There's a time and season for everything … and where I come from it’s Crawfish season! Louisiana is known for many things, whether it be the wildlife of Sportsman’s Paradise, our love for LSU football, Southern hospitality, sweet tea or our Cajun cuisine, I can assure you the culture of Louisiana is like none other.
I have been very fortunate in my short life to have had the opportunity to travel and experience many different cultures, and each time I leave with a greater appreciation of where I’m from. Wherever I go, I like to think that I leave my mark in some positive way. Hopefully, such has been the case for some friends in our neighboring state of Arkansas. Yes, most would consider Akansas “the South,” and just a hop, skip and a jump from Louisiana, but it’s quite a trek from Baton Rouge. It’s amazing to me how much the culture, especially cuisine, can change in such a short distance.
I have been making this trip every May for approximately 20 years, and my parents even longer. You see, my dad's corporate office is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and 25 years ago he had the bright idea to carry a sack of crawfish up North as a “thank you” and cook them in a co-workers back yard; yes, muddy crustaceans of the swamp are a delicacy down here, and most would be thrilled to have someone give them a sack of crawfish, let alone prepare them. While our friends in Fayetteville were very appreciative, thrilled was not quite the case for these Razorbacks—perhaps more so, intrigued. At the time, crawfish were something you fished with for giant stripers in Beaver Lake behind the dam. They never had crawfish, but to make a long story short, we celebrated the 25th annual Airways Freight Mudbug Bash and BBQ, an event that started with a bag of mudbugs (another word for crawfish) in a friend’s backyard, and has now grown into quite the cookin’. This year there were 2,014 pounds of crawfish, homemade jambalaya and boudin balls a plenty!
Participants know and speculators soon realize that there’s an art to eating a crawfish, but once you catch on, it’s like shucking a shotgun or fletching an arrow. Pinch the tails off to eat the meat, and finally you suck the heads for the flavor that will have you saying “C’est Bon!” and make you want to slap ya momma.
Not only did our friends have a hard time grasping the technique of eating a mudbug, but they also have a hard time deciphering the best colors to wear to a crawfish boil! If you follow football, you know that mixing a Tiger with a Razorback doesn’t always leave you with a pretty picture. Knowing we are from Louisiana and serious Tiger fans, our friends to the North seem to always up the ante when it comes to Razorback gear. Nonetheless, among the sea of maroon and white, our LSU flag proudly waves, and is quite the conversation piece between the best of friends. This year they even brought in a large Razorback cooker, and as a former Miss LSU and avid huntress, I had to stand my ground and let them know that, in my opinion, the only good hog is one on the grill!
Good food, family and great friends make for a wonderful weekend in the great outdoors! If you haven’t experienced Sportsman’s Paradise, come on down to Louisiana, where the food is hot and the weather is hotter. And don’t worry, our sweet tea and Southern hospitality won't leave you disappointed—I guarantee it!
Until next time, be sure to visit me on Facebook and “Like” my page
to see how to eat a crawfish, and check out more pictures from my adventures. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and has a blessed upcoming week. Thanks for checking out my blog!
As always, God bless and good hunting,
P.S. I’m off to bear camp in Alaska for 10 days. Wish me luck!