be eaten along with the fish.  Likewise, the most important piece, Zatarain's Crawfish Shrimp & Crab Boil was dumped in for lots of good seasoning.  Once the first few crawfish began to float, he cut the heat and then just waited until the desired amount of spiciness was reached; we like a lot!

For our very first crawfish boil, we had a fantastic turnout of close friends -- about 25!  Next year, we will extend invitations to even more, but we were rather cautious this year with our sample size...!

Getting down and dirty

An up-close shot -- The garlic bulbs were actually, surprisingly, the tastiest of all; it was a strong recommendation from Jeff's brother to include them.  

See -- This is when the bib comes in handy.

New Adirondack chairs purchased for the event.

Family arrived for the party.

Friends too

More friends

Of course, Hops came along for the celebration.
Another one of Milt's buddies, in his seafood shorts, joined as well!

Jeff and I plan to make the crawfish boil a yearly event for our little household.  It can only get better from here -- party favors, commemorative cups, a 10-piece zydeco band, perhaps?  As the French like to say, or at least the Louisiana Cajuns, "Laissez les bons temps rouler!" -- Let the good times roll!"


  1. Yay! It was so much fun! The mermaid pinata was awesome! All parties should have them! All the food and decor was wonderful!

  2. I love your blog! Everything looks so great!

  3. Yummmmmm! I all looks both delicious and fun!